Chicago – “I always think there’s a band, kid.” – Harold Hill.
Goodman Theatre closes out its 2018/2019 Season with a major revival of The Music Man, a “musical comedy at its feel-good best” that “glows with enjoyment” (The New York Times), by Meredith Willson, based on the story by Willson and Franklin Lacey. Tony Award-winning Director Mary Zimmerman helms the production, her 16th at the Goodman, celebrating 25 years as the Goodman’s Manilow Resident Director. The Music Man originated on Broadway in 1957 and garnered five Tony Awards including Best Musical and was later adapted for the screen. Zimmerman’s production is led by Geoff Packard, who returns to the Goodman following his critically-acclaimed performances in The Jungle Book (2013) and Candide (2010), as the charismatic con man Harold Hill, who stumbles upon River City, Iowa with the grand promise of a marching band, but a lack of musicality; and Monica West as Marian Paroo, the local librarian who knows of Harold’s deceit, and teaches him a thing or two about moral responsibility. A full cast list appears below. The Music Man appears at Goodman Theatre from June 29 to August 4, 2019, in the 856-seat Albert Theatre. Tickets ($45 – $142; subject to change) are available at GoodmanTheatre.org/MusicMan, by phone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 North Dearborn). Northern Trust is the Lead Corporate Sponsor and Winston & Strawn, LLP is the Major Corporate Sponsor for The Music Man.
“Like many theater fans, I first encountered The Music Man early in life—Meredith Willson’s ebullient portrait of small town American life, with its musically diverse score, hearty humor and richly painted characters showed me, at that youthful age, the possibilities of theater as an art form,” said Artistic Director Robert Falls. “I can think of no better director for this task than Mary Zimmerman, whose longtime love of epic stories has, in recent years, led her to investigate classic musicals. She has created a revival of The Music Man with virtuosic performances and eye-popping designs that nonetheless connects to the Midwestern setting and sensibility that defines the work.”
As previously announced, joining Packard and West are Sophie Ackerman (Amaryllis Squires), Jonathan Butler-Duplessis (Marcellus Washburn), Lillian Castillo (Ethel Toffelmier), Matt Crowle (Charlie Cowell), Danielle Davis (Mrs. Squires), Mary Ernster (Mrs. Paroo), Kelly Felthous (Zaneeta Shinn), Carter Graf (Winthrop Paroo), Nicole Michelle Haskins (Alma Hix), Jeremy Peter Johnson (Oliver Hix), Christopher Kale Jones (Jacey Squires), Heidi Kettenring (Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn), James Konicek (Olin Britt), Milla Liss (Gracie Shinn), Ron E. Rains (Mayor Shinn), Tommy Rivera-Vega (Tommy Djilas), Jonathan Schwart (Ewart Dunlop), Bri Sudia (Maud Dunlop) and George Andrew Wolff (Constable Locke). Ensemble members include Cooper Carlisle, Matt Casey, Alejandro Fonseca, Anya Haverfield, Sammy Menapace, Zach Porter, Laura Savage, Adrienne Storrs and Ayana Strutz. The design team includes Dan Ostling (sets), Ana Kuzmanic (costumes), T.J. Gerckens (lights) and Ray Nardelli (sound).
“The Music Man is part of the American canon, both for its story of transformation and that fact that it is centered so deeply in the middle of the country—the Midwest,” said Director Mary Zimmerman. “I grew up in Nebraska with relatives in Iowa. Anyone who comes from the Midwest knows it profoundly in their bones—that feeling of endless space and farmlands stretching out infinitely into the distance. We’re emphasizing the natural world in this production as it is always so present there in those small towns we all know and where I grew up.”
Under Jermaine Hill’s direction, the 11-member orchestra (including Hill)—which features three trumpeters, four reed players, one violinist, a bassist, a drummer and a pianist—brings to life more than 30 songs including “Goodnight My Someone,” “Seventy-Six Trombones,” “Gary, Indiana,” and “Till There Was You.” Almost every other scene will feature choreography by Tony Award nominated choreographer Denis Jones, who is best known for his “big and splashy” (Deadline) “frolicsome choreography” (Los Angeles Times), and marks his Goodman debut.
TICKETS, DISCOUNTS AND SPECIAL EVENTS
Tickets ($45-142; subject to change) – GoodmanTheatre.org/MusicMan; 312.443.3800; Fax: 312.443.3825; TTY/TDD: 312.443.3829
Box Office Hours –12noon – 5pm; on performance days, the box office remains open until 30 minutes past curtain
MezzTix – Half-price day-of-performance mezzanine tickets available at 10am online (promo code MEZZTIX)
$10Tix – Student $10 day-of tickets; limit four, with valid student ID (promo code 10TIX)
Teen Arts Pass (TAP) – $5 day-of-performance tickets for teens ages 13-19; subject to availability; limit two, with valid TAP identification. Sign up at TeenArtsPass.org (promo code TAP)
CityKey – CityKey Cardholders access half-price mezzanine tickets; limit four, with valid CityKey ID. Sign up at ChiCityClerk.com/
Group Sales are available for parties 15+; 312.443.3820
Gift Certificates – Available in any amount;
POST-SHOW DISCUSSION – July 3, 11 and 14 | immediately following the performance
FREE. Audiences are encouraged to stay after select performances for a conversation led by members of the Artistic Team, often including artists from the show, over a complimentary glass of wine. GoodmanTheatre.org/
PLAYTALK SESSION – July 12, 19, 26 and August 2 | 7pm pre-show discussion, 8pm performance
FREE. Audiences are invited to arrive early to select performances for a conversation with a member of the Goodman Artistic Team to learn about the creative process and gain exclusive insights into The Music Man, over a complimentary glass of wine. GoodmanTheatre.org/
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Mary Zimmerman (Director) celebrates 25 years of collaboration with the Goodman with The Music Man marking her 16th production. She is the recipient of a 1998 MacArthur Fellowship, the 2002 Tony Award for Best Director of a Play and numerous Jeff Awards (including Best Production and Best Direction). She is an Artistic Associate of Goodman Theatre, a member of Lookingglass Theatre Company and a professor of performance studies at Northwestern University. Zimmerman has adapted and directed Metamorphoses,
Jermaine Hill (Music Director) makes his Goodman Theatre debut. Recent Chicago credits include Too Heavy for Your Pocket (TimeLine Theatre); The Total Bent (Haven Theatre); Nell Gwynn, Madagascar (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); Memphis with Porchlight Music Theatre (Black Theatre Alliance Award – Best Musical Direction) and Ragtime (Griffin Theatre). Hill previously worked with Royal Caribbean Productions and is an Assistant Professor at Columbia College Chicago and Ensemble Member of Griffin Theatre Company. He is a proud graduate of Ithaca College and the New England Conservatory of Music. Hill is represented by Gray Talent Group.
Denis Jones (Choreographer) makes his Goodman Theatre debut. Chicago credits include The Sound of Music (Lyric Opera of Chicago). Broadway credits include Tootsie, Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn and Honeymoon in Vegas. New York credits include Call me Madam, Paint Your Wagon, Hey Look Me Over (NY City Center Encores) and work with Signature Theatre. Regional credits include work with Huntington Theatre Company, Dallas Theatre Center, The Muny, Paper Mill Playhouse, The 5th Avenue Theatre and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (The Kennedy Center). Film and television credits include Sex and the City 2, Rosie Live and The Kennedy Center Honors.
Meredith Willson (Book, Music and Lyrics, 1902 – 1984) was born in Mason City, Iowa. He learned to play the flute as a child and began playing semi-professionally while still in high school. After high school he left Iowa to study at the Damrosch Institute of Musical Art (later the Julliard School), receiving flute instruction from Georges Barrere, the world-renown flutist. While still attending the Institute, he was hired as principle flutist and piccolo player for the John Philip Sousa Band. He later joined the New York Philharmonic Orchestra where he was first flutist. He became musical director for various radio programs throughout the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, including Tallulah Bankhead’s program, The Big Show, for which he wrote the hit song “May The Lord Bless and Keep You.” He composed the scores for the movies The Great Dictator and The Little Foxes, as well as symphonic, band and choral works, including “The Jervis Bay: Symphonic Variations on an American Theme” and “Anthem of the Atomic Age”. Willson wrote three Broadway musicals: The Music Man, his first and most successful; The Unsinkable Molly Brown (music and lyrics), and Here’s Love (book, music and lyrics). As an author, he published two autobiographical works (And There I Stood with My Piccolo and Eggs I Have Laid), one novel (Who Did What to Fedalia) and a memoir about the making of The Music Man (But He Doesn’t Know the Territory).
Franklin Lacey (Book, 1917 – 1988). During the 1940s and early 1950s, Lacey worked in various production positions on Broadway, including as a stage manager for Ziegfeld. He produced and hosted the talk show Meet Unusual People for Paramount’s KTLA-TV. In the late 1950s, Lacey shifted his focus to Las Vegas, producing a night club show for the Flamingo Hilton. He also wrote several pageants and penned the long-running London play, Paguan in the Parlor.
ABOUT GOODMAN THEATRE
AMERICA’S “BEST REGIONAL THEATRE” (Time magazine), Goodman Theatre is a premier not-for-profit organization distinguished by the excellence and scope of its artistic programming and civic engagement. Led by Artistic Director Robert Falls and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, the theater’s artistic priorities include new play development (more than 150 world or American premieres), large scale musical theater works and reimagined classics (celebrated revivals include Falls’ productions of Death of a Salesman and The Iceman Cometh). Goodman Theatre artists and productions have earned two Pulitzer Prizes, 22 Tony Awards, over 160 Jeff Awards and many more accolades. In addition, the Goodman is the first theater in the world to produce all 10 plays in August Wilson’s “American Century Cycle;” and its annual holiday tradition A Christmas Carol, which recently marked its 41st production, has created a new generation of theatergoers. The Goodman also frequently serves as a production partner with local off-Loop theaters and national and international companies by providing financial support or physical space for a variety of artistic endeavors.
Committed to three core values of Quality, Diversity and Community, the Goodman proactively makes inclusion the fabric of the institution and develops education and community engagement programs that support arts as education. This practice uses the process of artistic creation to inspire and empower youth, lifelong learners and audiences to find and/or enhance their voices, stories and abilities. The Goodman’s Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement is the home of such programming, most offered free of charge, and has vastly expanded the theater’s ability to touch the lives of Chicagoland citizens (with 85% of youth participants coming from underserved communities) since its 2016 opening.
Goodman Theatre was founded by William O. Goodman and his family in honor of their son Kenneth, an important figure in Chicago’s cultural renaissance in the early 1900s. The Goodman family’s legacy lives on through the continued work and dedication of Kenneth’s family, including Albert Ivar Goodman, who with his late mother, Edith-Marie Appleton, contributed the necessary funds for the creation of the new Goodman center in 2000.
Today, Goodman Theatre leadership also includes the distinguished members of the Artistic Collective: Brian Dennehy, Rebecca Gilman, Henry Godinez, Dael Orlandersmith, Steve Scott, Kimberly Senior, Chuck Smith, Regina Taylor, Henry Wishcamper and Mary Zimmerman. David W. Fox, Jr. is Chairman of Goodman Theatre’s Board of Trustees, Denise Stefan Ginascol is Women’s Board President and Megan McCarthy Hayes is President of the Scenemakers Board for young professionals.