BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Staff Writer
The town of River City has a visitor ready to sell the residents for a boys’ band in Clarkston Junior High School’s production of “Music Man, Jr.” on Nov. 15 and 16.
Gavin Bow plays Harold Hill in the version based on Meredith Willson’s musical comedy.
“He is a con man who enters River City and wants to sell boys band instruments and uniforms,” Bow explained. “He has to swindle his way through the town and get everyone convinced he is a great band leader, and he will do great things for the town. It’s definitely a challenging role because you have to be very persuasive. You have to do persuasive actions and it’s not something I am used to.”
But things go differently for Harold in River City unlike the previous towns where he would collect the money and leave the town without a boys’ band they put money into. Harold falls in love with Marian Paroo.
Jacqueline Schatz steps into the role of Marian, the town librarian.
“Marian at the beginning of the musical is very uptight,” Schatz said. “She likes how her life has always been. She likes her books, her writing, and staying in her own bubble.”
But after meeting Harold Hill, Marian breaks away from her ways.
“She becomes carefree and sees there’s more to the world than she has known before,” Schatz said, adding it is fun to play the role especially since Marian grows through the production.
Elise Dowd plays Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn.
“My character is very over dramatic,” she said. “When she walks on stage she has a stage presence. She may not say a lot, but she has a lot of actions. She’s very full of herself. Not everyone in town may like her, but she knows she likes herself and she believes everyone likes her. She’s very confident. She can be bossy. It’s very fun to play a role like that because I can embrace the other side of my personality. “
“Your role is so funny,” Schatz said.
“It’s one of my absolute favorites,” said Veronica Trapani, musical director. “We knew we had kids like Jacqueline and Gavin, who could handle these roles. Also, we were really lucky this year – we have four boys to sing a quartet and had a lot try out. It’s a happy show. I was just thrilled to put this on.”
She added the junior high is also working with Clarkston Village Players and Mt. Zion.
“We have really built this community theatre within Clarkston,” she said. “It’s really nice to get this put on through teamwork.”
The students invite the community to come out and see the performances.
“We have so many great kids working on the show together,” Dowd said. “When it comes all together it’s nice to see them all perform and get into character.”
“It’s a fun show,” Schatz added. “Everyone should come see it. Not only is everyone talented but it’s a strong group of kind people and they are all fun to work with. Everyone is working hard. It’s going to be a great show.”
Bow agreed everyone has worked hard.
“Everyone in the cast comes out every day for hours to rehearse this amazing musical,” he said. “We have been working on it for two months. All the actors are amazing. We have some fun choregraphy. I think it would be really fun to watch.”
“Music Man, Jr.” performances are Friday, Nov. 15 and Saturday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m., with a matinee performance on Saturday at 3 p.m. Ticket prices are $5 at the door and it is cash only.