The Music Man: Comes to Nanuet

By Diana Bierman

The 1962 hit “The Music Man” will come to life this weekend, performed by the Saint Anthony Parish Players, a church-based theater group.

“The Music Man” is a story about con-artist Harold Hill, who tries to swindle the gullible people of River City, Iowa into buying band instruments, uniforms, and lessons from him for a boy’s marching band, and who then runs off with the money. But a librarian and band teacher see through his ploy, and things don’t all go according to his plan.

The Saint Anthony Parish Players have put on one show a year for over 30 years, dazzling audiences with plays such as “Oklahoma,” “Anything Goes,” and “Once Upon a Mattress.” Many long-time members plan to keep going. For instance, John Maloney, who has been acting with the Saint Anthony’s Parish Players since 1980, says that even though he’s currently retired, he couldn’t help but participate with his fellow crewmembers in “The Music Man.”

“I’m 88, but I still have a bunch more shows in me,” he said.

The lead of Harold Hill will be played by Vince Schera, who has also embraced previous parts in “Guys and Dolls” and “Anything Goes.” Schera, although eager and excited, expressed that it’s a bit nerve-racking, as Hill is the biggest role he’s ever carried out. There are certain parts in his role however, like a fast-dialogue song and a scene where he gets to woo the librarian, which he favors most and is excited to perform.

After a long absence from the Saint Anthony Parish Players, children also have roles in this performance, which many noted the youth and enthusiasm it adds. Lindsey Desir, 10, plays the role of Amaryllis, who develops a crush on the librarian’s brother. “I haven’t done anything like this play before,” she said, noting that it’s her first time working with people much older than her. “But it’s really fun and I’m so excited.”

Barbara Peters, first-year director, said she had a very positive overall experience, exceeding her expectations. “The cast was extremely patient as I learned,” she said. “It was a lot of work, but everyone has been very supportive and encouraging. They are a great bunch to work with.”

Come support the Saint Anthony’s Parish Players in the auditorium of Saint Anthony’s School in Nanuet on Friday, April 20 at 8 p.m., Saturday, April 21 at 8 p.m., or Sunday, April 22 at 3 p.m.

Tickets can be ordered by logging on to www.parishplayers.wordpress.com/tickets/ for pickup the day of performance. Adults are $10; seniors and children under 12 are $8. See your favorite Music Man characters come to life!