At the top of The Music Man, Harold Hill arrives in a town that isn’t very welcoming. He finds himself amongst a group of stubborn Iowans who historically haven’t been kind to outsiders. As the show progresses, we begin to meet members of the town and find links between Hill and the townspeople. We see how, with each relationship, Hill helps them shed their stubborn town mentality.
As Hill forges new relationships with individuals of River City, the walls that have made him an outsider start to crumble. Hill is a travelling salesman who is trying to form a boys band in the town by selling them instruments and uniforms—despite the fact that he has no musical training or experience. He doesn’t successfully form a band, but what Hill does deliver to the town is happiness and excitement in the form of community, helping the town warm up to him and crumble those walls.
"I know what he promised us and it all happened just like he said. The lights. And the flags and the colors. And the cymbals. In the way every kid in this town walked around here all summer, and looked and acted." Marian Paroo, The Music Man
What Hill gave the town of River City, The Music Man has given us. During a time of uncertainty, it brought together the Mainstage community and brought into our rehearsal halls “light and flags and colors.” In the way every cast member walked around, and looked and acted.
Meredith Willson wrote The Music Man as a valentine for his wife. I like to think that this production was a valentine to us—to remind us of the power of theatre and help carry us through a difficult time.
Thank you to everyone who crossed paths with this production along the way. And thank you to The Music Man.
Photo 1-2: The few shots we have of the set being built and painted for filming in Fall 2020. Photo 3: A look at a tentative design for one of the potential filming locations.
“You pile up enough tomorrows, and you'll find you are left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays. I don't know about you, but I'd like to make today worth remembering.” – Harold Hill, The Music Man