Strike up the band and get ready for some musical fun! The Broadway classic, “The Music Man,”—winner of six Tony Awards including Best Musical—is bringing its small town charm and famous songs to The Center for Rural Development in Somerset on Thursday, Feb. 3, at the next Center Stage performance.
Presented by Lake Cumberland Performing Arts in partnership with The Center, “The Music Man” is set to open at 7:30 p.m. in The Center’s theatre.
“This is the perfect all-American musical with some of the favorite songs of all time, including ‘Seventy-Six Trombones,’ ‘Goodnight My Someone,’ and ‘Till There Was You,’” Dianna Winstead, associate director of arts, culture, and events for The Center, said. “More than 50 years after it first opened on Broadway, the musical remains as popular today as ever with audiences.”
The show will be a night to remember for members of Southwestern High School Marching Band from Pulaski County, who have been invited to join the cast of “The Music Man,” on stage as part of the performance.
The band, under the direction of Dan Carpenter, will be dressed in their marching uniforms and will raise the roof with their rendition of “Seventy-Six Trombones.”
While show producers Windwood Theatricals couldn’t quite replicate the scene in the 1962 movie version of “The Music Man” when a small boys’ band is transformed into a huge marching band of hundreds, Paul Bartz, the company’s president and CEO, thought it would be “exciting” to incorporate a local marching band into the Somerset show.
“We are very excited Southwestern High School is participating in this phenomenal performance, and look forward to seeing ‘The Music Man’ brought to Center Stage,” Winstead said. “Filled with tender romance, barbershop quartets, and some of the best music around, you will not want to miss this show.”
Set in 1912, the story follows the antics of fast-talking traveling salesman Harold Hill as he cons the people of River City, Iowa, into buying musical instruments and uniforms for a boys’ band he vows to organize—despite the fact he doesn’t know a trombone from a treble clef.
His plans to skip town with the cash are foiled when he falls for Marian, the town librarian, with chaos ensuing as the townsfolk get wind of his schemes.
The show premiered on Broadway in 1957 and became an instant hit, beating out “West Side Story” that year to win six Tony awards, and running for 1,375 performances. The cast album won the first Grammy Award for “Best Original Cast Album.” The show’s success led to revivals, including the popular 1962 film adaptation and a 2003 television remake.
As with each Center Stage performance, a free pre-show event will be held from 6 p.m.-7 p.m. in The Center’s front lobby. The event will include musical entertainment and optional buffet dinner served by Sonny’s Bar-B-Q.
A “Meet-the-Artist” reception also will be held for featured artist James Hood of Pine Knot, whose oil paintings will be on display at The Center in the visual arts gallery through March 2. Hood, a self-taught artist and certified Bob Ross instructor, will give a demonstration on wet-on-wet oil painting technique—completing a painting of a waterfall from start to finish in 30 minutes—during the pre-show event sponsored by Clear Channel Lake Cumberland and Sonny’s Bar-B-Q.
For more information about the pre-show event or tickets to “The Music Man,” contact The Center for Rural Development at 606-677-6000 or visit centertech.com.