(July 12, 2012)

Students, Alumni entertain in The Music Man

SHREVEPORT, LA — Centenary alumni and students have been hard at work the past few weeks preparing for a production of The Music Man at Emmett Hook Center in downtown Shreveport. Debuting July 13, the production is headed by Reagan Cassanova '05 as director, Nate Wasson '09 as choreographer, and Ruben Reyes '10 as the music director and conductor with Will Andress working as producer.

Music Man poster

"The songs are catchy and just make you want to get up and dance," said Reagan Cassanova. "The show has big musical numbers with all ages performing along with broad comedy and tender poignant moments. Plus, the barbershop quartet will make your heart melt."

The cast, production staff, and orchestra also feature other members of the Centenary family:

Alma Hix…………Janet Liberto Coughlin '94
Mrs. Paroo…………Patricia M. Reeves '81
Zanetta Shinn…………Stephanie Boyd
Tommy Djilas…………Kurt Thomas
Constable…………Michael Nguyen
Rehearsal Pianist…………Daniel Ley '10
Sound Board Operator…………Adam Boyd
Bass…………Deborah Scarlato '78
Reeds…………Lucy Reyes '10
Trumpets…………Mike Scarlato '77
Pianist…………Cara Lamb
Oliver Hix, Quartet…………Clay Eaves
Jacey Squires, Quartet…………Warren Hovis '08

The large number of Centenary cast and crew members is almost equal to that of actual families participating in the production. Cassanova finds her cast's connections fascinating:

"The leads are married with a nine-week-old baby! I love that this kind of musical allows families to have a fun activity to do together—it really epitomizes what community theatre should be. This experience builds a new sort of family that is just as loving and supportive as my family out there."

Connections like these—both family and Centenary—are what led alumnus Nathan Wasson to choreographing the production. Cassanova approached her fellow Centenary alumnus with the opportunity, and Wasson immediately agreed to work on a musical he sees as a "fun, fast-paced gem that makes you feel good."

Centenary also helped Wasson prepare for the work he would do on The Music Man.

"The thorough theatre and dance training I received at Centenary prepared me to work in every aspect that I have with this production—from tech work to dancing to acting and signing."

The Music Man follows con man Harold Hill as he sells band equipment to naive townsfolk before skipping town with the cash. When Marian the Librarian catches his eye, he risks being caught to win her over.

Performances will run July 13, 14, and 21 at 7:30 p.m. as well as July 15 and 22 at 3:00 p.m. Tickets are available online or by calling 318.429.6885: $12 children, $18 seniors/military, and $22 adults.

The Emmett Hook Center was built by the congregation of the First United Methodist Church of Shreveport for the enrichment of the church and community.

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