Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Music Man Sweeps into Longwood

On September second, I went to the tech rehearsal for Meredith Willson's "The Music Man" presented by Central Florida Community Arts. This was their 4th annual Summer Broadway Season production. Performances were September 4, and 5, 2014. The production took place at Northland, a 3,100-seat, state-of-the-art venue, located at 530 Dog Track Road, Longwood, FL, 32750.  Proceeds from this production benefit local youth arts programs and summer camps.

With book, music and lyrics by Meredith Willson, this concert-style production of "The Music Man" is directed by Rob Lott, with musical direction by Jacob Haines, assistant direction by Ashley Willsey, choreography by Katherine Rivera, stage managed by Sean Middlebrook, and is produced by Joshua Vickery.
Michael Swickard had some large shoes to fill as Harold Hill and he excelled in his shifty eternal optimism. Kelley McGillicuddy starred as Marian the librarian and she had a playful coyness that suited the part. Since this was a tech rehearsal, there was plenty of stopping and starting as lights and sound cues were worked out. During one particularly long pause, Michael and Kelly played Patty Cake as they waited to restart their romantic scene. I like seeing these playful moments caught between the mad rush of the story.

Mic checks were the first order of business and each character recited a few lines to check their mics. The 100 voice choir was still seated in the auditorium seats.  The School Board/Barbershop Quartet consisted of John Barnick, Chris Burns, Kevin Souppa, and Sean Stork. They performed "Lida Rose" for their mic check and everyone applauded. With a full orchestra and the huge chorus, this should prove to be an amazing production. Although his motives might have been selfish to start, The Music Man is selling culture and Community pride. I think this is something we all long for.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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