PARIS – Folks on Paris Hill are watching for the Wells Fargo wagon which delivers their 76 trombones on June 16. That’s when “The Music Man” opens at Paris Hill Academy.

The Oxford Hills Music and Performing Arts Association will present Meredith Willson’s all-American classic musical, with a 40-member cast, in performances through June 26.

“OHMPAA has a slogan: If you’re not having fun, you’re not doing it right,” said director Linda Sturdivant. She believes that reputation for fun and quality is the reason she was able to cast the whole show after one audition, and she still had more actors and crew than she could use.

“We have a lot of people who have never been on stage before,” Studivant said, noting the veterans will pitch in to give them a hand.

Jeff Orwig, an OHMPAA favorite, will appear as Professor Harold Hill, and Kristen Searles is Marion, the librarian. Harold Hill’s sidekick, Marcellus, is played by Josh Witham; and Sally Jones portrays Mrs. Paroo.

The youngsters are Ryan Fagan playing Winthrop and Abbie Goldberg as Amaryllis.

Mayor Shinn is played by Dennis Twitchell; and his wife, Eulalie Shinn, is played by Carol Brown. Brandon Pullen is Tommy Djilas and Meredith Jones is Zaneeta Shinn.

Others in the cast are Alyssa Wyman as Gracie Shinn, Maggie Whittmore as Alice Shinn, Joyce Franklin as Alma Hix, Jeanier Stone as Maude Dunlop, Kelsey Franklin as Ethel Toffelmeir, Corrine Wyman as Mrs. Squires, Bob Bohern as Charlie Cowell, Matt Delamater as Constable Locke, and Alex Davis, Matt Delamater and Bill Miller as salesmen/ townsfolk.

The Lida Rose quartet members are Tom Littlefield, Denis Fontaine, Keith Halliburton and Michael Davis. The Pick-a-Little Ladies are Barbara Danforth, Kate Franklin and Leanne McKinny.

Teen dancers are Chris Alberi, Felicia Brown, Hannah Brown, Kelsey Gamble, Bently Hamilton and Josh Twitchell. Among the Boys Band members, ranging in age from 7 to 19 (and including some girls), are Max Peter Brown, Sorrel Dunn, James Miller, Jeremy Reed and Kemsen Searles.

Debi Irons is the show’s choreographer with assistance from Hannah Brown, a member of Irons’ dance troupe and a sophomore at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School.

“This is Hannah’s first time doing choreography for a show and it is brilliant,” Sturdivant said.

Sturdivant’s daughter, Sara, is music director for “The Music Man.” Sara will actually be on hand for only the first two performances. She recently learned she has received an internship with the Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute; and she swapped off music direction duties with Kevin Smith, a classmate at the University of Southern Maine.

Sara will leave June 18 for San Francisco, where she will work toward performing in a production of “The Marriage of Figaro” July 28-29. She will sing the role of Marcellina.

The orchestra for OHMPAA’s “The Music Man” is comprised of Kevin Smith as keyboard accompanist with Audra Hatch on flute, Levi Chouinard on cello, Sean Diette on clarinet and saxophone, Julie Schubert-Cowan on trumpet, John Miley on trombone and Ethan Wright on drums.

Connie Allen and Kristen Searles are co-producers and Kathy Davis is assistant to the director. Lighting is handled by Norman Hutchins; and set construction is by Andy Stonehouse and Mike Porter with assistance on painting and design from Zilpha Chouinard, who is also stage manager. Costumes are by Barbara Kelly.


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