The Miami Arts and Humanities Council is bringing the Light Opera Oklahoma's production of “The Music Man” to the Coleman Theatre.
It is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday.
Chuck and Ann Neal with the Miami Arts and Humanities Council are looking forward to “The Music Man.”
“I love the music in it,” Chuck Neal said. “It has wonderful, familiar songs such as ‘76 Trombones in the Big Parade' and ‘Till There Was You.'”
“It has music that Miami, with its strong marching band, can relate to,” Ann Neal said.
Chuck Neal also admitted an admiration for the main character, “Professor Harold Hill.”
“It's just a great opportunity to see a professional company perform a longtime favorite at our own Coleman Theatre,” Ann Neal said.
Both of the Neals have an admiration for Eric Gipson, the creative director of the Light Opera Oklahoma (LOOK).
“A professional, familiar with Miami, he was driving through town and thought how much he would like to perform at the Coleman Theatre,” Ann Neal said. “That's how this all started.”
LOOK opened this summer season with “The Music Man.”
It will also produce “Naughty Marietta” and “Sweeney Todd” through July 14.
Light Opera Oklahoma is a non-profit organization founded in 1983 whose mission is to preserve and promote the world's finest operetta and classical musical comedies by presenting live professional performances every summer in Tulsa and Oklahoma.
The productions are held in the Williams Theatre of the Tulsa Performing Arts Center.
“The Music Man” was originally produced on Broadway 50 years ago. It opened at the Majestic Theatre on Dec. 19, 1957. It remained there for nearly three years before transferring to The Broadway Theatre to complete its 1,375-performance run.
Meredith Willson is writer of both the music and the lyrics in The Music Man as well as the book, which is based on a story co-written with Franklin Lacey.
The movie, in which Robert Preston reprised his Broadway role, was released in 1962.
“Professor” Harold Hill is a con man trying to convince parents he can teach their children to play an instrument. He makes money taking pre-paid orders for instruments and uniforms with the promise he will form a band and skips town before he's exposed.
Arriving in fictional 1912 River City, Iowa, Hill became attracted to the local librarian, who recognizes him for the fraud he is. Nevertheless, she falls in love with Hill when he draws her self-conscious, lisping brother from his shell.
Hill is faced with the choice of leaving or staying with the librarian and facing the consequences.
Including the cost of publicity, it cost the Miami Arts and Humanities Council almost $15,000 to bring the professional version of “The Music Man” to Miami.
The Coleman, now with the balcony in use by those 18 and older, adds almost 200 seats to the theatre giving it a total of approximately 830 seats.
“That will help the Miami Arts and Humanities Council to recover some of the cost of the production,” Chuck Neal said. “But, we're grateful to the Oklahoma Arts Council for its $2,500 donation toward the cost of the production.”
Participants in “Youth on Stage,” the summer youth acting program done in conjunction with the Miami Little Theatre, each received a free pass to “The Music Man.”
A collection of “real” used musical instruments, to donate to Miami Public School students, will be held in the lobby of the Coleman Theatre.
A tax letter will be given the people for their donations.
Tickets are $25 for premium seating, $10 for adult general admission and $5 for students, 18 and under.
For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Coleman Theatre at 540-2425 or stop by the box office window at 103 North Main St. in Miami.
Information may be found at www. colemantheatre.org.