WHAT: Theatre UCF and the UCF Music Department together present Meredith Willson's "The Music Man." The family-friendly musical opens Thursday, Feb. 20, and runs through Sunday, March 2, on the Theatre UCF main stage.
Playwright Willson wrote the musical in the 1950s, and it depicts his childhood in Iowa. The well-known musical features favorite songs such as "Seventy-Six Trombones," "Goodnight, My Someone," and "Till There Was You."
Kate Busselle, a first-year master of arts in theater student, has been researching life in early 20th-century Iowa to help director Mark Brotherton, the cast and crew re-create recreate Willson's world.
"At the time, Iowa was one of the most progressive states of the union and that is well-reflected in the casting of the show," Busselle says. "Iowa abolished slavery 39 years before the Emancipation Proclamation. In our production, the mayor and his wife are African-American, which would not have happened in most of America at that time — but could have happened in Iowa."
The show's 24-piece orchestra is featured on the stage, which is a boon for the audience, says Jeffrey Moore, director of the University of Central Florida School of Performing Arts.
"When UCF made the decision to create a School of Performing Arts, we knew that our students would benefit from collaborations between the music and theater departments," Moore says. "In this production of 'The Music Man,' the community also benefits: An orchestra provides a fuller experience for theatergoers, especially when it is a musical about music. We won't have quite 76 trombones, but there will be plenty of brass, reeds, and percussion alongside the singers."
WHEN: 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, through March 2
WHERE: University of Central Florida, 4000 Central Florida Boulevard, Orlando
TICKETS: $20; $18 seniors; $10 students
CALL: 407-823-1500Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun