As the summer weather heats up and the Cape’s population surges with visitors, from near and far, it’s hard not to focus on the beautiful beaches. It feels great to get outside and swim, sail, and enjoy a book with the sand between your toes.
One of Cape Cod’s best assets is its vast cultural experiences from bands and orchestras to live theater and museums. I had the opportunity to see The Music Man at The Cape Playhouse and it was fantastic from the live orchestra’s first medley through all of the escapades in River City!
It’s the largest production to play at the Playhouse with a cast of over 30 performers who light up the stage and fill it to the rafters with stories, music, and song. The sets were wonderful, and the actors were full of subtle nuances from the synchronized bouncy train ride – “You gotta know the territory!” – to intricate dance steps in latter scenes.
For many, this is a beloved musical whose “Seventy-Six Trombones” and “The Wells Fargo Wagon” bring back fond memories of past performances. If you’ve not seen The Music Man, this is an excellent production with Broadway favorite James Clow as Professor Hill and Kaitlyn Davidson as Marian Paroo!
Clow keeps you smiling, and on the edge of your seat, as he balances his salesmanship of his nefarious “think system” and his infatuation with the town librarian, Marion. Real – or is it part of the con? It’s a role requiring great comedic timing and he pulls it off in both dialog and song. At the same time Professor Hill shows a lot of compassion as he realizes Marion is more than the town librarian.
Kaitlyn Davidson’s voice is spectacular and filled the Playhouse! She did a great job transitioning from her initial role as the skeptic who didn’t want to be followed around by men she doesn’t know… although clearly her mother wishes she felt otherwise.
Playing a 3-week engagement, through July 23, this is a terrific show for the whole family that will take you to a beautiful part of Dennis and expose you to the nicely tended grounds of The Cape Playhouse!
Check out the Cape Playhouse Calendar to see other great shows or to get your tickets to The Music Man by clicking here.
About The Cape Playhouse
The non-profit Cape Playhouse was founded in 1927 by Californian Raymond Moore, who spent several summers in Provincetown painting scenery, writing plays, and acting in local theatre. His vision, however, was to have a theatre of his own – a smart, sophisticated summer theatre that would bring Broadway to Cape Cod. He purchased a 19th-century former Unitarian Meeting House for $200, had it moved to 3½ acres of pasture land fronting the Old Kings Highway in Dennis, and converted it into a professional theatre.
The Cape Playhouse has been kept true to its original structure – even the original pews still serve as seats. The opening performance on July 4, 1927 was The Guardsman, starring Basil Rathbone. Over the years, many big- name stars from Broadway and the silver screen have acted there, including Bette Davis (who first worked as an usher), Gregory Peck, Gertrude Lawrence, Lana Turner, Ginger Rogers, Humphrey Bogart, Tallulah Bankhead, Helen Hayes, Julie Harris, and Paulette Goddard.
It’s no wonder the Cape Playhouse is known as “The Birthplace of the Stars.” Many young, aspiring performers have spent their summers here. In 1956, a young student was given a small part in The Male Animal, starring Henry Fonda (his daughter, Jane)! Today, most of the stars still come from Broadway, but it seems that almost every well-known star of stage, screen, and TV has walked the stage of the Cape Playhouse.
By Pete Schmeck