Ten local families have two or more members in the 60-member cast of Trilogy Repertory Theater's production of The Music Man opening on July 15 at Pleasant Valley Park in Basking Ridge. Three generations of the Hagovsky-Doerr family from Basking Ridge and Bernardsville are involved. Marion Hagovsky is onstage with three of her grandchildren, Michael, Ryan, and Marion Doerr, while her daughter, Marion Doerr, is the musical director for the production. Three generations of Marions and not one of them a librarian!
Three members of the Basking Ridge Corson family are also involved in the play; Lauran plays the Mayor's wife, and her husband Bill and their son Alex are both members of the barbershop quartet. Lisa Littman of Bernardsville appears as Alma Hix, while her son Max and daughter Molly appear as ensemble members. Brian Herrle of Basking Ridge plays Constable Locke, and his daughter Maria portrays Gracie Shinn. Patricia Idell of Martinsville appears in the ensemble, with her daughter Jessica playing Mrs. Britt. Also included in the cast are father-and-son combination Steven and Nathan Kohn; Steven is part of the barbershop quartet, and his son plays Winthrop. Lizzy Buckley of Bernardsville plays Amaryllis, while her mother Caroline serves as the show's producer, and her father Rich and brother Jonathan also work behind the scenes. Bernards Township brother-and-sister combinations include Caroline and Owen McKenna and Corin and Catherine Pankow as ensemble members.
Other cast members include Jim Neil as Harold Hill, Christie Oakes as Marian Paroo, Ann King as Mrs. Paroo, Scott Six as Marcellus Washburn, Frank Skokhan as Mayor Shinn, Mariella Klinger as Zanetta Shin, Stephan White as Tommy Djilas, Todd Bennington as Charlie Cowell, John Lubarsky as the Conductor, Carl Bird as Olin Britt, Suzanne Ader as Maud Dunlop, Tori Clemens as Ethel Toffelmier and Gillian Petersen as Mrs. Squires.
Ensemble members appearing as River City residents include Jim Gates, Jeff Schaub, Andy Gross, Christine Anderson, Rhonda Pisano, Danielle Presuto, Beverly Webb, Luke Chiafallo, James Ford, Ethan Lynch, Conner Magidson, Will Wallace, Jackie Adams, Angie Cocuzza, Sharon Romano, Kelly Scharff, Emily Vaias, Caitlin Aloise, Sydney Mahon, Hannah Melillo, Jaron Cole and Chance Friedman.
The Music Man, with book, music, and lyrics by Meredith Willson, opened on December 19, 1957, at the Majestic Theater on Broadway with Robert Preston and Barbara Cook as leads. It ran for 1375 performances, winning six Tony Awards including Best Musical. The 1980 revival paired Dick Van Dyke with Meg Bussart, while the 2000 revival starred Craig Bierko and garnered eight Tony nominations. The 1962 movie version had a star-studded cast, which included Robert Preston, Shirley Jones, Buddy Hackett, Hermione Gingold, Paul Ford, and Ron Howard. This production received six Oscar nomination, winning for Best Music.
The partnership of Trilogy Repertory and Bernards Township has produced over 20 years of family entertainment and won several awards for excellence in theater programming. Most prominent are the awards from ACT (Achievement in Community Theater) and the prestigious “Excellence in Cultural Arts Programing.” The Music Man is made possible, in part, by support from New Jersey State Council on the Arts.
The Music Man will be presented at the outdoor amphitheater at Pleasant Valley Park, Valley Road (next to the Veterans Hospital at Lyons), Basking Ridge, on July 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, and 24, at 8:00 pm. Admission is free. Donations are gratefully accepted. Bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating. For information, call 908-204-3003.