"The Music Man, this year's Payson High School musical production, is the perfect family show. It's because of the story line," director Kathy Siler said. "It has all ages in it, but a lot of the story is told from the kids' point of view -- like the Wells Fargo wagon coming to town is just like the UPS truck driving up, and you can't wait to see what's inside the package that grandma sent you."
The 55-member cast of the PHS production features people of all ages. In fact, the oldest cast member, Jay Scott, is 74, and the youngest, Loren Peters, is in kindergarten.
"The Music Man," which runs April 22, 23 and 24, is the story of Professor Harold Hill who comes to River City, Iowa, in 1912 to pull off his latest scam -- selling band instruments and uniforms to parents with promises of forming a band, only to skip town when the money is in his pocket. His plan is thwarted when he falls for Madam Marian, the town librarian.
The show is filled with memorable musical production numbers in the grand style of 1950s and 1960s musicals, including several that feature a barbershop quartet that plays the four-member school board.
The PHS production has an actual barbershop quartet, the Timbre Chords, a group of mostly retirees that gets together and sings weekly. In addition to Scott, members are David Cranson, Steve Stevens and David W. Wallace.
Other cast members include juniors Mick Stern as Professor Hill and Becca Stuart as Marian.
Others with leading roles include Megan Miles as Mrs. Paroo, Jed Ward as Winthrop Paroo, Julia Legassie as Amaryllis, Calvin Legassie as Marcellus Washburn, Rick Welker as Mayor Shinn, Christina Culligan as Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn, Jamie Rusovick as Zaneeta Shinn, Erin Satterfield as Little Sister Shinn, and Jared Winebrenner as Charlie Cowell.
The PHS production also features a 12-foot extension of the Paroo house porch that reaches out into the audience.
"I wanted it to look like the typical, ornate Victorian porch, and to be a prominent figure in this show," Siler said. "I wanted to establish Marian and Winthrop in Mrs. Paroo's home as a very strong element, but I also wanted to show that the porch is where these people lived. They did chores on the porch -- sewing, kitchen work. They received visitors on the porch. They fed people on the porch."
Tickets for "The Music Man" are $5 for adults, $4 for senior citizens, and $3 for students if purchased in advance at the Payson Public Library or Oasis Christian Books (next door to Alfonso's). If purchased at the PHS auditorium door, tickets are $1 more.
The Thursday, April 22, and Saturday, April 24 performances begin at 7:30 p.m., while the Friday, April 23 performance, is a 2 p.m. matinee.