The Music Man by The Philadelphia School for Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA)

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The Music Man – The Philadelphia School for Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) in Philadelphia, PA

April 19, 2016

Review by: Jane Mentzinger of Westtown School

Seventy-six trombones led the big parade with a hundred and ten CAPA performers on the stage. The rows and rows of the finest virtuosos certainly filled The Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts’ production of The Music Man.

Winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical, The Music Man tells the story of con-man Harold Hill, who poses as a boys’ band organizer so that he can sell instruments to the people of River City, Iowa. He plans to skip town without teaching a single lesson; but all that changes when he falls for the librarian, Marian.

With fun dancing, great voices, and well-executed backstage work, CAPA’s production of The Music Man was a joy to see. The room was filled with talent and energy. Starting the show off strong, the entire cast beautifully came together to show off their headstrong ways in “Iowa Stubborn.” Kicking off the second act, “Shipoopi” radiated enthusiasm. CAPA took a classic musical and filled it with young vivacious energy.

Shafiq Hicks, who played Harold Hill, drew all eyes towards him. His fast-talking, con-man characterization paired with his strong voice, both shown in his performance of “Ya Got Trouble”, made him a force to be reckoned with. Brittney Sedgwick, as Marian, had the voice of an angel and it was displayed with her charming rendition of “Goodnight My Someone.”

The supporting cast’s talent matched that of the leads. The clever dancing in “Marian the Librarian” delighted the audience, and the vocal strength of “Wells Fargo Wagon” stunned. The Quartet was simply phenomenal, harmonizing perfectly with each other. The combination of the Quartet and the Ladies of the Town in “Pick-A-Little, Talk-A-Little” and “Goodnight Ladies” were beautifully executed.

The orchestra sounded near professional, wonderfully accompanying the singers without overshadowing them. Harold Hill certainly did not teach this orchestra!

CAPA’s production of The Music Man was skillful and lively. It was not only filled with expertise, but also flair, making for a wonderful evening for the audience.

 

Review by: Bridgette Burton of Eastern Regional High School

Whaddya talk? It’s the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts’s of The Music Man! This classic musical became a hit Broadway sensation in 1957 and has gone on to become films, revivals, and a regional theater favorite. The show tells the tale of a con man called Harold Hill as he travels to River City, Iowa for his latest scam: selling instruments and uniforms to form a band, then skipping town. Nevertheless, when he meets Marian Paroo, the librarian, his whole world changes.

Shafiq Hicks, the music man himself, played Harold Hill, charming the audiences with his suaveness and beautiful strong voice. His immense stage presence made it known that when appearing on stage, it was his time and he was happy to tell you that “You’ve Got Trouble”. As audiences were introduced to quirky characters, like Eulalle MacKecknie Shinn, played by Haley Trainor, and the quartet of the school board, the true talent of the school shined through. The school board, consisting of Jonnel Outen, Cameren Sullivan, Dotan Yardan, and Desi Flowers, were a particularly bright spot of the show, providing beautiful a cappella music that was charming to watch and divine to listen to.

The most titillating aspect of CAPA’s The Music Man was the choreography and dance ensemble. Their jumps were grand, and their pirouettes were on point. In unexpected songs, like the very tame “Marian the Librarian”, and usually forgettable “Shapoopi”, the dancers commanded the stage and executed their choreography effortlessly, bringing a new dimension to such a matured piece of theater.

The charm of The Music Man rang true with the spectacular vocals, interesting characters, and remarkable dancing. The music accompanying the cast, which is arguably the most important aspect of a musical, was exquisite, from the pit orchestra, to the actual marching band that invaded the aisles at the finale of the production. CAPA has proved once again that they are the cream of the crop, breathing new life into the colorful world of The Music Man.

 

 

 

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