‘The Music Man’ draws in generations

MILFORD — “The first weekend of March is always musical weekend,” social studies teacher Gretchen Pikus said in anticipation of the upcoming production of “The Music Man” at Milford Senior High School.

Ms. Pikus has another reason to be excited: she participated in a production of the same musical at MHS in 1985. Her daughter now gets to act in this year’s show.

Math teacher Maire Nauman was also in the broadway musical at MHS in 2002. She said, “I will be singing and tapping my feet along with the actors as I watch the show.”

The Milford High School’s Drama Club, including 20 students from MHS, nine from Central Academy School and one from Benjamin Banneker Elementary School, plan to take audience members back to River City, Iowa once more as they follow the story of Harold Hill as played by senior Silas Wheedleton.

Mr. Hill is a traveling con man who convinces the residents of River City to purchase instruments and uniforms from him in order to start a band, according to producer Erica Snyder.

“He sells bands,” Mr. Wheedleton joked.

In his perfectly laid out plan, Mr. Hill would leave town after receiving money for the purchases, but he falls for a librarian who intends to expose him as a fraud.

Despite the fraudulent nature of his upcoming role as Mr. Hill, Mr. Wheedleton said he is enjoying the trouble.

“I definitely wanted to play Harold Hill. Mostly because I really, really adore Robert Preston. It looked like a really fun role to fill,” he said, adding that it has indeed been fun.

“My song ‘Trouble’ is the most difficult because it’s fast talking and a lot of words. And there’s a kissing scene,” he said of the hardest parts of the role.

His co-star, Ciera Emich said the musical has been an interesting one this year as it includes students from other schools.

“It’s like putting puzzle pieces altogether,” she said. Ms. Emich plays Mr. Hill’s love interest, librarian Marian Paroo.

Director and English teacher Carissa Meiklejohn said it’s been a fun challenge getting the different ages together to work on the musical.

“I am so happy that we can incorporate a variety of students and give them the opportunity to perform with us and show off their talents,” she said. “I am very proud of our high school students for being leaders and role models for our younger students.”

DSC_0164Along with Mr. Wheedleton and Ms. Emich, student performers include Toby Biro, Amire Collins, Annabelle Conte, Valeria Coverdale, Jessica Creigh, Mckenzie Crew, Emma Dehel, Ethan Dehel, Arianna Dill, Millisen Dill, Lauren Edwards, Jacob Elliot, Will Evans, Calvin Gillespie, Jerome Harris, Rebecca Hutchinson, Zoe Johnson, Brandon Morgan, Shannon O’Hara, Kieran Pheasant, Dylan Phillips, Emma Pikus, Chris Proetzel, Jenn Rust, Autumn Thompson, Paige Thompson, Herbert Tice and Gabe White.

Performances will be held in the MHS auditorium on Thursday, March 3; Friday, March 4; and Saturday, March 5. All three evening shows will begin at 7 p.m. There will also be an afternoon matinee on Saturday, March 5 at 1 p.m.

According to Ms. Snyder, the drama club will invite all members of the two former casts to join them for alumni night on Saturday. At the close of the 7 p.m. showing, current cast members will recognize these former cast members and invite them to join in on a song with the current cast.

Tickets are $8 for children aged 2-18-years- old and those 60-yearsold or older; $10 for all others. A $1 discount will be given to those who bring a ticket stub from the Lions Club spaghetti dinner which will be held from 4-7 p.m. Saturday, March 5 in the MHS cafeteria. Tickets for the musical will be available at the door.

Jennifer Antonik can be reached at mc@newszap.com

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.