The Music Man: A Sneak Peek Backstage

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Bryce Johnson ('23) in the midst of rehearsal. Picture: H. Burkhart

Casady musical theater is back and bringing The Music Man with them. For Casady’s 75th anniversary, the drama program will showcase a classic musical: The Music Man! Packed with amazing choreography, singing, and tons of instruments – all performed by its cast of 60. Not only is this Casady’s largest musical production, but the cast also includes an array of faculty, alumni and Lower Division students. Join this exciting and eccentric cast in the town of River City, presented in Fee Theater on November 11th, 12th, and 13th.  

The Music Man, a classic broadway musical, features a traveling con man named Harold Hill. Harold stops in the town of River City, Iowa, to con the people into starting a band in which they would purchase their instruments and uniforms from him. Once he collects their money, he plans to skip town. However, he hits a roadblock. The local librarian, Marian Paroo, starts to become suspicious of him. She keeps quiet because her brother, Winthrop, was excited about the band. As Harold gets to know Marian, he starts developing feelings for her, which causes him to question leaving town. 

The two lead actors cast in The Music Man, Ria Shah (‘23) and Bryce Johnson (‘23), gave a backstage perspective on this thrilling event. Ria, cast as the role of Marian, responded with great enthusiasm when asked about rehearsing with such a large cast. With a smile on her face, she said, “It’s such a great team dynamic! Everyone is so excited to be there, everyone is working together, and is just really excited to make this thing happen!” Ria also discussed the significance of this musical. Ria revealed that not only is The Music Man Casady’s 75th anniversary production, but also because it carries sentimental value for its director. Mr. Andi Dema, director of the musical, has a special connection with “The Music Man ”, because it was the first musical he ever saw. In regards to Mr. Dema, Ria said, “It means a lot to him, and we want to make his dream come true!” Everyone must come see this spectacular event, not only for themselves, but also for Mr. Dema. Bryce, cast as the role of Harold, told us what we should expect when coming to watch The Music Man. He took a deep breath and said, “It’ll take you through all your emotions, so get ready for a ride. It’s going to be really grand because everybody is in it. I mean, we have people that graduated in 1957! It’s a wide variety of people, and I think it’s going to be really inspiring to see everybody working together.” 

So don’t miss this amazing, fun, and emotional roller coaster of a musical. See you there!