"The Music Man" brings small town issues in big book musical form to Ball State

Topic: College of Fine Arts

March 26, 2014

"Professor" Harold Hill and librarian Marian
'The Music Man' characters, Harold Hill and Marian

"The Music Man," an effervescent musical that puts a fun spin on common small town issues, will open at Ball State University at 7:30 p.m. March 27 in University Theatre. The production also will be performed at 7:30 p.m. March 28-29 and April 1-5, with a matinee performance at 2:30 p.m. March 30.

"'The Music Man' is a classic big book musical that audiences really love to see and that is so much fun to produce," said the show's director, Karen Kessler, associate professor of theater. "'The Music Man' offers a bright exploration of the roles books, music, and relationships play in how members of a community interact with one another."

The musical tells the story of con man Harold Hill, a "professor" who comes into River City, Iowa, ready to con locals into buying instruments and uniforms with the promise of building a marching band for the town's children. He expects the journey to be like any other fraud of his, but when Marian, River City's librarian and piano teacher, sees through him, Harold must decide if he can keep up the act or risk it all in the name of love.

"The Music Man" was first performed on Broadway in 197 and one of the reasons it remains popular today is that people have yet to open up to ideas bigger than them, Kessler said. "Harold comes into a town that is stuffy and stiff," she explained, "that doesn't value fun, art or human relationships. At the end of his time there, people have opened up to ideas bigger than themselves. That's a relevant idea, no matter the period or place."

Tickets for "The Music Man" cost $18 for the general public, $17 for faculty and staff, $14 for senior citizens and $12 for students. They are available from the University Theatre Box Office, open from noon to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Contact the box office at 765-285-8749 or visit bsu.edu/theatre for more information.

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