I have to say that it was a nice change to see a BOS show that was uplifting and family friendly - their recent previous shows have always had a darker feel, often with at least one of the main characters being murdered!
The Music Man centres around the idea of a con-man, Harold Hill, starting on his most recent con but falling in love with the local librarian.
Harold Hill was, unsurprisingly, played by Wayne Carpenter who has lead the society for some time, alongside relative new-comer Anna Green as Marian Paroo the librarian and love interest. Although not exactly a visual match, vocally they worked very well together when eventually they sang a duet in the second act.
Throughout the show, different groups interacted with Harold & Marian moving the story forward.
Marian's family were played by Gail Carpenter as the Irish mother, Mrs Paroo, and in the show I saw, Jack Dunning as her shy, almost elective mute Winthrop. Jack did well as the character changed throughout the story.
The bumbling major, played by Mark Clements, huffed and puffed his way throughout the show with aplomb, aided by Jane Granby who played his highfalutin wife Eulalie excellently. The Shinn children were played by Phoebe Mulqueen (Gracie) and Tia Worboys (Zaneeta), whose excitable 'ee-gad's were always well placed.
Playing Zaneeta's love interest was Harry Reeves as Tommy Djilas, the local delinquent who as taken under Hill's wing. He played the role with enthusiasm, showing a clear acting talent.
Within the town as well as the general chorus, all of whom did exceptionally well throughout the show, there were two other groups: The Quartet and the Del Sarte Ladies.
The Quartet, also known as the school board, started off as people who couldn't get along, but when convinced to sing by Harold, could not be separated. This group of four, Jeremy Martin, Niels Bradley, Nik Graham & Ray Bowler, probably had the hardest sing of the show having to perfectly coordinate and harmonise, something they did well enough.
The Del Sarte ladies, were mainly used as accompaniment for Eulalie, but did an excellent job of becoming characters in their own right. Margaret Garnett, Jane Martin, Linda Moore and Jaz Cook made the 'One Grecian Urn' scene very funny.
Two other characters of note were Charlie Cowell, played by Trevor Lowman, as the salesman trying to uncover Hill's scheme and Marcellus Washburn, played by Matthew Carpenter, an old friend of Hill who becomes complicit in the scheme. Trevor played Charlie with aggression and force, whilst Matthew's Marcellus was a complete contrast being played very jauntily.
The show itself is very song heavy, so a congratulations has to go to the whole company for remembering all the lyrics.
Songs of note included 'Rock Island' - a well performed linguistic tongue twister, 'Iowa Stubborn', 'Good Night My Someone' - performed excellently by Anna and Christina Galligan as Amaryllis, 'Seventy-Six Trombones' - possibly the most well known song from the show, 'Pick-a-little, Talk-a-little', 'Marian The Librarian' - which incorporated excellent movements from the Youth Chorus, 'Wells Fargo Wagon' (although the 'wagon' was a bit of a disappointment) and 'Shipoopi' - which was sung strongly with an excellent dance routine.
As mentioned the Wells Fargo 'Wagon' was a bit of a disappointment, but the rest of the set and props were excellent. I especially liked the metamorphic nature of the set, and the attention to small details. The scene changes were completed efficiently by what appeared to be a team of back stage crew.
Finally I would like to congratulate the small band and MD, Gerald Hindes, for their superb orchestration. It was interesting that a piano was chosen over a keyboard - seen when the curtain was moved for scene changes - which gave the sound a more authentic feel.
There was no indication as to what the next BOS show is to be, so I will look forward to see what they decide upon to follow The Music Man.