OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV) – Jolly Jester Community Theater is returning to action next week with the musical “The Music Man.” Info here.
Performances are at 7 p.m. Aug. 11-12; 2 and 7 p.m. Aug. 13 at Alberta Kimball Auditorium adjacent to Oshkosh West High School, 375 N. Eagle St. Tickets are available at the box office the day of the performance.
“This is the first Jolly Jester Community Theatre show since we did ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ in 2019,” said Tracie Schlaak, director. “It’s kids of all ages, from 7 to 70.”
The production is double cast.
Jolly Jester Community Theater is under the auspices of the Oshkosh Recreation Department as a summer program.
“The Music Man” is a famous creation by Meredith Willson.
The show premiered on Broadway in 1957 (Best Musical), and it currently is in revival on Broadway starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster.
The story is about a traveling con man, Harold Hill. He poses as a boys’ band organizer and leader and sells band instruments and uniforms to naïve Midwestern townsfolk, promising to train the members of the new band. However, Harold is no musician and plans to skip town without giving any music lessons. Prim librarian and piano teacher Marian sees through him, but when Harold helps her younger brother overcome his lisp and social awkwardness, Marian begins to fall in love with him. He risks being caught to win her heart.
The show is filled with notable songs. They include “Seventy-Six Trombones,” “Wells Fargo Wagon” and “Till There Was You.”
Meredith Willson is a treasure trove of stories, which can be found at a museum in his native Mason City, Iowa, where his mother, Marian, was the town librarian.