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Music Man comes to town
‘Happy’ show at Playhouse through July
Music Man 3 es
Julie Edmondson, Lauren Rosenzweig and Debby Wachsman get ready for rehearsal. - photo by Emily Saunders

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“The Music Man” runs at 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and at 3 p.m. Sundays through July 31. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

There may not actually be 76 trombones, but all the fun of an American classic will fill the Cumming Playhouse this month.

Meredith Wilson’s “The Music Man” by Next Stage Theatre Company began a three-week run Friday.

Director Rob Hardie, who won a Metropolitan Atlanta Theater award for best director for “Chicago” at the playhouse in 2007, said the production is one of his favorites.

“‘Music Man’ was the first show I ever saw,” Hardie said. “My sister was in it in high school.”

The classic musical, set at the turn of the 20th century, follows fast-talking traveling salesman Harold Hill as he cons the people of River City, Iowa.

Hill promises to organize a boys’ band if the townspeople will provide funding for instruments and uniforms, although he actually doesn’t know the first thing about music.

Linda Heard, executive director of the playhouse, said the show is a perfect fit for Cumming.

“I see the social fabric of Cumming, Ga., not unlike that of River City, Iowa,” she said. “We are still fervently patriotic and care very much about the good upbringing of our children.

“‘The Music Man’ allows us to let ourselves get caught up in the hometown of our imaginations, believing again in happy endings.”

The cast and crew of nearly 40 began rehearsals about two months ago. Several said they’re excited to be a part of the classic.

Matt Pino said this will be his second time portraying the lead character.

“This is the first time I’ve ever repeated a role,” he said. “As a performer, I thought it’d be an interesting challenge to see what more I could bring to the role.”

Marty Baker, the oldest cast member, plays three parts. He said the rest of cast makes him “feel younger.”

“Just watching the talent is so much fun,” said Baker, who recently returned to the stage in “The Georgia Senior Follies” after a 45-year hiatus.
“They have so much energy and talent ... I’m having the time of my life.”

Baker encouraged anyone interested in good, clean, family fun to check out the show.

“This is a classic, timeless play,” he said. “It’s a family show that’s great for Cumming. Audiences will have fun and be tapping their toes. It just makes you happy.”