Kids: 4:30 p.m. April 27
Adults: 7:30 p.m. April 28-29
Children should come with a prepared solo from the show and a recent photo. Adult soloists should choose something from the show to sing; chorus folks will sing in small groups. Everyone must sing with piano accompaniment, which ACO will provide; no recorded accompaniment will be permitted.
The Music Man” was the first musical Kathi and Harry Blundell produced together at the Arts Center of the Ozarks. The year was 1975, and they’d been married just a couple of years. Kathi did costuming, and Harry — whose set design work was part of his master’s program — ended up as Harold Hill, the leading role, “by default.” “I was asked by directors when they weren’t able to cast the show if I could sing and if I had ever done a musical …” he remembers. Having just announced the show as this summer’s musical must be terribly romantic — right? Kathi makes a sound that’s a cross between a snort and a giggle. “It was all about production, just like it is now,” she says, the sound turning into a laugh. But both she and Harry wax eloquent about the 1957 musical by Meredith Willson, probably best remembered as the movie with Robert Preston, Shirley Jones and a tiny blonde Ron Howard as Winthrop. “There’s something really special about ‘The Music Man’ — something about the music and the whole feeling of this show — that just guarantees everybody a great time,” Kathi says. “I love the show, and it’s the perfect summertime choice for us,” agrees Harry. “It all takes place in the summer, so it has that warm school-is-out feeling. And it’s got so many great roles for all ages — it’s not a star vehicle. Besides Harold and Marian, there are roles for little kids like Winthrop and Amaryllis and for teenagers like Tommy and Zaneeta and for singers like the barbershop quartet and the pick-a-little ladies — and for dancers, of course! “Although I love ‘Oklahoma!,’ this is definitely my second favorite musical!” “I’d put it up against anything,” adds Kathi. “It’s got great music — and it’s just fun.”