Newbury YoungStars - The Music Man Jr
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Newbury YoungStars - The Music Man Jr

14th to 16th March 2013.

Review from the Newbury Weekly News.

Showtime for young stars

Cast of 26 impress in special adaptation of classic musical

Newbury YoungStars: The Music Man Jr, at Arlington Arts, Snelsmore, from Thursday, March 14 to Saturday, March 16

Remembered by folks of a certain age as a 1962 movie with Robert Preston as Harold Hill, The Music Man has one really memorable song, 76 Trombones, which was heard no less than four times during the course of this relatively short musical. What we had here though, from the YoungStars, was a lively production, notable for fine acting all round, very well thought out choreography and - something often missing in adult shows - good pace.

The most prominent character in the show is, of course, the music man himself, Harold Hill and the part was seized and made his own by George Stacey, who did very well as the flamboyant, loud conman who finally redeems himself to the people he is in process of deceiving.

George had the best role and he certainly made the most of it, hamming it up in true theatrical manner. Other prominent characters were played by Nick Tucker, Abbie Breach and little Courtney Renouf, as Winthrop. Carly Mcintosh did well as Marion, both acting and singing and there was a fine performance by Eloise Trumper as Eulalie.

A cast of 26 were all impressive and used well structured stage movement, due in no small part, no doubt, to the efforts of director Sarah Scott-Cound and choreographer Jacqui Trumper. Only the small Hitler-type moustaches on tiny tots tended to jar a little.

On reflection though, the song Till There Was You, written for this show by author Meredith Willson, is also worthy of note. Recorded by both The Beatles and jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins, it is hardly likely to be forgotten and formed a fitting closer to a very worthy production.

DEREK ANSELL