All of the productions at Northport’s John W. Engeman Theatre are a special treat. Their current offering, Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man, is certainly no exception. The fantastic production, running through May 18th at the gorgeous Long Island venue, boasts a top notch cast who deliver Broadway caliber performances.
The musical’s story revolves around con man Harold Hill, portrayed delightfully by Rob Gallagher, who pretenses himself as a boy’s band organizer/leader. He sells band instruments, instruction books, and uniforms to the naive Iowa townsfolk, but plans to skip town with their money without giving any music lessons. Mr. Gallagher receives roaring applause particularly with his spirited renditions of “Trouble” and the iconic “76 Trombones”. Additionally, Mr. Gallagher has great chemistry with co-star Kim Carson who portrays prim librarian and piano teacher Marian Paroo.
Perceptive Marian sees right through Harold’s scheme and is initially stand-offish toward the “masher” – we’re in the year 1912 here, folks. However, as Harold begins to help her younger brother – Winthrop, portrayed adorably by Jeffrey Kishinevsky – overcome his lisp and social awkwardness, Marian begins to fall for Harold. Ms. Carson’s strong voice is ideal for the demanding score and makes it a point to interact with pretty much everyone on stage with her. Additionally, she also receives praise from the audience with her stunning performances of “My White Knight” and “Will I Ever Tell You”.
Carlos Lopez is also part of the Igor Goldin directed cast as Harold’s longtime friend Marcellus Washburn. Mr. Lopez was especially fantastic leading a lively performance of “Shipoopi” in Act Two with Mr. Gallagher and the cast. Special kudos also to Nathan Applegate, Richard Costa, Kenny Francaeur, Chris LaBeau, Larry A. Lozier, Jr., Kevin Necciai, Doug Vandewinckel, and Kilty Reidy for a rousing opening number of “Rock Island”. This is a tricky song; you can’t miss a beat in the number and they delivered brilliantly. The rest of the large, talented, enthusiastic cast moves well to Antoinette DiPietropolo’s fun choreography highlighted by the wonderful orchestra headed up by James Olmstead. Ryan Moller’s costumes are stunning as well with a definite throwback feel to them.
As so the Engeman certainly has another hit with The Music Man. Predictable? Perhaps, but this classic from the golden age of theatre is one every theatre enthusiast should see. The Engeman’s incarnation delivers a great cast, wonderfully executed numbers, and, frankly, a smile on your face as you leave the theatre.
The Music Man is presented by the John W. Engeman Theatre of Northport, Long Island, through May 18th. By Meredith Wilson, Directed by Igor Goldin, Scenic Design by Josh Zangen, Costumes by Ryan Moller, Lighting Design by Cory Pattak, Sound Design by Craig Kaufman, Hair & Make-Up by Kurt Alger, Casting by Stephen DeAngelis, Music Direction by James Olmstead, Choreography by Antoinette DiPietropolo, Stage Management by Naomi Anhorn. For more information and to purchase tickets, please call 631-261-2900 or visit www.engemantheater.com.
Photo by Michael DeCristofaro; Kim Carson and Rob Gallagher in the John W. Engeman Theatre’s The Music Man