Three times, now, I've done The Music Man--once, as a nine-year-old, playing Amaryllis; eight years ago directing a cast of fifty, ages 7 to 70, in a Tuesday's Child production; and just now, directing The Music Man Jr. with a company of three dozen junior high students.
The Music Man brings out the best in people. Part of it is the affection the show has for its characters. Part of it is that every actor onstage is part of the grand action of the story--the transformation people undergo when they sing and dance and go around whistling the Minuet in G.
Life is more than everyday humdrum. The citizens of River City, Iowa, may be stubborn, but they're not stuck. When we work together we can hear the bells ringing, see the birds winging and experience the love that sings all around us. This love heals us, saves us, and makes life worth living—and even a con man knows this in his heart.
Bravo, Grace junior high! Thank you, Lisa and Brian and Janel.
And thank you, Meredith Willson. Like you, I always think there's a band.