The summer musical at the IU Opera Theatre is Meredith Wilson’s durable tale of a slick music salesman who gets sold on his own product, "The Music Man," in a production conducted by Michael Schwartzkopf with stage direction by Vincent Liotta and choreography by Diane Buzzell.
Michael Deleget sang well and danced even better as Professor Harold Hill. The Professor may not know a quarter note from a half note rest, but he’s out to sell a stubborn 1912 Iowa Town on a boy’s band complete with instruments and uniforms . If possible, he’d also like to win the affections of at least one local girl for the duration of his stay. Evelyn Pollock sang the part of that local girl, Marian the Librarian, with warmth, and was always a good bit prettier than anyone in town seemed to give her credit for.
Juliet Gilchrist was as savvy as a watchful Irish mother can be in her concern for Marian and her young brother Winthrop. Winthrop is the child who gets to sing that favorite with Hoosier audiences "Gary, Indiana." Actually, it’s the Professor’s winning ways with the shy Winthrop that is the key to his success. Rory Derryberry sang clearly and well and drew substantial applause as Winthrop.
Professor Hill’s old friend and former partner Marcellus Washburn was sung by Jeremy Brimm. He sang his paean to happy domestic life "Shipoopi" with vigor and led the dance as well.
David Sadlier, Michael Redding, Creighton James and John Huckle were crowd favorites as the city fathers that the canny Music Man is always distracting into barbershop harmonies.
Nora Colwell, Heather Winter, Jackie Burchett and Cassie Murphie , led by Kaarin Safsten as the Mayor’s wife got good laughs as the town interpretive dance group and with the song "Pick-a-little, Talk-a-little."
"Music Man" is a lovely summer musical mix mix of early twentieth century styles and sounds and IU’s singers and orchestra served them up in full variety.