The Music Man

From Broadway to Rice


Cast members performing “76 trombones” at Christ the King on March 17th. (photo/Lauren McCabe)

Laina Williams, Staff Writer

Rice students took their audience back to the 1950s with breathtaking performances of The Music Man at Christ the King School March 17 through the 19th. While this two-hour performance kept the audience entertained, it has been months, and with the new addition of a pit band, even years in the making. Actors, singers, and dancers have been practicing day and night for this weekend’s performances.

The Music Man is a story that takes place in River City, Iowa where a traveling con artist Harold Hill, played by senior Gabe Thompson, unexpectedly finds love in this small town.

This show kept smiles and laughs ringing through the gymnasium as the actors danced and entertained the audience. However, this successful show did not come without its fair share of challenges. The director, Msgr. John McDermott, was unable to attend due to illness, and Wednesday’s winter storm postponed rehearsal for the crew.

While staying strong against external forces, there did come the inevitable struggle of goodbyes to the seniors. Gabe Thompson and Catherine Viner have been a part of the Rice Music Department for all of their high school years and will continue to impact the music world post-high school.

“Last show, it’s going to be a big one,” senior Gabe Thompson said. “It’s at first exciting and I’m sure that the second it’s over I’m going to realize ‘wait I’m a senior and it’s over now.’”

Gabe Thompson and Cathrine Viner at their last rehearsal on March 16th. (photo/Laina Williams)

The show could not have gone on without its strong stage crew. Sophomore Renzo Pizzigalli was operating the soundboard at last year’s musical Little Women and now was Stage Manager for Music Man. Setting the scene for this show was an upbeat jazz band who played live from the stage, orchestrated by producer and musical director, Kevin Ginter.

The pit band during the first performance on March 17th.(photo/Lauren McCabe)

From the audience, Cindy Bond-Bardes speaks on how she and her daughter Kerna Bond-Bardes watched the original Music Man on Broadway. “It’s really exciting for me to see that kind of performance and then see it located here on the Rice stage,” Cindy said.

Rice students have put much time into making Music Man. Moorea Lambert participated in the musical as a choreographer as well as an actress. “It’s fun because it’s like I get both sides,” she said. “I get to teach them and watch everyone grow while also growing with them.”