Nehal Joshi, Barbara Tirrell and More Join Burke Moses and Kate Baldwin in DC Music Man
By Kenneth Jones
Complete casting has been announced for Arena Stage's production of Meredith Willson's The Music Man starring the previously announced Kate Baldwin as Marian and Burke Moses as Harold Hill. Artistic director Molly Smith directs the classic musical about a con-man traveling salesman who gets his foot stuck in the door of a librarian.
All performances in May are sold out, according to Arena Stage in Washington, DC. The production runs May 11-July 22 in Arena's in-the-round Fichandler Stage in the Mead Center for American Theater.
Baldwin was a Tony Award nominee for Broadway's Finian's Rainbow and was a Helen Hayes nominee for Arena's South Pacific. Moses was the original Gaston in Broadway's Beauty and the Beast. They are joined by DC-area natives John Lescault (Signature's Brother Russia) as Mayor Shinn, Donna Migliaccio (Broadway's Ragtime) as Mrs. Paroo and Nehal Joshi (Ali Hakim in Arena's Oklahoma!) as Marcellus Washburn. Making their Arena Stage debuts are Barbara Tirrell (national tour of Wicked) as Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn, with newcomers Will Burton as Tommy Djilas and Juliane Godfrey as Zaneeta Shinn, among others.
The Music Man has choreography by Parker Esse (Arena's Oklahoma!, for which he won the Helen Hayes Award) and music direction by Lawrence Goldberg (conducting 15 musicians).
The creative team also includes set designer Eugene Lee (Arena's Oklahoma!, Broadway's Wicked and original Sweeney Todd), costume designer Judith Bowden, lighting designer Dawn Chiang, sound designer Timothy M. Thompson, wig designer Anne Nesmith, artistic associate and casting director Dan Pruksarnukul, New York casting director Stuart Howard and Paul Hardt, dramaturg Amrita Ramanan, stage manager Susan R. White and assistant stage manager Jenna Henderson.
Meredith Willson wrote book, music and lyrics to this original musical, which was inspired in part by his own roots in Iowa. The show won the 1958 Tony Award as Best Musical. Its score includes such American standards as "Seventy-Six Trombones," "Till There Was You," "Trouble," "My White Knight" and more. To learn more about the original Broadway production of The Music Man, visit the Playbill Vault.
Five DC-area kids were cast as a result of an all-day casting call held at Arena Stage. They are Ian Berlin making his professional theatre debut as Winthrop Paroo, Heidi Kaplan as Amaryllis and Jamie Goodson as Gracie Shinn. Colin J. Cech and Mia Alessandra Goodman appear as River City kids.
The cast also features Sasha Olinick as Charlie Cowell/Constable Locke, Katerina Papacostas as Ethel Toffelmeir, Joe Peck as Ewart Dunlop/Traveling Salesman, Janet Aldrich as Maud Dunlop, Lawrence Redmond as Oliver Hix/Traveling Salesman, Tina Stafford as Alma Hix, Michael Brian Dunn as Jacey Squires, Rayanne Gonzales as Mrs. Squires and Justin Lee Miller as Olin Britt. Christina Kidd, Scott Shedenhelm, Eric Shorey, Kristen J. Smith, Jessica Wu and Nicholas Yenson make up the ensemble cast, with Alissa Alter (female swing) and Kurt Domoney (male swing).
The orchestra includes Anne Ament (E-flat clarinet, clarinet, bass clarinet), Jerry Amoury (bass trombone), Deborah Milan Brudvig (cello), Mark Carson (drums, percussion, timpani), Curt Christensen (trumpet), Rita Eggert (oboe, English horn, clarinet, soprano saxophone), Dennis Ferry (trumpet), George Hummel (piccolo, flute, clarinet), Kieron C. Irvine (trumpet), John Jensen (trombone), Robert Landham (flute, clarinet, baritone saxophone), Dana Landis (bass trombone), Bruno Nasta (violin), Jose Simbulan (synthesizer, assistant music director) and Greg Watkins (bass).
For tickets and information, visit arenastage.org.
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