NASELLE - River City, aka Naselle, was taken over by the "Music Man, Junior" last weekend.

The American musical classic, "The Music Man," in its shortened "junior" version, was presented by the Naselle High School Drama Club Friday and Saturday evening to large appreciative audiences in the Naselle School Commons.

The play will be reprised this Friday and Saturday, May 9 and May 10, beginning at 7 p.m. in the school commons. Tickets will be available at the door.

The drama club has presented three "junior" versions of Broadway productions in the last two years. "Annie, Junior" and "Fiddler on the Roof, Junior" preceded this year's production. Each of the productions featured all-school involvement (potentially students from grades K through 12) as well as adult community members participation.

A distinct difference in this years production is the fact that two high school seniors, Robin Andrea II and Abbie Smith, assume the two lead roles. The fast-talking traveling salesman con-man Harold Hill, as played by Andrea, is on a visit to River City, Iowa where he meets and falls in love with the spinster librarian, Marian Paroo, played by Smith.

Andrea and Smith both do masterful jobs acting, singing and dancing in presenting the two main characters. With his word-a-second style, "Professor" Harold Hill (Andrea), a con man masquerading as a music professor, convinces the small town to form a brass band as a way for him to pocket some dough.

Although he knows nothing about music, he convinces the town members to develop a marching band or face the moral decline of the youngsters of River City into the 1912 moral abyss of - playing pool. Chaos ensues as Hill's credentials are questioned and he is forced to prove himself to the citizens of River City.

Spinster librarian Paroo (Smith) isn't about to have any of it as she sees through Hill for what he is. However, when the band uniforms and instruments are somehow delivered and Hill doesn't abscond with the town's money, Paroo falls in love with Hill. Hill then gives himself up completely to make the band project a success.

The two leading actors receive ample support from a supporting cast that numbers close to 50 with students from grades 3 through 12 as well as a number of adults in the cast. There are more than 24 speaking roles in the production.

Some of the audience favorites included nine-year-old Trevin Leeland who played Winthrop Paroo, school board member Deanna Gjovik who played Eulalie Mackenzie Shinn and the Pick-a-Little Ladies played by Lani Steppe as Alma Hix, Cheryl Steppe as Maud, Katie Klinger as Mrs. Squires and Rachel Gonzalez as Ethel Toffelmier.

Director Barbara Swanson and student director's assistant Sarah Dotson receive key support from several members of the school and community. Band director Tom Lee serves as the music assistant as well as taking a singing and acting role in the production. Community member Kristi Leeland is the choreographer assisted by student Kelli Revis.

Other community and school staff members who provide behind the scenes support include: set designer Debbie Littlefield; costume designer Janet Darcher with seamstresses Kathy Pellervo, Junea Brannon, Renee Smith, Kathy Fauver, Lorey Steppe, Lois Burkhalter and Sally Swanson; make-up designer Megan Tienhaara assisted by Crystal Lanz, Mindy Reitz, Connie Bailey and Norma Abel; set designer Greg Nelson, lighting manager school board member Bill Coop with lighting assistants students Chris Dunn and Corey Teubner; set managers Jeremy McCouvrey and Tom Lee with set/prop student assistants Tom Gradt, Dan White, Zach Badger, Matt Queral, Brian Safstrom and Baerick Safstrom; sound managers Ron Baldwin and Marc Gonzalez and tickets and advertisement Chera Anderson. In addition, the high school art class painted the sets which the high school shop class constructed.

You have two more chances to see this production, this Friday and Saturday. You really shouldn't miss it!

'Music Man' is still playing

NASELLE - After two rousing performances presented in front of large audiences, the "Music Man" is going to be around for two more performances.

The longtime favorite will play this Friday and Saturday, May 9 and 10, with show times at 7 p.m. in the Naselle High School Commons. After playing to full houses last week, one will still have an opportunity to enjoy this classic.

"Music Man" is sponsored by the Naselle Drama Club with a cast that includes students from grades 3-12 and community members.

Call Chera Anderson at 484-3645 for ticket reservations. Tickets will also be sold at the door at each performance beginning at 6 p.m.

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