'The Music Man' Opens Saturday on Bergen County Players' Stage

Actors and actresses from around the county have helped make this production magical, says Director Larry Landsman.

It's opening night for the ' production of Meredith Willson's Tony Award winning play "The Music Man."

"It's a beautiful production," said Director Larry Landsman, of Wyckoff. "There is no bigger undertaking than bringing "The Music Man," an American classic, to the stage."

Saturday night's production is the culmination of four months of hard work, hundreds of hours of technical effort and plenty of dedication, Landsman said. 

"This is the biggest show we've ever put on our stage, some folks were wondering if we could even do this show," Landsman said. "It's truly been a team effort."

The cast includes .

Ridgewood's Katie Weigl is playing Marian Paroo, the female lead.

"We're thrilled to have her on our stage for the first time," Landsman said. "She's a consummate professional... she's just perfect for this part."

Weigl credited Landsman's understanding of the inspiration behind "The Music Man" with this production's exceptional presentation.

"I think that what makes it different or unique from any other production...and I've done the Music Man before... [director] Larry Landsman was adamant from the beginning that this musical was a love letter by Meredith Wilson to his hometown," said Katie Weigl, who plays librarian Maria Paroo. "It's a slice of life, but these are real people." 

Weigl said the show doesn't satirize, which is part of its appeal. 

"These are real, endearing, folksy people... I think that's really worked well," Weigl said. "Go to see it, have a great night, leave singing and dancing and you'll be glad you did."

The theater is celebrating its eightieth season this year, and in that time a number of very well known actors have sprung off its stage, Landsman said. 

He called the theater a "proving ground for young actors" and name-checked Broadway actor and BCP alum Rob McClure, who plays the lead in "Chaplin" at the Barrymore beginning on Monday, Sept. 10.

The current cast at BCP is made up of 39 members, with an additional 10 to 12 crew members working behind then scenes at any given time. Each of them is a volunteer.

"Everyone does it for a different reason," Landsman said.

Beyond aspiring professional actors, he noted doctors, lawyers, students and everything in between volunteering to help breathe life into the production.

"It truly is a beautiful production," he said.

The Music Man will run from Sept. 8 through Oct. 6 with shows on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. The Bergen County Players are located at 298 Kinderkamack Rd. in Oradell.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.bcplayers.org, by calling 201-261-4200 or by visiting the box office during regular box office hours, and cost $22.

James Kleimann contributed reporting.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Joseph M. Gerace at Joseph.Gerace@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox every morning, sign up for our daily newsletter.

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