“The Music Man” returns to SJS

Fareen Dhuka, Staff Writer

Trailer by Katy Shafer

Seventeen years ago, “The Music Man” was the first musical performed in the VST. This year, the musical will be performed yet again, this time featuring two casts of students from Classes 4-12, with an opening scene led by administrators.

In “The Music Man,” con man Harold Hill, who poses as a music instructor, tricks Iowan townsfolk into buying instruments and uniforms, but his plan backfires when he falls for librarian and piano teacher Marian Paroo. The musical will be performed in the Lowe Theater from March 1 through March 3 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee on March 3 at 2:30 p.m.

Both Harold and Marian are played by two actors, with different casts performing on different days and times. Seniors Ben Cohen and Frank Willey play Harold, while seniors Katy Shafer and Nicole Vermeulen play Marian. According to the lead cast, having a second actor play the same part is beneficial because they have a support during the rehearsal process.

“It’s interesting to see how Nicole interprets the character as opposed to how I interpret it because I can use some of what she does,” Shafer said.

“Seventy-Six Trombones” and “Shipoopi” are two energetic songs performed in “The Music Man,” with complex movements choreographed by dance teacher Victoria Arizpe. According to her, “Shipoopi” has a Western hoedown feel with silly moments, while “Seventy-Six Trombones” is an intricate yet animated dance that resembles a marching band.

“It’s challenging, and I probably go faster than the cast is comfortable with sometimes, but they’ve worked really hard, and I’m really proud of what they’ve done,” Arizpe said.

Members of the cast and crew, such as senior and stage manager Emily Ragauss, look forward to seeing the dance numbers during the final production.

“The dancing is always my favorite part,” Ragauss said. “They’ve rehearsed so much, and everyone is in sync.”

The entire cast, along with the crew and directors, continue to support each other as the show approaches.

“We just have a lot of support, and all these people who want us to succeed,” Willey said. “I’m really excited for production week and the show because it’s going to be fun to get out there and finally do everything in order.”

After many rehearsals that began in October, the cast have started tech week and await the upcoming production.

“It always comes together at the end,” Shafer said. “It was fun to bond with the cast, and I’m expecting it to be a really good show.”