The Music Man unites the best of local talent, lots of children

Tickets are selling fast for the Music Theatre West production of The Music Man. The production opens Thursday, Feb. 10 in the Ellen Eccles Theatre and continues Friday and Saturday with a Saturday matinee. There will also be performances Monday, Valentines Day, and Tuesday.Music Theater West Founding Director Jay Richards saw The Music Man for the first time when he was in the third grade but he says, until now, he has never produced the incredibly-popular musical. On KVNU’s Crosstalk show Monday, Richards said the charismatic scoundrel Harold Hill is played by T.J. Davis, whose family runs the Pickleville Playhouse. Richards says T.J. Davis is a multi-talented actor, singer, dancer, composer and writer.”And so delightful and kind of a perfect fit for Herald Hill,” Richards explained. “When you’re casting a show you really want to find someone who will require the least amount of distance from who they are to who they need to be for that character. “He was by far the closest.”Richards said he was overjoyed to get accomplished performer Vanessa Ballam to play the role of Marian the Librarian, a part she claims she has always wanted to play.Music Theatre West executive assistant Debbie Ditton said it is a heartwarming story and there are more than 25 children in the cast, three of them with speaking parts.”Stephanie White, our fabulous choreographer, has every little child dancing,” Ditton explained. “You’ll just delight when they come hopping in play, they’ll be looking like they’re playing their piccolos and their drums in the 76 Trombones number. “In fact all of the cast, which is about 90 people, will be moving simultaneously on the stage during 76 Trombones.”Ditton says The Music Man brings together some of the best actors and actresses from Music Theatre West, Pickleville Playhouse, Old Barn, Cache Regional Theatre and the Utah Festival Opera Company. For tickers to The Music Man, call 752-0026.

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