Theater Review: THE MUSIC MAN (5-Star Theatricals in Thousand Oaks)

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by Joan Alperin on October 19, 2019

in Theater-Los Angeles,Theater-Regional


In 1994, 5-Star Theatricals (formerly Cabrillo Music Theatre) produced its first show: Meredith Willson’s The Music Man, which opened on Broadway in 1957 and became an instant hit. Now on their 25th anniversary, the show has returned to the Fred Kavli Theatre in Thousand Oaks and lightning has struck twice in the same place: they have given us a fantastic production of this beloved musical.

The super-talented Adam Pascal (Roger in Rent and Radames in Aida) stars as the fast talking charismatic traveling salesman Harold Hill who comes to River City, Iowa, in 1912 to start a boys’ band. Only problem is the Professor is a con man and knows absolutely nothing about music. The only thing he does know about is swindling people out of their money and that’s exactly what he does to the townsfolk of this small town by selling band instruments and uniforms.

However things don’t go exactly as planned when Hill meets the town’s Librarian and music teacher, Marian Paroo (the charming Katharine McDonough with a soaring soprano). Marian is extremely skeptical of the Professor’s intentions but it doesn’t take him long to win her over, especially when he gets her shy little brother Winthrop (Joshua Bond) to come out of his shell. The chemistry between the leads is palpable, and Pascal is so irascibly charismatic as Harold Hill that you almost forget about the original, Robert Preston. Also great are Joe Hart as the skeptical Mayor Shinn, Christie Lynn Lawrence as his wife Eulalie and Lisa Dyson as Marion’s mother.

Not only does this musical never grow old but director Larry Raben’s production — with infectious dances staged by Peggy Hickey — is absolutely thrilling. And those songs! “Till There Was You,” “76 Trombones,” “Goodnight My Someone,” “Lida Rose” and of course “Trouble” are amazing. This timeless musical should not be missed.

photos by Ed Krieger

The Music Man
5-Star Theatricals
Kavli Theatre, Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza
ends on October 27, 2019
for tickets, call 800.745.3000 or visit 5-Star

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