Summer Players tooting its own horn in The Music Man

“I hope they leave the theatre with a tune running through their head and a smile on their face.”

Seventy-six trombones led the big parade… And Saskatoon Summer Players has a community team just as large to bring The Music Man to the stage capping off it’s 60th anniversary season. The Tony Award winning musical made its debut in 1957 and has been delighting audiences ever since. It follows fast-talking, travelling salesman, Harold Hill as he cons the people in a small town into buying instruments and uniforms for a band he promises to organize. That is until his plans to skip town with the cash are derailed by love.

Greg Malin says working with the SSP team is a joy. (Saskatoon Summer Players)

“He’s charming, and witty, the kind of guy who has a solution to every problem,” says Greg Malin who plays the conman. “There’s only a few people in the town that don’t take the bait. They are the ones that get him, in then end, to change his ways.”

“It’s so fulfilling watching people who haven’t done a show for a number of years get back to doing what they love.”

Ron Knoll says the heart of The Music Man is in its timeless score. (Saskatoon Summer Players)

The SSP team boasts a cast of 45 people including a full children’s ensemble, a 21-piece orchestra, and large crew. It’s a lot of logistics for director Ron Knoll and his production team.

“The trickiest part is these are all volunteers, they have lives outside of the show. There’s a lot of personal priorities that we have to juggle around rehearsal time.” Knoll continues, “The reward is seeing what they create on stage. It’s so fulfilling watching people who haven’t done a show for a number of years get back to doing what they love. Watching others performing for the first time and being so enthusiastic. There’s just so much pride in being able to be a part of this magical process.”

“My grandma used to sing the songs to me as a kid.”

Alex Hodson is excited to hit the stage in The Music Man. (Saskatoon Summer Players)

She was too shy to take the stage in grade school but now, Alex Hodson is excited to be making her acting debut in The Music Man. The nursing instructor and PhD student says being part of the cast is a much needed break from her busy life and it’s a joy to sing the tunes she heard as a child.

“My grandma used to sing the songs to me as a kid,” says Hodson. “The Music Man is her favourite show and, even though she’s in her 90s, she’s flying in from Victoria to see it. It’s just so special to me.”

From the barbershop harmonies of Good Night Ladies to the swooning ballad Till There Was You, this musical is a classic that will bring back fond memories and charm audiences with its story of a simpler time.

“It will give the audience a break from their daily lives,” says Knoll. “I hope they leave the theatre with a tune running through their head and a smile on their face. It makes us feel good and that’s what musical theatre is all about.”

 

 

The Music Man

June 14 – 23, 2024

Remai Arts Centre

Tickets $29 – $38

For more information and tickets, click here.

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