Arts and Entertainment

‘Music Man’ marches in for operetta

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by Matthew Nash
 

Operetta students aren’t pulling any fast ones with their spring performance of “The Music Man.”

 

Their full-fledged family production of Meredith Willson’s classic play comes to Sequim High School’s stage for the fourth time and first since 1995. It runs May 3-19 with family night Thursdays and premium seating available Fridays and Saturdays.

 

The story remains the same with infamous conman Harold Hill, played by senior Brice Taylor, 17, who makes his moves on River City, Iowa, by duping townsfolk into buying instruments and uniforms for a boys’ band so he can leave town with a quick buck.

 

However, he falls for town librarian Marian Paroo, played by Kathryn Lorentzen, 17, and he must balance his con and love.

 

Taking the lead is new to Brice, who first acted as an understudy in last year’s operetta “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” He’s grown to love “The Music Man” and the 1962 film with Robert Preston was a large inspiration for him.

 

Director Robin Hall said they try not to imitate what Preston did in the film.

 

“He was so good that I don’t want Brice to be just like him,” Hall said. “For those who have seen the movie, we’ve included a few homages they’ll notice.”

 

As a newcomer, Hall finds that Brice has grown a lot through taking the lead.

 

“He has a nice voice, he’s a good kid and I knew he’d put his heart into it,” she said. “I don’t think we could have cast him or the whole show better.”

 

So far, he’s enjoying the energy the cast and behind-the-scenes volunteers give to the production.

 

“We’re not a big school, but it’s an excited group and that’s obvious when it comes out through their characters,” Brice said.

 

Leading lady Kathryn moved from Reno, Nev., last year when her dad John Lorentzen took the choir director position at the middle and high schools. He’s the music director for the production, too. Kathryn has appeared in multiple plays before, even “The Music Man” as a little town girl when she was 6.

 

She said a few days ago, she and her dad were discussing how well-crafted the play is from beginning to end.

 

“The songs are memorable, the melodies get stuck in your head and it’s a good family show,” Kathryn said.

 

Her favorite song is “Goodnight, My Someone” when Marion is fantasizing about her future love.
“Kathryn has a beautiful soprano voice, which helps because some of the songs go up really high,” Hall said.
 
Strike up the band

“The Music Man” brings back a student-led orchestra, which hasn’t happened since 2005.

 

Music director Lorentzen said the nine-person band is small but the music is accessible for high school students.

 

“When working with Broadway scores, it’s a challenge, but the students are doing a great job,” he said.

 

“The level of professionalism is high enough to attract the general audience and not just parents seeing their kids. If anyone loves classic Broadway, they’ll love this.”

 

Hall said the production is a good precursor to Sequim’s 100th anniversary next year because the play is set in 1912.

 

“It’s a timely play with a lot of color and lots of bigger-than-life characters. It’s a classic,” she said.

 

“The cast has really worked hard and I’d like to see the community support them. It’s a fun show.”

 

For more on Sequim High School’s operettas, visit www.shsoperetta.org.

 

 
Reach Matthew Nash at mnash@sequimgazette.com.

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