AOS Music Man programme Spring 2016


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Programme for AOS production of The Music Man Apr 2016

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Tuesday 12 April – Saturday 16 April 2016 7:30pm each night Special Matinee Performance 2:30pm Saturday 16 April The Amey Theatre Abingdon School, OX14 1DE


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The Pick-a-Little Ladies Helen Hawkins, Sarah Walters, Kate Brock, Rebecca Peberdy The Quartet Paul Bruce, Iain Launchbury, Simon Blainey, Stephen Webb


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Abingdon Operatic Society PRESENTS The Music Man Book, music and lyrics by Meredith Willson Based on a story by Meredith Willson and Franklin Lacey This amateur production is presented by arrangement with JOSEF WEINBERGER LIMITED on behalf of MUSIC THEATRE INTERNATIONAL of NEW YORK Director - Duncan Blagrove Musical Director - John Nye Choreographer - Kerry Callaghan THERE WILL BE AN INTERVAL OF TWENTY MINUTES BETWEEN THE ACTS PLEASE ENSURE THAT ALL MOBILE PHONES ARE SWITCHED OFF The use of all cameras, video and audio equipment is prohibited PLEASE NOTE THAT SMOKING IS NOT ALLOWED ANYWHERE ON ABINGDON SCHOOL PREMISES, INCLUDING ALL OUTSIDE AREAS For lost property enquiries please call 01235 526106 Refreshments are available in the foyer conservatory If you would like to become a member of AOS, please contact the Membership Secretary by emailing:


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elcome to our performance of the multi-award winning show, The Music Man. The Broadway hit musical won five Tony awards, including Best Musical, when it first appeared in 1957, since when there have been many popular revivals. It is a pleasure to welcome Duncan Blagrove, making his debut as our director, who most recently appeared on the AOS stage as Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music. It is also an enormous pleasure to welcome Kerry Callaghan, likewise making her debut, as our choreographer, who played the alluring Conchita Alvarez in Copacabana. In addition, we are fortunate to have been able to welcome to our rehearsals, and gracing our stage this week, two wonderful teams of children, some of whom are making their first appearance with us, and some their second or even third! With the enviable luxury of hindsight, it is easy to see why The Music Man was so successful. Great songs, beautiful music, big chorus numbers, innovative arrangements, a plot keeping you in suspense until the final scene, romance, and humour; this is a show that has something for everyone. Looking ahead, planning is already underway for our future productions, when we look forward to bringing to you two shows for their first appearances in Abingdon: Barnum in October 2016 and Singin’ in the Rain in Spring 2017. But now the ‘River Citizens’ are preparing to welcome you in their distinctive Iowa style, and a train is shortly to pull into River City Junction bearing an enigmatic stranger, but to what sort of welcome? W Message from the Chairman ~ John Nye 2


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T Director ~ Duncan Blagrove wenty years ago, almost to the day, I stepped on to the boards here in Abingdon with a company that welcomed me in, taught me much and has become a second home. I fell in love with the words and music of this wonderful piece, the fascinating characters that inhabit this world and am truly delighted to have been given the opportunity to direct this production. This is where I started as a performer, and this is where I begin what I hope to be a long relationship with directing. The Amey Theatre is a great space, it was this space that helped me first to think of how we shape River City, the show is in many ways known as a love letter to the place Willson grew up in, its relative innocence that would be quickly transformed by the rigours of the early 20th Century. You may notice a rake on the stage, allowing depth, an open feeling to the town and of course to give Kerry’s exceptional choreography (I cannot thank her enough) the chance to breathe. We have kept things simple where we can, allowing the colour of the characters, the emotion of the characters’ relationships and the joy of numbers such as ‘Seventy-Six Trombones’ fill the space. I must take this opportunity to acknowledge the company and crew’s enthusiasm, hard work and talent. They have supported the production team wholeheartedly, embraced our ideas, taken them and let them live. As Kerry and I are both new to our roles it could have been easy, and perhaps understandable, for them to be apprehensive. Far from it, they have been a delight and I hope they get the rewards they deserve this week for the months of endeavour. My thanks to John as MD and chair, the committee of AOS for the opportunity and you for coming along to see the world we have created. I am immensely proud of what we have achieved, the final thing is to give you an enjoyable night at the theatre. Fingers crossed! 3


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Musical Director ~ John Nye ohn grew up in West London, and his musical education took place at the Royal College of Music. Singing, he has enjoyed opportunities to take roles as diverse as Zeus in Orpheus in the Underworld, Pilate in Bach’s St. John Passion, and Rudolph Reisenweber, the head waiter, in Hello Dolly! This is his tenth AOS show as Musical Director. When not listening to or playing music, coaching rowing or refereeing rugby, he teaches and examines Mathematics. For relaxation, he enjoys running, and supporting Brentford Football Club. He is married to Katie, recently the director of The Sound of Music, and they have three grown up children, all formerly associated with AOS. J Choreographer ~ Kerry Callaghan fter a decade and a half of performing with AOS and taking on the role of dance captain in the last show, Copacabana, Kerry was thrilled to be offered the opportunity to choreograph The Music Man - which is the first time for her. It’s been a challenging but enjoyable experience, both setting the numbers in her living room with her two year old son Archie, then teaching them to the cast and watching the ideas come to life. During Kerry’s time performing with the Society she has played a number of leading parts, including Conchita in Copacabana, Katie Brown in Calamity Jane and Marguerite in The Scarlet Pimpernel. Kerry hopes you enjoy the show and her interpretation of the music in The Music Man. 4 A


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Meredith Willson M eredith Willson was a true son of Iowa, born in Mason City on May 18 1902. He learned to play piccolo and flute while still in high school. In 1919, at age 17, he enrolled in New York’s Institute of Musical Art (Juilliard), where he studied the flute to such a level of virtuosity that between 1921 and 1923 he toured the US, Cuba, and Mexico as the flautist with John Phillip Sousa’s Band. From late 1924 to 1929 he was flautist in the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the New York Chamber Music Society. After serving as a Major in World War II, Willson returned to the United States and began songwriting while working as music director of ABC radio and television networks. Over his diverse career, Willson created music and librettos for several successful Broadway shows, including The Music Man, which earned him the New York Drama Critics, Tony and Grammy awards in 1958, The Unsinkable Molly Brown and Here’s Love. He took more than seven years to perfect his masterpiece, The Music Man, later saying: “When you start a play and you type ‘Act One, Scene One’, your writing is every bit as good as Arthur Miller or Eugene O'Neill or anyone. It's that fifth word where amateurs start to go wrong.” Meredith Willson died in Santa Monica, California in 1984. National Operatic and Dramatic Association bingdon Operatic Society is very proud to be a member of the National Operatic and Dramatic Association and you may notice a number of the members of our front-of-house team wearing their NODA long service medals tonight. NODA’s vision is that amateur theatre should be successful and sustainable, providing a range of opportunities for people to develop their skills and enjoy taking part, at all levels. They support the education and information needs of individuals and groups, contributing greatly to the continued success of amateur theatre in the UK. As usual, a NODA representative will be attending the show during this week and feeding back to the Society on the production with the helpful and much anticipated ‘NODA crit’ — a review of the performance and all aspects of the production. 5 A


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Q&A H ave you always lived here in Abingdon? My husband, Paul, and I moved to Abingdon when I came to Oxford to do a PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education). Then the following year I started teaching English and Drama at Our Lady’s Convent Senior School. The dramatic highlight for me was my producing The Importance of Being Earnest with some very talented 15 year old girls. Julie Mayhew-Archer When The Duchess of Kent retired as our President last Autumn, we were so pleased that Julie, our long-serving Vice-President, agreed to step up and take on the role. We thought we’d find out a little more about her theatrical roots in an AOS Q&A. What was your first experience of the theatre? I remember going to pantomimes and also local productions with my great aunt, who was Mayor of Bexhill. My first memorable visit to the theatre was going to Eastbourne to see Michael Williams as Henry V


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in the RSC touring production. It was brilliantly staged and full of action. What appearances have you made on stage? At ten, I was Florence Nightingale in the school play, wearing my mum’s evening dress to which she had added sleeves made from net curtains. I never consciously learned my lines because I simply remembered them. Oh for a young memory now! I continued playing parts in the Bexhill Amateur Theatrical Society (BATS) and was in a Youth Group production of Camelot. I met Paul in an amateur production of a play called Haul For The Shore, or as Paul called it ‘Head For The Bar’. I had actually seen him the year before when he was dressed as a woman. He was playing Lady Bracknell in a school production and, looking at the programme, I assumed ‘Paul’ was a misprint for ‘Paula’. What are your memories of coming to AOS? David Harmsworth, who was in the chorus at the time, first encouraged us to come. Being on two councils for most of the last 24 years entailed attending a great many meetings, so the best times were when, as Mayor of Abingdon or Chair of the Vale Council, I could attend fun events instead. Thank you, AOS. What is your favourite AOS show? My favourite AOS musical was The Hired Man by Howard Goodall, based on Melvyn Bragg’s novel. I found it so moving. I also loved Hello, Dolly! and The Sound of Music. Paul loved Sweeney Todd so much he went every night he could. Do you have any connections with musical theatre? Leslie Stuart, who wrote ‘Lily of Laguna’ and ‘Soldiers of the Queen’ was my great grandfather, who squandered his fortune in litigation. I attended a concert where a group of singers performed a couple of his songs. Talking to them in the interval they told me they had been forced to cut some of the verses because the lyrics were racist. You were our VicePresident for just over five years before becoming our President six months ago. Have you 7 enjoyed being part of the Society? It’s been great fun. I have really enjoyed attending rehearsals and I have been hugely impressed by the talent, the enthusiasm and the sheer hard work of everyone in the company. The last rehearsal I went to for The Music Man involved about eighty people including two separate casts of children. One cast member even brought her new born baby. They were all rehearsing different things in the same hall so whilst some were learning a dance routine in one half, singers were going through songs in the other half. The baby loved it and never cried once. As a former member of the audience, what has surprised you most, seeing the Society backstage, warts and all? I think perhaps I’ve surprised the Society more than they’ve surprised me. During the last production, Copacabana, I was helping to make the interval teas for the performers and crew when the steam from the tea urn caused the fire alarm to go off during the performance and the lights all went out. Talk about a show stopper!


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Principal Cast Charlie Cowell Conductor Professor Harold Hill Mayor Shinn The Quartet: Ewart Dunlop Oliver Hix Jacey Squires Olin Britt Marcellus Washburn Tommy Djilas Marian Paroo Mrs Paroo Amaryllis Winthrop Paroo Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn Zaneeta Shinn Gracie Shinn Pick-a-Little Ladies: Alma Hix Maud Dunlop Ethel Toffelmier Mrs Squires Constable Locke Adrian Amstead Phil Hughes Michael Winiarski Daniel Dyer Iain Launchbury Simon Blainey Paul Bruce Stephen Webb Tom Codd Patrick Cole Jenna Elliott Lucy Bent Harley Edwards, Neela Nee Oliver Barker, Mason Chandler-Wickens Lorna Stevenson-Walker Olivia Baird, Rosie Toolin Frances Adamson, Georgia Knowlden Sarah Walters Helen Hawkins Kate Brock Rebecca Peberdy Kevin Pope { { Kat Ballard-Martin, Anne Blagrove, Anne Churchill-Stone, Sarah Field, Valerie Findlay, Cathy Hall, Laura Huang, Jon Ridley, Joy Skeels, Lizzie Slater, Debbie Wilde Violin:~ Mariette Richter (leader) Violin:~ Jayne Dimmick Violin:~ Alison Cutting Violin:~ Marisa Miller ’Cello:~ Andrea Williams Bass:~ Graeme Hollingdale Piccolo, Flute:~ Lorna Edwards Piccolo, Flute:~ Nick Planas Oboe, Cor Anglais, Clarinet:~ Joanna Rhind-Tutt Clarinet, Saxophone:~ Ian Adlington Bassoon, Clarinet, Saxophone:~ Glyn Williams 8 The Orchestra Trumpet:~ Luke Scott Trumpet:~ Simon Phipps Trombone:~ Huw James Trombone:~ Malcolm Gunningham Keyboard:~ Denise Evans Percussion:~ Robert MacLennan Percussion:~ Chris Fletcher-Campbell


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Scenes and Musical Numbers ACT ONE Scene 1 4 July 1912, A Railway Coach ‘Rock Island’ (Salesmen, Charlie Cowell) ‘My White Knight’ (Marian) Scene 8 The Town Square ‘The Wells Fargo Wagon’ (Townspeople, Quartet, Winthrop) Scene 2 Town Square, River City, Iowa ‘Iowa Stubborn’ (Townspeople, Farmer, Farmer’s Wife) ACT TWO Scene 1 The Madison Gymnasium ‘It’s You’ (Quartet) ‘Ya Got Trouble’ (Harold, Townspeople) Scene 3 The Paroos’ House ‘If You Don’t Mind My Saying So’ (Mrs Paroo, Marian) ‘Shipoopi’ (Marcellus, Townspeople) ‘Pick-a-Little, Talk-a-Little’ Reprise (The Ladies) ‘Goodnight, My Someone’ (Marian, Amaryllis) Scene 4 The Madison Gymnasium ‘Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean’ (Eulalie, Townspeople) Scene 2 Hotel Porch ‘Lida Rose’ & ‘Will I Ever Tell You’ (Harold, Quartet, Marian) ‘Ya Got Trouble’ (Reprise) (Harold) Scene 3 The Paroos’ Porch ‘Gary, Indiana’ (Winthrop, Mrs Paroo, Marian) ‘Seventy-Six Trombones’ (Harold, Townspeople) ‘Lida Rose’ Reprise (Quartet) ‘Ice Cream/Sincere’ (Harold, Quartet) Scene 5 The Street ‘The Sadder But Wiser Girl’ (Harold, Marcellus) Scene 4 The Footbridge ‘Till There Was You’ (Marian, Harold) ‘Pick-a-Little, Talk-a-Little’ & ‘Goodnight, Ladies’ (The Ladies, Harold, Quartet) ‘Goodnight’ & ‘Seventy-Six Trombones’ Double Reprise (Harold, Marian) Scene 6 The Madison Library ‘Marian the Librarian’ (Harold) Scene 5 The Town Square ‘Till There Was You’ Reprise (Harold) Scene 7 The Paroos’ Porch 9 Scene 6 River City High School Assembly Room ‘Finale’


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Enjoy the show? Post your comment at Professor Harold Hill ~ Michael Winiarski The Music Man is Michael’s second show with AOS. Not since high school has he had so much fun! After playing the evil Rico Castelli in Copacabana, there was no turning back. Michael has thoroughly enjoyed working with Duncan, Kerry and John and the amazing cast. The Music Man will be very special for Michael because his parents first cast eyes on each other as River City townsfolk in the University of Massachusetts production of The Music Man back in the 1960s. The rest, as they say, is history! Michael’s father is making the trip from New England to see him perform - yay Dad! How am I doin’? Miss Marian Paroo ~ Jenna Elliott This is Jenna’s fifth show with AOS and she is absolutely delighted to be playing the part of Marian Paroo. Jenna has performed from a young age and has been involved in many choirs and orchestras; performance highlights include the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall and Oxford New Theatre. From 2006-2009, Jenna was an enthusiastic member of Oxfordshire Youth Music Theatre from which she gained a passion for musical theatre and performance. She went on to study Music at the University of Southampton, graduating in 2012. Jenna would like to say a special thank you to Duncan, John, Kerry and the company for their encouragement and support. 10


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Enjoy the show? Post your comment at Marcellus Washburn ~ Tom Codd Tom has enjoyed performing since the age of six, appearing in various productions with the Spa Theatre Company, Loft Theatre Company and Paramount Youth Theatre, all based in Warwickshire. His favourite roles include Dandy Dan (Bugsy Malone), Mr Bumble (Oliver!) and the Wicked Witch (The Wizard of Oz). More recently, Tom performed in Hair and Rent as a member of the Oxford Brookes University musical theatre group ‘The Fortune Players’. Tom now works locally as a primary school teacher, so rehearsing and performing allows him to take a rest from all the planning and marking! He is excited to be performing in The Music Man - his third AOS production - and hopes that you enjoy the show! Mrs Paroo ~ Lucy Bent Lucy has enjoyed performing with such talented youngsters as the proud mammy of family Paroo, and dedicates this performance to her late mum, Rosie. Day-to-day, Lucy works with young people as a careers guidance professional, and ran a Youth Theatre for a number of years. Lucy’s experience of theatre goes back to being a child actor with The Theatre Royal in Windsor to performing with the Cyprus Shakespeare Company. Her first performance with AOS was as a Chinaman in Anything Goes and she has dabbled in a number of chorus and character roles since. Having lived overseas most of her life, Lucy is accustomed to picking up accents - but admits that Irish-American is definitely a first! 11


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Enjoy the show? Post your comment at Our Younger Cast Members Children - Team Wells (Tue, Thu, Sat Matinee) Holly Barrett, Zoe Cox, Jack Denton, Lachlan Denton, Caitlin Johns, Emma Johns, Grace Ruggiero Children - Team Fargo (Wed, Fri, Sat) Grace Dodgson, Chloe Kitching, Lucy Kitching, Hope Littlejohn, Toby Littlejohn, Annie Roberts, Emily Vines Tommy Djilas is played by Patrick Cole “Ya wild kid, ya.” Zaneeta Shinn is played by (l) Olivia Baird and (Tue, Thu, Sat Matinee) (r) Rosie Toolin (Wed, Fri, Sat) “Ye Gods!” 12


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Enjoy the show? Post your comment at Winthrop Paroo is played by (l) Mason ChandlerWickens (Tue, Thu, Sat Matinee) and (r) Oliver Barker (Wed, Fri, Sat) Amaryllis is played by (l) Harley Edwards (Tue, Thu, Sat Matinee) and (r) Neela Nee (Wed, Fri, Sat) Gracie Shinn is played by (l) Georgia Knowlden (Tue, Thu, Sat Matinee) and (r) Frances Adamson (Wed, Fri, Sat) 13



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