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Fredonia pops concert brings talent from campus and community together
Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Fredonia pops concert brings talent from campus and community together

The cast of “The Music Man in Concert” includes, (front) Adam Hartung (Winthrop) and, (back from left) Michaela Tramuta (Eulalie Shinn), Stephen Keefe (Mayor Shinn), Jeff Kringer (Professor Harold Hill), Lucia Helgren (Marian Paroo), Christine Boehm (Mrs. Paroo) and Kiernan Matts (Marcellus Washburn).

Talent from both the campus and the local community will come together when Rockefeller Arts Center  presents its traditional Commencement Eve Pops concert.

“The Music Man in Concert” will be presented on Friday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m. in King Concert Hall, continuing Rockefeller Arts Center’s long-running tradition of Commencement eve entertainment.

Set in Iowa in 1912, “The Music Man” centers on con man Harold Hill, who poses as a boys’ band organizer and leader in an effort to sell band instruments and uniforms to the naïve townsfolk.

Hill promises to train the new band, but his real plan is to skip town without giving any music lessons. The town’s librarian and piano teacher, Marian Paroo, sees through him. But when Hill helps her younger brother overcome his lisp and social awkwardness, she begins to fall in love. Hill experiences similar feelings and risks being caught to win Marian.

The cast for this concert version of Meredith Willson’s Tony Award-winning musical comedy is a large one. A total of 27 Fredonia students have roles.

In lead roles are:

Jeff Kringer, a sophomore Musical Theatre major, as Professor Harold Hill. His credits include “It’s a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play,” “HAIR: The Tribal Love-Rock Musical,” and “The Laramie Project/ The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later.”

Lucia Helgren, a junior Vocal Performance and Arts Administration double major, as Marian Paroo. Her recent credits include the Hillman Opera productions of “The Merry Widow” and “Susannah,” the 2015 Commencement Eve Pops production of “South Pacific in Concert” and “The 2014 Big Band Christmas Spectacular.”

Christine Boehm, a junior Musical Theatre major, as Mrs. Paroo. Her credits include “Cabaret,” the 2015 Commencement Eve Pops production of “South Pacific in Concert” and “HAIR.”

Kiernan Matts, a senior Musical Theatre major, as Marcellus Washburn. His credits include “Cabaret,” “James and the Giant Peach,” “Footloose” and “The Odd Couple.”

Michaela Tramuta, a sophomore Musical Theatre major, as Eulalie Shinn. Her credits include “Balm in Gilead,” “Man of La Mancha,” “Lizards” and “Suburbia.” A graduate of Fredonia Central School, Tramuta played the title role of Millie in Fredonia High School’s 2013 production of “Thoroughly Modern Millie” and the lead role of Rosie in the 2014 production of “Bye, Bye Birdie.”

Tramuta is not the only Fredonia resident in the cast; three members of the community have key roles in the production.

Stephen Keefe will bring real-life expertise in acting and politics to the role of Mayor Shinn.

Keefe has extensive credits as an actor. He first appeared in “Street Song,” an original play written and directed by Albert Sorci of Fredonia. He has performed in productions by the D & F Players, including “A Thousand Clowns,” “You Know I Can’t Hear You When the Water’s Running,” “Cahoots” and “Murder at the Howard Johnson.” Most recently, he had a cameo role in Brocton Central School’s production of “Annie.”

His political background includes a term as mayor of Fredonia from 2012 to 2015. He has also served as a trustee on the Fredonia Village Board and in the Chautauqua County Legislature.

In addition, Adam and Ava Hartung, the son and daughter of Fredonia staffer Ben and April Hartung, will play the children’s roles in the production.

Adam, a first grade student at Fredonia Elementary School, plays Winthrop Paroo, the younger brother of Marian who is helped by Harold Hill.  He is an active member of the Fredonia Elementary School’s “Morning Announcements” Crew and plays baseball, soccer, basketball, and enjoys painting.

Ava, a third grade student at Fredonia Elementary School, plays Amaryllis, one of Marian’s young piano students. Her most recent role was “Gus Gus” in the Fredonia Playground Drama Day Camp production of Disney’s “Cinderella.” Ava is very active in school, co-anchors Fredonia Elementary School's “Morning Announcements”, takes private piano lessons from Mrs. Ann Rose, plays soccer, basketball, and enjoys swimming.

Tickets for “The Music Man in Concert” are available at the Fredonia Ticket Office in the Williams Center, by phone at 673-3501 and online.

“The Music Man in Concert” is a DFT Communications Pops Series event sponsored by Basil Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac Inc. as part of the Lake Shore Savings Season.

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