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'Music Man' Characters

The following is a list of the characters and my views and opinions of them. Please don't flame me over anything I say here. If you disagree, e-mail me and I'll post your opinion. I give my word I won't ridicule you for it.

Also, (shoulda thought of this earlier) if you know the range of a character (alto, soprano, tenor, bass), please let me know.

Main Characters
Secondary Characters
Tertiary Characters

Main Characters

Craig Bierko as Professor Harold Hill; I would prefer a pic from the film. Professor Harold Hill
The male lead, he's the focus of the whole show. A traveling salesman who sells boys' bands, he can't read a note of music. The stereotypical con man, he gets around that little detail by using the 'Think System', where you don't bother learning to read music. Suffice it to say, he runs into a bit of a problem when he tries to ply his trade in River City, Iowa, in the form of the librarian and piano teacher, Marian Paroo. He eventually falls in love with her and the law finally catches up to him. When the band he's assembled is put to the test, they actually succeed and he and Marian get together at last. I admit, I'm a bit biased towards this guy because Robert Preston played him in the 1962 movie and Preston is one of my favorite actors. Anyway, he's the too-charming-for-his-own-good-type. He knows how to smooth-talk the ladies and worm his way out of difficult situations. Let's hope he chooses a more honest profession once he marries Marian. He does quite a bit of dancing and has solos in most of the songs.
Marian Paroo
The town librarian, she's a spinster waiting for her white knight to come and marry her. What she doesn't realize, at first, is that Harold Hill is her white knight. When her little brother, Winthrop, overcomes his shyness due to his lisp, her feelings towards Harold start to change. She eventually figures out that she loves him and tells him shortly before he's arrested. After he's freed, they get together, at last. Okay, I admit, I have a soft spot for librarians. I've spent a lot of time in libraries, so I respect the men and women who run them. I even considered becoming one, but that's a whole different story. Anyway, this character knows her books, but she knows nothing about men. There's a certain naivete about her and the fact that the other women avoid her doesn't help. Underneath her cool exterior, however, is a firey woman who'll stand up to anyone who riles her temper. Played by Shirley Jones in the film, she does a lot of singing, but not a lot of dancing.
Rebekah Luker as Marian Paroo; I would prefer a pic from the film.
Ron Howard as Winthrop Paroo; I'd prefer a better quality pic. Winthrop Paroo
Marian Paroo's little brother, he's extremely shy because he has a terrible lisp. All that changes when he gets his cornet from Harold. He has a little solo in The Wells Fargo Wagon, but doesn't do much more singing and very little dancing. He's a little boy for Pete's sake! There isn't much else to say except that Ron Howard did a fantastic job of playing him in the film.
Mrs. Paroo
Marian's mother, she's the perfect mother figure for them. She sees Harold as Marian's last chance to be married. Lucky for her that they did get married. Being Celtic myself, I like Irish characters anyway, but Mrs. Paroo is a likeable character anyway. In the movie, she danced a little with Harold, but I can't vouch for the show itself. She was played by Pert Kelton in the film.
Pert Kelton as Mrs. Paroo; I'd prefer a better quality pic.
Still looking for one, preferably from the movie. Marcellus Washburn
Harold's buddy, he was a former partner-in-crime and gets roped into Harold's scam once again when he appears in River City. He works at a livery stable and is generally the typical partner who takes care of little things that the first partner can't be bothered with. He's dating Ethel Toffelmier, his boss's neice. If I were to compare Marcellus and Harold to a comedy team, Marcellus would be the straight man. Played by Buddy Hackett in the movie, he is one of my favorite characters. I'm not sure how much dancing the character does, because Hackett isn't much of a dancer, but he does sing Shipoopi!, one of my favorite songs.
Mayor George Shinn
The mayor of River City, he seems to get his tongue tangled around his eye-teeth a lot, so he can't see what he's saying (i.e. He gets his words mixed up). Harold's smooth-talker charm works on him, too, at first. Whenever he says, "Fourscore..." someone manages to interrupt him before he gets much further. His daughter, Zaneeta is dating Tommy Djilas, the local troublemaker, and he doesn't approve. He wants to see Harold's references, but Harold always manages to avoid giving them. This character provides comic relief whenever he's onstage. And it's funnier because the character doesn't intend for it to be funny. It just comes out that way. Played by Paul Ford in the movie, he doesn't do much singing or dancing.
Still looking for one, preferably from the movie.
Still looking for one, preferably from the movie. Eulalie Mackechnie Shinn
The grand dame of River City, she revels in her position as mayor's wife. Sometimes I wonder if she'd been the same person if her husband hadn't been the mayor. Anyway, she's as suspectible to Harold's as the rest of the ladies. Speaking of them, she's basically their leader by virtue of her position as the mayor's wife. Played by Hermione Gingold in the film, any singing she does is hammed up and the only dancing she does is basically posing. Despite that, it's a fantastic role and it provides a good chance for the actress to steal the show. *evil grin*

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Secondary Characters

Still looking for one, preferably from the movie. Amaryllis
One of Marian's piano students, she's the only one you actually meet. I think part of the reason is that Winthrop is Marian's little brother. To be frank, Ron Howard looked pretty cute. ;-9 Anyway, she explains some things for the audience and she's the one who asks Marian who a girl says good night to on the evening star if she doesn't have a sweetheart. That, of course, led to Goodnight, My Someone. Played by Monique Vermont in the movie, she sings a little, but doesn't do a lot of dancing.
Tommy Djilas
The local troublemaker, I'd say it's only because he doesn't have much else to do. He plays a prank on Mrs. Shinn during the Fourth of July exercises. The Mayor doesn't like the fact that Tommy is going after Zaneeta, the mayor's "oldest girl". Harold, however, feels that they're perfect for each other and encourages them to see each other. Played by Timmy Everett in the film, he does a lot of dancing. Once he has something to do, he doesn't make as much trouble.
Still looking for one, preferably from the movie.
Still looking for one, preferably from the movie. Zaneeta Shinn
The Mayor's "oldest girl", she likes Tommy Djilas, but her father doesn't approve. Harold, however, does approve and he helps her and Tommy. She compares her problem to that of Juliet's in 'Romeo and Juliet'. A giggly schoolgirl, I really don't have much of opinion about her. Played by Susan Luckey in the film, She dances quite a bit, but not as much as Tommy and she doesn't have any solos.
The School Board
Named Ewart Dunlop, Oliver Hix, Jacey Squires, and Olin Britt, they do a lot of singing and, at first, arguing. At the ice cream social, Harold realizes that they harmonize very well and the four of them become friends. They're always trying to get Harold's references, but Harold always manages to get out of giving them. Played by the Buffalo Bills: Al Shea, Wayne Ward, Vern Reed, and Bill Spangenberg, in the film, they sing several songs, but don't do much dancing.
The School Board from the Broadway revival; I would prefer a pic from the film.
Harry Hickox as Charlie Cowell; I would prefer a better quality pic. Charlie Cowell
The name given on his briefcase is actually Charles, but he's called Charlie. He was run out of town because of Harold at the beginning of the show and he's determined to blow the whistle on him. At the end of the movie, he shows up again to blow the whistle. After being waylaid by Marian, he finds the constable, who then finds the mayor. He triggers a mob hunt for Harold. Once Harold's arrested, Charlie kind of fades into the woodwork. Played by Harry Hickox in the film, who played Harold Hill in a touring company, Charlie does a little bit of singing at the beginning, which I wouldn't really call singing, and doesn't really dance.
Constable Locke
The symbol of law and order, he does his best to keep Tommy under control, but Tommy refuses to be controlled, until he has something to occupy himself. A small role, he was played by Charles Lane in the movie and he doesn't do much in the way of singing or dancing.
Still looking for one, preferably from the movie.

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Tertiary Characters

Still looking for one, preferably from the movie. The Ladies of River City
Named Alma Hix, Maud Dunlop, Ethel Toffelmier, Mrs. Squires, and Avis Grubb, they're basically Mrs. Shinn's retinue. If Mrs. Shinn was a queen or empress, these women would be her women-in-waiting. They basically live to gossip. They don't really sing or dance much, although Ethel dances a little with Marcellus during Shipoopi! in the film. They're played by Adnia Rice, Sara Seegar, Peggy Mondo, Mary Wickes (another one of my favorites), and Jesslyn Fax.
Gracie Shinn
The mayor's younger daughter, she's a tattle-tale. When she saw Tommy and Zaneeta walking together down the street, she tattled, and she tattled on Tommy when he set off the firecracker behind Mrs. Shinn. There's a little boy that hangs out with Tommy in the film and Grace spends a lot of time with him. She even dances with him during Shipoopi!. Played by Patty Lee Hilka in the film, she usually dances in the big ensemble numbers and sings with the ensemble, but that's about it. She doesn't have very many lines, either.
Still looking for one, preferably from the movie.
Still looking for one, preferably from the movie. Conducter
The conductor of the train the traveling salesmen ride at the beginning of the show, he doesn't have very many lines. Played by Percy Helton in the film, he doesn't sing or dance at all.
River City Townspeople and Kids
The bulk of the cast, they basically provide back up for the principal actors and make River City look like a small town. I can't even begin to list the names of all the actors and actresses who played them. They do a lot of singing and dancing.
The townspeople singing 'Iowa Stubborn'; I would prefer a pic from the film.
Still looking for one, preferably from the movie. Travelling Salesmen
They only appear at the beginning of the show. They sing Rock Island and, to me, it's not really singing. It's still tough, because I have to be able to do it without support from the orchestra. Again, I don't know all of their names and about all they really do is sing at the beginning.

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