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Paramount’s ‘The Music Man’ abounds with energy

Published: Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT
Caption
(Photo by Liz Lauren)
The trouble is only getting started when charming huckster Harold Hill (Stef Tovar) starts passing out the band instruments to the unsuspecting residents of River City, Iowa, in Paramount Theatre’s production of “The Music Man.”

AURORA – The energy that director/choreographer Rachel Rockwell brought in staging “Hair” and “Annie” at the Paramount Theatre is on full display in the theater’s current production of “The Music Man.”

The show is now running through Feb. 3, and tickets are available at www.ParamountAurora.com, or by calling 630-896-6666.

“The Music Man,” set in 1912, revolves around the story of traveling salesman Harold Hill, who has to convince the residents of River City that he’s an expert musician as he attempts to start a children’s marching band.

The cast successfully injected freshness into a musical that has been staged many times over the years and is considered one of the most iconic shows in American theater history.

Among the many highlights is the performance of Emily Rohm as Marian Paroo, whose soaring vocals brought a charge to the production.

Also adding some sass and humor to the evening was Mary Ernster as Marian’s mother and Don Forston, who had the right amount of bluster required for the role of Mayor Shinn.

But Stef Tovar could not deliver the charisma required for the title role of Professor Hill. While his performance was likable enough, a stronger performance would have made for a stronger production overall.

Of course, it’s hard to live up to Robert Preston’s performance of Hill in the 1962 version of “The Music Man.” He defined the role, and unfortunately, everyone who takes on the role will be judged by his performance.

The Paramount Theatre is located at 8 E. Galena Blvd. in downtown Aurora. The next musical the Paramount Theatre will stage is “Fiddler on the Roof,” which will run from March 6 to 24.

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