The Woodward News

Local News

March 30, 2014

Opening night coming up for ‘The Music Man’

A lot of hard work has gone into preparing for the upcoming production of “The Music Man” at the Woodward Arts Theatre.

Performances are set for April 3, 4, 5, 10, and 11 at 7 p.m. each evening and April 13 at 2 p.m. for a special Sunday matinee for the final show.

To get ready for those 6 performances, the cast of nearly 50 actors have been rehearsing for 3 months. The stage crew has been working to build 4 different, highly “elaborate” sets. And Charlie Burns and Greg Nuse have been pulling triple duty as they not only develop their roles as 2 of the show's main characters and help to find and fabricate some of the details for the different sets, but have also worked together as co-directors of this complex production.

“I have mainly been involved with the musical direction and Charlie has done all the stage direction,” Nuse said.

That is in addition to preparing for their roles as conman Harold Hill (played by Nuse) and his sidekick Marcellus (played by Burns) as well as working to build everything from bleachers to brick walls for the different stage sets or hunting down special set decorations including a bust of Beethoven.

In addition to their own long hours, Burns and Nuse couldn't say enough about the time and effort the rest of the cast and crew has put in to help make “The Music Man” a success.

“There are so many great things happening in rehearsal,” Burns said. “As a director, you're always looking for those good moments in rehearsal and I've seen so many. Every rehearsal is productive and we're always making new discoveries in characters, in scenes and in circumstances that help to add to the show and make a better experience for the audience.”

One of the biggest challenges, though, Burns said, has been the play's multiple settings and trying to figure out “how to transform such a small stage into so many different locations.”

“We have 4 major sets that transform the entire stage,” Nuse said, noting that it took quite a bit of brainstorming to figure out how to not only build the different sets, but be able to transition between the different sets quickly and without much room to maneuver in.

“We have people that are dedicated to just orchestrating the changes that take place between the different sets; that's their sole purpose and responsibility,” Nuse said. “And the great thing is that they have stepped into our rehearsal and took over that responsibility with little to no instruction. It's amazing to see how quickly they were able to figure it out and make things happen.”

Burns agreed, saying “one of the most magical moments of this production, you don't even see on stage, but backstage. To see how the crew can transform the entire stage is amazing.”

Misty Mihelich, who plays leading lady Marian Paroo, said the cast and crew have been inspired to give their best because their directors are giving their best as well.

“With them it's not like 'just okay' will do, everything has to be awesome, it has to be great,” Mihelich said. “And that's fun to work with because it makes you proud to be a part of that production.”

All their hard work has been with one goal in mind: presenting the best show possible to their audiences.

“An extreme amount of work has gone into this production and you will not be disappointed,” Burns said, noting “This show is certainly not one to miss; with the cast, the sets, the costumes, the dancing and, of course, the music, it is guaranteed to excite and move you.”

“It's not just a musical, it's a spectacle,” Nuse said.

For tickets to the spectacle, call the Woodward Arts Theatre at (580) 256-7120, or you can pick up tickets from the box office between noon and 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

“Tickets are for reserved and assigned seating, so call as soon as possible to get the best seats,” Burns said.

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