Some shows are best enjoyed on the silver screen, like Titanic 3D or Armageddon, while others are able to go from stage to screen and back again with the smoothness of a charming con man. The Music Man is just such a show. Opening at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre, Indianapolis, the six-time Tony Award winning musical (book, lyrics and music by Meredith Willson) brings a smooth-talking salesman into an Iowa city in 1912.
River City, to be exact, which brings us immediately to one of the many fun musical numbers, Trouble. The song is performed expertly, and at rapid speed, by Curt Dale Clark (White Christmas, Annie Get Your Gun) as Professor Harold Hill, the consummate con artist and the townspeople.
Clark delivers Hill with such complete devilish charm as to give Robert Preston's 1962 film version a run for his money. With devil-may-care good looks and obvious merriment at being such a scoundrel, Clark is pure joy to watch ... while conning the entire town.
During our interview, Clark described what makes playing the character of Professor Hill at Beef and Boards, as well as Fulton Theatre, et al., so enjoyable.
"I love playing Harold because he is so well constructed. In the beginning he is really not a nice man, but throughout the course of the play he is changed by his co-star Marion into a much better person and the audience loves to take that journey with him and it makes it very fun!!
Hill's love interest, and town librarian, Marian Paroo is portrayed charmingly by Katie Sina. Pairing nicely with Clark, Sina captivates the audience with her rendition of My White Knight.
Special mention goes to the break-into-song-at-the-drop-of-a-hat quartet consisting of John Vessels, Rex Wolfsley, Kenny Shepard and Damian Norfleet. Watching the group of school board members turn into the singing foursome, "Good Night Ladies," Pavlovian-style upon Hill's command is an absolute riot and must-see.
Bottom Line: Beef and Boards' The Music Man may have trouble in River City, but it brings nothing but fast-paced hilarity to Indianapolis.
Tickets, shows, directions and details can be found by clicking on BeefandBoards.com
For more information on Elizabeth J. Musgrave, visit GottaGo.us.