Peek-a-little at The Music Man

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Messenger photo by Rachel Scofield
Seniors Molly Sullivan and Tanner Smith learn the choreography for the library scene in Pickerington Central High School’s production of "The Music Man." Smith plays Tommy, the town ne’r-do-well, while Sullivan portrays the mayor’s daughter, Zaneeta.

Pickerington Central High School theater students will offer the community a sneak peek at their spring production of "The Music Man" on March 18 from 6-9 p.m. at the Barnes and Noble on State Route 256 in Pickerington.

All 65 cast members and the orchestra will perform snippets of the show for the book store’s customers. In addition, crew members will reveal the behind-the-scenes efforts involved in producing a musical. Activities will be provided for children including face painting and crafts.

Throughout the day, a portion of each sale at the store will be donated to the production if customers ask cashiers to use vouchers supporting "The Music Man Book Fair."

The theater program receives no money from the district to perform shows. The royalty payments alone for "The Music Man" cost $4,000. Theater Director Shannon Cook did not disclose the total price of the performance including costumes, sets, and advertising.

For each play the theater program hopes "to break even and maybe make a little money" through ticket sales, Cook said.

Although the group cannot sell tickets at the book store, the sneak peak will "raise awareness more than a sign along the road," Cook said. "Meeting the people in the production makes you want to see the final process."

This is the second year for the Central theater students to perform at Barnes and Noble, last year the event raised money for the production of "Anything Goes."

Cook selected "The Music Man" for many reasons. First, she wanted to tie into the Violet Township Bicentennial celebration by selecting plays that focused on small towns. The fall production was "Our Town."

Secondly, the musical allowed her to showcase many of her talented cast. The show includes the "phenomenal" River City barbershop quartet along with the "Pick-a-little-Talk-a-little" Ladies.

In addition to the high school students, 180 young children auditioned for roles in the play. Thirteen children in grades 1-8 made the cut.

"They’re so amazing," Cook said.

Heritage Elementary first grader Josh Craven won the big role of Winthrop.

Plans to include Central’s marching band in the "76 Trombones" finale have not been finalized.

The last reason Cook gave for choosing "The Music Man" is that "everyone loves it. You feel so good when you leave."

Cook should know, she played the lead role of Marian the Librarian when she attended Central in 1997.

The performance runs from April 10-13 with a special free showing for senior citizens on April 9 at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $8 for adults and $6 for students and may be purchased by calling the theater department at (614) 833-3043.

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