A PARADE OF HAPPINESS IN STAMFORD

BONNIE GOLDBERG

Happiness is on parade at Stamford’s Rich Forum Theater until Sunday, July 27 courtesy of a fabulous fiftieth anniversary production of Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man.”  The Summer Theatre of New Canaan has pulled out all the stops on seventy-six trombones and one hundred and ten coronets to bring this charming family classic to the stage, and they did it with only five and a half days of rehearsals!

Professor Harold Hill, an enthusiastic, smooth talking traveling salesman, played to the hilt of perfection by Richard Hartley, has set his swindling sights on River City, Iowa and its stubborn, hard headed citizenry for his latest scheme.  He convinces the good townfolk, led by Mayor Shinn (Tony Rossi) and his wife Eulalie (Jeri Kansas) that the new pool table at the billiard parlor is a source of corruption for the youngsters and the only solution is a new boy’s band.

Hill proposes to produce that boy’s band, complete with instruments, uniforms and instruction books, for a fee, of course.  The only problem is the good Professor doesn’t know one lick of music, a fact soon realized by the town’s librarian and music teacher Marion Paroo, played by a beautifully voiced Allison Gray.  She has the power to expose Hill as a fraud, until she sees the effect he has on her widowed mother (Joan Mitchell Carlo) and her struggling with speech brother Winthrop (Nathan Brenn).

Melody Libonati directs a wonderfully energized cast who sing and dance up a storm, in colorful costumes by Kara Harmon, on a delightful set by Bill Forester.  What a spectacular summer powerhouse of fun for the whole family!  Don’t miss it!

For tickets ($25-55), call 203-966-4634 or online at www.stonc.org (and save 20%).  The theater is located at 307 Atlantic Street, Stamford, exit 8 off I-95.  Performances are Wednesday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m., with matinees Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Come immerse yourself in the glorious music of “Seventy-Six Trombones,” “Trouble,” “Goodnight, My Someone,” “The Wells Fargo Wagon” and “Til There Was You.”  What a feast for the eyes and ears!

This review will appear in the Middletown Press on July 24.

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