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Rita Kohn
Theater Reviews
Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre
United States
Indianapolis, IN

The Music Man Production Fun and Heartwarming

by Rita Kohn
April 18, 2012
Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre
9301 N. Michigan Road
Indianapolis, IN 46268
This review was originally published in NUVO Newsweekly, Indianapolis, IN.

Rita Kohn is a member of the Board of the Dance Critics Association.
A classy production of a classic that sends you out into the night actually humming tunes, singing songs and feeling hopeful for humanity. In the Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre production of The Music Man director Eddie Curry has assembled a cast with the ability to sing without shouting or screeching for a pleasing experience filled with nuances of interpretation befitting Book, Music & Lyric author Meredith Willson's musicality and character development building to a believable rounding out of a summer when people discover beauty they've buried in plain sight.

Impeccable diction and articulation by everyone onstage and a finely tuned sound system allowed every spoken and sung word to be understood. Add to that sprightly choreography and upbeat dancing, a pleasantly modulated orchestra, cohesive stage setting and costumes and a bevy of surprises for a new look at a 55-year-old musical that continues to have something important to share.

Yes, we come thinking we know how The Music Man will start and end — but short of being a spoiler, we'll merely cautioned "think again" on both counts. The cast of 22 and crew of equal number worked together like the well-oiled train that's the connecting link with the outside world in River City, Iowa circa 1912. Curt Dale Clark and Katie Sina brought bombast and subtlety to the characters of Harold Hill and Marion Paroo. Douglas E. Stark was the Mayor you love to hate, Abraham Rittenhouse was winning as Winthrop and Rowan Whitcomb and Samuel McKanney did some fine high kicking. The production's men's quartet and women's quintet also stood out in this fun and heartwarming musical.
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