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Lazar's Production of The Music Man, Jr. Rolls Into MTHS March 23 and 24
Lazar's Production of The Music Man, Jr. Rolls Into MTHS March 23 and 24
Lazar's Production of The Music Man, Jr. Rolls Into MTHS March 23 and 24

Published on: 03/21/2023


MONTVILLE, NJ - THE MUSIC MAN, JR. marches into Montville Township High School Thursday and Friday, March 23 and 24. Come enjoy the sounds of “Seventy-Six Trombones” and “Shipoopi,” as “The Wells Fargo Wagon” rolls into “Gary, Indiana,” to the melodies of “Being in Love” and “Till There Was You.”

An American classic, filled with fabulous show tunes, this eight-time Tony Award-winning Broadway musical will be performed by the Robert R. Lazar Middle School Drama Club for two nights only.

THE MUSIC MAN, JR. is the story of the charismatic con-man Harold Hill (played by Alex Tarnuk), and Marian the librarian (performed by Sophia Billings). Hill galvanizes a stodgy, entertainment-starved, Iowa town at the turn of the 20th century, intending to fleece River City’s citizens with a false scheme to organize a boys’ band. Hill's plans hit a sour note when he falls for Marian, the town librarian.

Through high energy song and dance, a cast of more than 70 Lazar Drama Club Students will perform Meredith Willson’s heartwarming musical story.

“Meredith Willson’s THE MUSIC MAN, JR. is a beautiful story about how music can transform a person and a community,” wrote Lazar MUSIC MAN, JR. Producer, Co-Director, and Special Education Teacher Rebecca Friedman. “In a similar manner Lazar students have worked together to present their unique interpretation of this show.  Throughout the rehearsal process each student has contributed something and learned something, leaving all involved forever changed for the better.”  

Both eighth grade students, Tarnuk and Billings head a cast of talented sixth, seventh and eighth grade performers.

THE MUSIC MAN, JR. is Tarnuk’s musical debut. The young singer and dancer was encouraged to audition by Musical Director, Co-Director, and Music Teacher Jordan Green.

“The best part of being in the musical is that I have met a lot of people,” Tarnuk said. “There are a lot of people that I never knew before and now I am really good friends with them.”

Billings, who has been an active member of the Lazar Drama Club since sixth grade, agrees with Tarnuk about making good friends in the drama program.

“It’s great being part of the cast as an eighth grader because now I can help those who are younger than me,” Billings said. “This is a very funny show, with so many talented people, who have worked very hard.”

Tarnuk’s favorite MUSIC MAN number is “Trouble” and Billings enjoys performing “Piano Lesson.”

“It’s a catchy song and it’s fun to pretend to be mad at each other,” Billings noted about the musical’s classic number.

With book, music and lyrics by Meredith Willson, and story by Meredith Willson and Franklin Lacey, THE MUSIC MAN, JR. is based on Meredith Willson’s THE MUSIC MAN, which won eight Tony Awards including Best Musical, Author, Composer and Lyricist.  

The Lazar production of THE MUSIC MAN, JR. is led by: Producer: Rebecca Friedman; Directors: Rebecca Friedman, Maria Heyburn, and Jordan Green; Music Director: Jordan Green; Choreographer: Maria Heyburn; Set Design: Karin Wardell and Charlie Hilgendorff; Lighting Design: Sam Franz, StageWorks Inc. and Nina Hu, MTHS Student; and Stage Managers: MTHS Students Laura Justnes and Ryan Cortes.

“Come see it,” Tarnuk said. “The singing is good and the acting is good. This is a really fun musical.”

Robert R. Lazar Middle School will present the Broadway Junior production of Meredith Willson’s THE MUSIC MAN, JR. on March 23 and 24 at 7:00 p.m. at the Montville Township High School Auditorium, at 100 Horseneck Road in Montville.  Tickets are $10 and may be purchased online at Cash tickets will also be available at the door on show nights.

Author :Susan Marinello

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