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For its 18th anniversary show Lakeshore Productions, Inc. went back in time to River City, Iowa, and presented the Meredith Willson classic, The Music Man. This show had been considered by the board for a number of years, and it finally came to pass.
Returning as director was Joe Horstmeier, a home grown LPI leader who made his stage debut was as a munchkin in LPI’s The Wizard of Oz in 1996. The music director was Nikki Anderson, the Random Lake Middle School vocal music teacher. They were co-directors for LPI’s Oliver! in 2011. Veronica Lampe came back as LPI’s choreographer for the seventh year in a row, while Danielle Rammer (another LPI veteran) handled stage manager duties.
"The commitment the cast, crew and volunteers give to Lakeshore Productions and the arts is second to none,” said Horstmeier. “And all they hope to see is a smile on your face as the curtains close.”
Playing the lead role of swindling salesman Harold Hill was Duncan Doherty, while shy librarian Marian Paroo was Amanda Desimowich. Marjie Thiel made her LPI debut as Mrs. Paroo, while Devon Kaat was her son, Winthrop. Bob Deyo portrayed Mayor Shinn, and Sarah Huebner was his wife Eulalie. Renee Schauer portrayed their daughter Zaneeta, and Brian Falk played reformed salesman Marcellus Washburn.
The Music Man remains a show for all ages with many well known songs such as “76 Trombones,” “Ya Got Trouble,” “Goodnight Ladies,” “Goodnight My Someone,” “Gary, Indiana” and “Till There Was You.”
Like most LPI shows The Music Man had a huge cast (95), not counting the pit orchestra, and lots of extra hands behind the scenes. Returning as costume designers and leaders of the costume crew were Jan Rogne and her daughter, Dori Ross, while hair and makeup was created by Maureen Schommer and Alexia Horstmeier. And it took a lot of work to round up enough instruments for the children's band scene in the rousing finale.
LPI President Bob Eichner (who played lead salesman Charlie Cowell) summed it up: "We all have one thing in common: the desire to entertain you with great music, dancing and a little laughter thrown in." And when it all ended, those involved shared a Wells Fargo Wagon full of happy memories.