TIFT’s Music Man takes to the streets

August 3, 2016

LOOKING FOR AN INNOVATIVE SOLUTION FOR YOUR BATHTUB? SAVE THE TAX* ON A COMPLETE INSTALLATION

LOOKING FOR AN INNOVATIVE SOLUTION FOR YOUR BATHTUB? SAVE THE TAX* ON A COMPLETE INSTALLATION

The streets of downtown Barrie are about to become boulevards of song and dance when Talk is Free Theatre brings The Music Man to town.
The city by the bay will be transformed into River City, Iowa, from Sept. 14 to Oct. 2 for the production of Meredith Willson’s musical. It will feature more than 60 cast members, and outdoor, site-specific staging.
“I never dreamed I would produce The Music Man. I respected its rightfully iconic status – but it was not my favourite show. And I always begrudged it getting the Tony Award over West Side Story in ’57,” says Arkady Spivak, TIFT artistic producer and originator of The Music Man’s staging concept.
“A chance reading of the libretto, however, opened my eyes to what marvelous material it actually was. Composer Meredith Willson’s first and most successful musical, written as an ode to his hometown of Mason City, Iowa, brings audiences back to a simpler, cherished time for small-town America. At its core, this story of romance and redemption is about community transformation – I wanted to stage it in a way that would transform a community.”
In TIFT’s rendition, audiences will journey first via chartered bus, and later on foot to locations within a close vicinity throughout Barrie, corresponding with settings in the play: the library, City Hall, picturesque parks, and more. The promenade’s climax will ultimately lead audiences to Barrie’s own iconic public art piece: Rob Baird’s The Spirit Catcher sculpture.
TIFT’s outdoor, roving production marks the company’s largest undertaking and promises to be one of the biggest presentations in Canadian theatre history. With the sheer size of the project, two directors have been recruited to oversee its execution: Jennifer Stewart (longtime TIFT actor and director of Best of Enemies at Bluff City Theater in Missouri), and Herbie Barnes (who directed TIFT’s site-specific Tales of an Urban Indian on a moving city transit bus). The creative team is rounded out by choreographer Amanda Nuttall, and musical director Mark Camilleri, as well as lighting and scenic designer Joe Pagnan, and costume designer Lindsay Dagger Junkin.
Officially launching TIFT’s 15th season, The Music Man’s bursting cast is full of returning favourites, including Michael Torontow as Harold Hill and Alana Hibbert as Librarian Paroo. Additional performers include Justin Stadnyk, Andrew McAllister, David Coomber, Glynis Ranney, and Arlene Duncan.
The whole city of Barrie will come together for this one-of-a-kind presentation, with Mayor Jeff Lehman set to officially proclaim the renaming of Barrie to River City for the occasion. The ensemble ranges in age, gender, and ethnicity to reflect the city’s diversity, and will also feature notable community members. Among these locals, singer and TV host Glenn Coulson will form part of the show’s Barbershop Quartet – reprising his role in the 2003 Matthew Broderick film adaptation.
Tickets are $40, with the show starting at the downtown bus terminal. Call the box office at 705-792-1949, or click here for more information.

Be the first to like.

Share

Previous post:

Next post: