Renaissance Players strike up the band with "The Music Man"

A con man working his way across the country selling instruments and musical instruction runs into big trouble when he falls in love with the librarian in River City, Iowa, as the Renaissance Players present a community production of "The Music Man" at The Renaissance Center in Dickson, June 13 through 22.

Performances of "The Music Man" will be at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday both weekends. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors 55 and over and $7 for children under 13. A special lunch matinee will be performed at noon. on Saturday, June 14. Tickets are $20 and include a lunch buffet.

"The Music Man" has become one of the most-produced musicals across the country since its Broadway debut in 1957. Meredith Willson's play includes some of theatre's most memorable songs, like "Trouble," "Goodnight, My Someone," "Shipoopi," "Til There Was You" (which was recorded by The Beatles) and "76 Trombones."

The musical has been on Broadway three times, earning 17 Tony Award nominations and winning six, including Best Musical. A 1962 movie based on the musical earned six Oscar nominations (winning for Best Music) and six Golden Globe nominations (winning Best Musical). A 2003 made-for-television movie based on the musical earned five Emmy nominations.

""The Music Man" is an American theatre classic, set in the heartland and extolling the timeless story of how love conquers all," said Amy Scott, assistant artistic director for The Renaissance Center. "It's a fun, family show with memorable characters and music."

The Renaissance Players production of "The Music Man" is being directed by Tracy Nichols, of Ashland City, with musical direction by Nathan W. Brown and choreography by Bryan J. Wlas.

Legendary Broadway composer Frank Loesser ("Guys and Dolls," "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying") urged Willson to put together a show after hearing his stories about growing up in rural Mason City, Iowa. Willson spent eight years writing the show, producing 30 revisions and writing more than 40 new songs.

"Professor" Harold Hill, fleeing the wrath of legitimate traveling salesmen, hops off a train in River City, in the early part of the 20th century and immediately starts running his scam trying convincing the innocent townsfolk that the only way to keep their young men out of trouble is to get them involved in a marching band. And he's just the man to sell them musical instruments and instruction through his own "think method." In an attempt to bolster his claims, he woos librarian Marian Paroo, who also is the town's piano teacher.

Fred Doty, of Erin, returns to The Renaissance Center to play Harold Hill. Doty won a Jimmy-Award with his last appearance with the Renaissance Players as King Herod in "Jesus Christ Superstar" in 2005.

Holland Taylor, a member of the center's Renaissance Repertory Theatre Company, plays librarian/music teacher Marian Paroo. The Arkansas native is appearing in her first Renaissance Players productions after roles in the Gaslight Dinner Theatre's "My Fair Lady" and the Mind Enriching Theatre series productions of "Alice in Wonderland" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream." She also will be seen in upcoming productions of "A Chorus Line" and "Disney's High School Musical on Stage."

After making his Renaissance Players debut as Smee in last year's "Peter Pan," Dale McCoy, of Nashville, returns to play Marcellus Washburn, a former con man played in the popular movie by Buddy Hackett. Renaissance Players regular Carey Thompson, of Dickson, appears in his 19th production as Mayor Shinn, while Brown, Wlas, David Arnold, of Franklin, and Andy Pitts, of Cumberland City, play the bickering River City school board members who are brought together by Hill as a barbershop quartet.

For more information on the Renaissance Players production of "The Music Man", call (615) 740-5600 or visit To purchase tickets for a performance, call (615) 740-5601.
The Renaissance Center is a fine arts education and performing arts center at 855 Highway 46 South in Dickson, just 35 miles west of Nashville on Interstate 40 at exit 172.

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