Wednesday, October 7 , 2015, 12:21 am | Fair 60º

Providence Brings ‘The Music Man’ to Santa Barbara

John Butler as Harold Hill with Marian the Librarian, played by Ashley O’Brien, in Providence’s production of The Music Man.
John Butler as Harold Hill with Marian the Librarian, played by Ashley O’Brien, in Providence’s production of The Music Man.  (Providence photo)

By Elaine Rottman for Providence |

A cast and chorus of more than 50 Providence students will take to the Porter Hall stage at Westmont College this Friday and Saturday to present the delightful musical The Music Man.

Three performances are scheduled: Friday and Saturday evenings at 7 p.m., and a Saturday matinee at 2:30 p.m. The Friday show is sold out, but tickets remain for the two Saturday performances.

The Music Man, with book, music and lyrics by Meredith Willson, is based on a story by Willson and Franklin Lacey. The plot concerns con man Harold Hill (played by John Butler), who poses as a boys' band organizer and leader and sells band instruments and uniforms to the naive Iowa townsfolk, promising to train the members of the new band.

But Harold is no musician and plans to skip town without giving any music lessons.

Prim librarian and piano teacher Marian (played by Ashely O'Brien) sees through him, but when Harold helps her younger brother overcome his lisp and social awkwardness, Marian begins to fall in love. Harold risks being caught to win her heart. A charming story unfolds.

Miller James directs the action on stage while Rebecca Leftwich Hodson is the musical director. Both Providence teachers are veterans of Santa Barbara theatrical and musical productions.

Tickets for the Saturday performances may be purchased at the door. Doors open 20 minutes before the performance.

— Elaine Rottman is the director of advancement for Providence.

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