“Music Man” is the first Mainstage show of the year

MSU revives the classic music that never gets old.

Deena Schedivy
Staff Writer

The Ted Paul Theatre is ready to open its doors once again for another Mainstage season. “The Music Man” by Meredith Wilson will be the first show for the mainstage season. 

The Theatre & Dance department at Minnesota State University, Mankato held their audition for “The Music Man” less than a month ago and they’re ready to open in a few short days! Set in River City, Iowa, “The Music Man” follows Harold Hill, a scheming, traveling salesman looking to sell band instruments and uniforms to unsuspecting Iowans. On his quest to con the citizens of River City, he must make it past the beautiful librarian, Marian, who also serves as the music teacher. 

Matthew Sather, who plays Harold Hill, wanted to share why he enjoys playing this role.

“What I enjoy most about playing Harold is portraying his transformation through his character arch, which provides for great payoff at the end!” He said.

“This is such a fun and challenging role, so sometimes I really just have to relax and trust myself,” Sather added. Samantha Buckley, who plays Marian Paroo, wanted to share what portraying Marian has taught her.

“I’ve learned that the best thing you can do is be yourself. Within River City, Marian is a bit of an outsider, and she has a few people who like to talk ill of her,” Buckley said.

“Even with all of that, she doesn’t change for them. She keeps her quick wit and Irish flair all the same. She isn’t like anyone else.” With Buckley and Sather, “The Music Man” cast is made up of 68 members. That’s the largest cast the Ted Paul has seen. With a cast that large, it can be quite challenging keeping everything in check. Luckily, the stage manager for “The Music Man” isn’t too worried.The stage manager for “The Music Man” happens to be first-year MFA Directing candidate, David T. Loudermilk. Loudermilk had some things to say about helping lead such a large cast and what stage managing here at MSU has been for him. 

“I have directed numerous youth productions that had casts similar to this size, so it is not new for me,” Loudermilk commented.  

“I think the best way to equate it is like two people who are painting the same picture with different mediums. The overall image will end up very similar, the approach is different. I am just learning different nuances in the way certain things are done at MSU,” Loudermilk added. Besides seeing the classic musical, attendees will get the chance to test out the brand new seats, as well as see the brand new grand drape! 

“The Music Man” opens this upcoming weekend, running Thursday, September 27  to Saturday, September 29. The show will re-open the following weekend on Thursday, October 4th and will close on Sunday, October 7th. Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. on September 27, 28, 29, October 4, 5, and 6th as well as two matinee performances Saturday, October 6th and Sunday, October 7th at 2 p.m.

Tickets are available to purchase online at http://www.mnsu.edu/theatre/, by phone at 507-389-6661 or in-person at the box office Monday-Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. Regular tickets for “The Music Man” sell for $22, discounted for seniors at $19 and are $17 for Minnesota State University, Mankato students. 

Photo courtesy of the MSU Theatre Department.

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