Sunday, July 13, 2014

This ‘Music Man’ is a family affair

March 14. 2013 9:35PM

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Professor Harold Hill might be a con man, but at least he’s a lovable one.

“He kind of wins you over in the relationships he makes,” said Angel Berlane-Mulcahy, who is directing “The Music Man” for Little Theatre of Wilkes-Barre.

Hill arrives in small-town River City, Iowa, with big talk of a marching band he can establish. It will keep the youths away from the pool hall, out of trouble, and not-so-coincidentally give him a chance to sell musical instruments and uniforms they might never get a chance to use if he skips town.

Marian, the local librarian, sees through the swindle — but loses her heart anyway.

“She says in a song that she doesn’t need a Lancelot or an angel with wings, just ‘someone to love me,’ ” Berlane-Mulcahy said.

Hill, for his part, might be ready to give up his life of dishonesty and settle down.

“It’s that time,” the director said. “He needs change. He needs someone to wake him up, and Marian is that somebody.”

For “The Music Man,” Berlane-Mulcahy is in charge of a large cast of close to 40 people, among them several sets of family members.

Appearing as townsfolk are real-life relatives Lisa Gumbravich of Hanover Township and her daughter, Christa, Lisa Zurek of Ashley and her son, Gregori, Marikate Sullivan of Wilkes-Barre and her brother, Luke, Michael Paglia of Shavertown and his children, Heather, Ben and Dan, Bill Ulichney of Wilkes-Barre and his sister, Mary Ann Ulichney, Dave Baker of Luzerne and his brother, Brandon, and Jen Kozerski of Bear Creek and her sister, Missy.

“It’s nice to see so many families. They’re enjoying it together and having that bonding time,” said the director, who knows whereof she speaks.

She and her brother and sister, who were home-schooled, often appeared in plays together when they were growing up, and their mother often helped with costumes or worked the sound board.

More recently, her mother was handling sound for a 2003 production of “Footloose” at Little Theatre when she introduced Angel, who had the major role of Ariel, to Bernard Mulcahy, who was taking care of the lights.

Angel and Bernard are married now, and if he can get off from work, he’ll be helping out with this play, perhaps helping to dispel any trouble that might arise in River City.


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