Ya Got Trouble: Bishop Stang set to open 'The Music Man'
While Robert Coady is used to playing “good guy” characters, the Bishop Stang Theatre Company member is set to take on the role of sleazy con-man Harold Hill in The Music Man.
Coady has been involved in Bishop Stang’s theater program for four years. The senior and Dartmouth resident had previously played Captain von Trapp in the group’s production of The Sound of Music, but his latest role took a bit of work to get used to.
The musical centers on Hill’s arrival in River City, a small, everyone-knows-everyone town in Iowa, but to Hill yet another stop on his scam. He plans to swindle the townspeople out of money by selling them musical instruments with the promise of forming a band, but skipping town once everything is delivered.
“I’m used to playing good guys,” Coady said. “I really had to dig deep to uncover my inner scumbag.”
Things get complicated, however, due to small-town gossip and when an unexpected love interest develops between Hill and town librarian Marian Paroo, played by senior Maya Tavares.
Portraying an older woman was a challenge for Tavares, who is used to roles closer to her own age. But going into dress rehearsals and getting outfitted with early 20th century fashion helped as she used her costuming to transform into her role.
“I think the costuming really helps,” Tavares said. “Before I had to pretend to be restricted in movement from my corset.”
Bringing The Music Man to Bishop Stang was the idea of director Melissa Murphy-Leite. On a midwest trip in 2016, she visited Madison City, Iowa – the town River City is based on – and toured a museum dedicated to the musical.
“It’s such an Americana show,” Murphy-Leite said. “The kids loved it, and Dartmouth is also a small town – it has that small town feel to it too. In this show there’s a character everyone can relate to.”
The Music Man includes 65 cast members from the school’s theatre company an an additional 11 younger children filling child roles.
Shows are April 26, 27, and 28 at 7 p.m. at the 500 Slocum Road school. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for students and seniors.