Welcome to River City, Iowa in July 1912! This is small-town life at its best – where everyone knows everyone, everyday life centers around tradition, where the roots run deep, and a town on the verge of total disruption and change with the entrance of one fast-talking, web-spinning salesman.
Having grown up in a small town myself, our community excitement centered on the town’s Memorial Day parade, summer agricultural fair, and fire department’s chicken barbecue. I remember the day it was announced that our little town was getting its own McDonald’s. Quite similarly to the folks of River City getting a new pool table, the buzz about this new addition to our area was electric and controversial.
So, why “The Music Man”? Why – when throngs of other contemporary Broadway shows are built on flashy effects, modern music, fast-paced plots, technology integration... how is “The Music Man” still relevant and successful? Its references are dated, the setting is in the middle of farmland and the Great Plains, there is no focus on politics or social media. How has “The Music Man” stood the test of time? The answer is simple – it’s familiar. We know these characters, we know these songs, we know the story. It is a celebration of true Americana, and no matter how much our surroundings may change, there is something nostalgic and heartwarming about the familiarity of this show.
For the many years our small, quiet corner community have been producing theatrical productions, this is the first time “The Music Man” has been on the Bradley Playhouse boards. We as a production cast and crew are proud to bring River City to life for you. We hope you enjoy this snap shot of the turn-of-century, pre-world war Iowan life in its simplicity and innocence. Whether you attended the Gary Conservatory class of aught-five, are an anvil salesman, like to sing about ice cream, or enjoy a good read by Balzac we sincerely appreciate you marching your band to the Bradley this evening.