A Christmas Story's Johnny Rabe Among Cast of Chicago-Area Music Man
By Michael Gioia
The Paramount Theatre will present the Tony Award-winning musical The Music Man, as part of the company's 2012-13 Broadway Series, beginning Jan. 16, prior to an official opening Jan. 18, in Aurora, IL. Johnny Rabe, fresh off his Broadway debut in A Christmas Story, The Musical, will play Winthrop.
Directed by Rachel Rockwell, the limited engagement will continue through Feb. 3, and star Stef Tovar (A Twist of Water at 59E59) as Harold Hill and Emily Rohm (Beauty and the Beast at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre) as Marian Paroo.
Here's how Paramount bills the classic: "It's a busy week for traveling salesman Harold Hill. He has to convince the residents of River City he's an expert musician, convince the Mayor of River City to put him in charge of starting a children's marching band, convince the parents to buy uniforms and musical instruments from him, then get out of town with everyone's money before 'there's trouble...right here in River City!' However, even Harold's best-laid plans encounter a few hurdles, including the warmth of the town librarian, the needs of a painfully shy boy and a community that desperately wants to believe in him."
The cast also includes Mary Ernster (Mrs. Paroo), Michael Aaron Lindner (Marcellus Washburn), Don Forston (Mayor Shinn), Mike Accardo (Charlie Cowell), Roger Anderson (Olin Brit), Larry Baldacci (Constable Locke), Caron Buinis (Alma Hix), Rob Dorn (Jacey Squires), Elizabeth Dowling (Maude Dunlop), Sean Effinger-Dean (Ewart Dunlop), Rhett Guter (Tommy Djilas), Matthew R. Jones (Oliver Hix), Anna Hammonds (Mrs. Squires), Liz Pazik (Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn), Olivia Renteria (Gracie Shinn), Laura Savage (Zaneeta Shinn), Lauren Villegas (Ethel Toffelmeier) and Peyton Shaffer (Amaryllis).
Rounding out the ensemble are Kelsey Andres, Britt Banaszynski, Jaclyn Burch, Andrea Collier, Brian Duncan, Jake Klinkhammer, Elizabeth Lanza, Tommy Lucas, Todd Rhoades, Jared Titus, Kyle Halford, Dan Keller and Emily Leahy.
Music director Michael Mahler will lead the Paramount Theatre Orchestra. Other members of the creative team include scenic designer Kevin Depinet, costume designer Melissa Torchia, lighting designer Jesse Klug, sound designer Jeff Dublinske, props designer Sarah Ross, stage manager Rose Marie Packer and assistant stage manager Beth Ellen Spencer.
The Paramount Theatre is located at 23 E. Galena Boulevard in Aurora, IL. For more information and tickets, call (630) 896-6666 or visit ParamountAurora.com.
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