SCRANTON — Kids and teens involved in the Scranton Cultural Center Youth Theatre Program brought old-time Americana to the stage with their spring production of Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man,” directed by Camille Reinecke, form May 10-12.
The townsfolk of River City, Iowa live a quiet life. Coming off the train tracks is “Professor” Harold Hill, a con artist posing as a music director, using his silver tongue and quick wit to convince them to purchase instruments and uniforms for a boys’ band. He intends to leave town with their money before ever teaching them to play the instruments.
“He’s a sneaky fellow, always trying to fool people into his tricks,” said Scranton resident Nick Moore, who plays the shady character.
Singing the play’s popular songs “Ya Got Trouble” and “Seventy Six Trombones,” Hill tells the naive citizens the downside of having a pool table and the benefits of a music band.
This is Moore’s last performance for the Youth Theatre program since he is now a senior. He has been acting since 2016 in the program’s plays, including playing the beast in last year’s production of “Beauty and the Beast.” He also played Dewey Finn in “School of Rock,” Edna Turnblad in “Hairspray” and The Cowardly Lion in “The Wizard of Oz – Young Performer’s Edition.”
“It’s been an amazing, memorable ride,” he said. “Every show I’ve been in, it’s been very great to work with the cast.”
Aidan Matkosky, of Clarks Summit, plays Hill’s friend Marcellus Washburn, who keeps Hill’s ulterior motive a secret.
“My character is a funny, happy-go-lucky guy who is loyal to his friends,” Matkosky said.
An Abington Heights Middle School student, Matkosky aspires to become a professional actor and plans to stay acting in the Youth Theatre Program until he is a senior.
“I love doing plays,” he said. “I will do as many plays as I can until I have to leave.”
Cole Roberts, of Roaring Brook Twp., plays Charlie Cowell, an anvil salesman, who tries to expose Hill as the con man he is.
“I love doing the play,” Roberts said of the ninth play in which he’s performed.
Playing Hill’s love interest and no-nonsense librarian is Abigail Gallagher, of Scranton, whose character sees through Hill’s ruse.
“She’s very uptight in the beginning and Hill changes her,” Gallagher said.
Marian lets her guard down when Hill helps her little brother Winthrop overcome his lisp.
Gallagher is a senior and this is her last play with the Youth Theatre Program, after having played Katherine Plumber in Disney’s “Newsies.”
“I love it,” she said. “They (youth theatre program) are a great people to work with.”
Speaking her lines with an Irish brogue is Morgan Masters, of Jessup, who plays Mrs. Paroo, mother to Marian and Winthrop.
“She’s really nosy and wants to know what’s going on in her children’s lives,” said Masters, who has performed in 14 plays, including “Mamma Mia,” “Legally Blonde” and “The Wizard of Oz – Young Performer’s Edition.”
“It’s a fun experience and I met so many people through this,” she said.
Reach the Abington Journal newsroom at 570-991-6405 or by email at email@example.com.