New York’s Windwood Theatricals brings the iconic

New York’s Windwood Theatricals brings the iconic

Music Man is not a hard sell

Sound off the 76 trombones when sneaky salesman Harold Hill brings the all-American musical, The Music Man, to Vernon.

Sound off the 76 trombones when sneaky salesman Harold Hill brings the all-American musical, The Music Man, to Vernon.

New York-based Windwood Theatricals is returning to town with this, its latest North American touring production currently on stage across the U.S.

It comes to the Performing Arts Centre March 29 on the Canadian leg of the tour.

Windwood’s past productions that have played in town include last year’s hugely successful Cabaret, as well as Bye Bye Birdie, Little Women, and Urban Cowboy the Musical.

The Music Man is no small production to move around,” said Brian van Wensem, the Performing Arts Centre’s audience development coordinator.

“It’s hands down the biggest production of the (Performing Arts Centre) society’s 2010-11 season.

“The show involves an impressive 26 actors, eight musicians, seven company and 26 local crew members, three drivers and many front-of-house volunteers to meet the show’s grand requirements.”

Filled with classical musical fun, tender romance and favourites including Ya Got Trouble, Seventy-Six Trombones, Goodnight My Someone, Gary, Indiana and Till There Was You, The Music Man follows fast-talking traveling salesman Harold Hill impressing his flashy and exuberant ideas on a small Iowan town.

He manages to con the people of River City into buying musical instruments and uniforms for a marching band that he, despite not knowing a trombone from a treble clef, vows to organize.

The original show that made its debut in the 1950s has a just as fascinating, and a long history on the Great White Way.

After years of development, a change of producers, almost 40 songs (22 were cut), and more than 40 drafts, the original Broadway production, directed by Morton DaCosta and choreographed by Onna White, opened Dec. 19, 1957 at the Majestic Theatre.

It won five Tony awards, including best musical, even beating out West Side Story.

It remained at the Majestic for nearly three years before transferring to The Broadway Theatre to complete its 1,375-performance run.

The original cast included Robert Preston (who went on to reprise his role in the 1962 screen adaptation) as Hill, Barbara Cook as Marian, and Eddie Hodges as Winthrop, with Pert Kelton, David Burns and Iggie Wolfington in supporting roles.

Eddie Albert and Bert Parks each replaced Preston later in the run.

The original cast recording was released by Capitol Records on Jan. 20, 1958 in stereophonic and monaural versions and held the No. 1 spot for 12 weeks, remaining on the charts for a total of 245 weeks.

The recording was awarded best original cast album at the first Grammy Awards ceremony in 1958 and was inducted in 1998 as a Grammy Hall of Fame award winner.

Setting the mood for the Vernon presentation of The Music Man will be local barbershop quartet, Some Other Time, who will perform in the lobby before the curtain rises and during intermission.

The final show of the Performing Arts Centre society’s 2010/2011 theatre series, The Music Man takes the stage Tuesday, March 29 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $45 for adults, $42 for seniors and $40 for students at the Ticket Seller, 549-7469, www.ticketseller.ca.