I attended the open night performance of The Music Man, which is the new summer musical at Derby Dinner Playhouse and I was in pure Bliss for the entire 2.5 hour show.  This by far was one of the best musicals I have seen at the playhouse ever! They can toot their own horn, trombone, brass band, and more because they surely deserve three cheers for a performance well done! 

The Music Man is a classic musical, in which, fast-talking traveling salesman Harold Hill, comes to River City, Iowa with a plan to sell the innocent town folk on the idea of organizing a boys’ band.  This, despite the fact that he doesn’t know a trombone from a treble clef!  His plans to skip town with their money are foiled when he falls for Marian the librarian and ends up losing his heart to her. 

I took my older boys, ages 6 and 10, with us and they thoroughly enjoyed it.  It was so ironic that during the opening number, “Rock Island,” my 10 year old said “Mom, it sounds like they are rapping!”  I loved that he was relating the way modern day music can sound and feel with a musical number from the 1950’s.  THE MUSIC MAN is a grand tribute to the simplicity and optimism of Smalltown, U.S.A. and is perfect for the entire family.

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I can’t say enough about how talented this cast was!  Director Lee Buckholz knew exactly what he was doing when he brought in the Bliss team, comprised of Tyler Bliss portraying the main Music Man himself, Harold Hill, and Megan Bliss, who choreographed the entire show.  Tyler has the charm and quick wit that makes Harold Hill the loveable character he is.  His stature and stamina on the stage made you feel like he was truly bringing a town of 1,000 together in this small theater space.  Likewise, Megan Bliss’ dance numbers took 10-20 chorus members at once and had them dancing on a somewhat small stage, yet, you felt as though you were watching them in a football stadium.  Everyone danced full out, with leaps and bounds and acrobatics galore! 

Sara King as Marian Paroo is just simply lovely.  Her vocals soar on numbers such as “Goodnight My Someone” and “Till There Was You.”  I loved watching her evolve her character from a some-what stuck-up timid girl to a fiercely loving woman.  Dana Jo Adams was simply perfect with her Irish accent playing Sara’s mother, Mrs. Paroo!

The cast also includes tons of comedic characters such as Matthew Brennan as Marcellus and Kiersten Vorheis as Ethel Toffelmier!  See, even the names of all of these characters are just SO MUCH FUN!  Hats off to the young Caroline Siegrist, who portrayed Zaneeta.  She is an exceptional performer and kicked her heels up with dancer James Du Chateau who played her love interest Tommy.  The two together made for a wonderful show as they perfected many hard dance moves!  Lastly I have to give a shout out to the children in this cast and to the men who are in The Quartet.  Each and every role had its unique offering to the entire show and everyone brought their A-Game!

The book, music and lyrics for THE MUSIC MAN were written by Meredith Willson.  This Broadway classic features a nostalgic score of rousing marches, barbershop quartets and sentimental ballads, all of which are under the musical direction of Scott Bradley. 

Join Derby Dinner this summer for this unforgettable song and dance extravaganza that is family entertainment at its best!  Every show ticket includes a scrumptious dinner buffets, select beverages, and a Pre-Show Footnotes show!  This highly requested classic musical runs through August 20, 2017.  For ticket information please call 812-288-8281 or visit  

 

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