“The Music Man” Coming to Central Wisconsin

Film poster for The Music Man (Photo by GAB Archive/Redferns)

Lucille Tack Center for the Arts to Host “The Music Man” Musical

Led by seventy-six trombones, Trouble with a capital “T” is coming to Central Wisconsin!

“The Music Man” (music, and lyrics by Meredith Willson, based on a story by Willson and Franklin Lacey) will be performed at Spencer’s Lucille Tack Center for the Arts (LTCA) courtesy of the Spencer School/Community Musical. Directed by Spencer alum Elaine (Meinders) Jones, the musical features the talents of many local performers young and old.

Fulfilling the role of Professor Harold Hill is Spencer native Andrew Dillenburg. No stranger to the stage, Dillenburg has been in love with theatre since fifth grade, where he performed in an original play written by his teachers.

“My role was ‘Mr. Maxwell Coffee’ where I played a teacher that loved coffee and dramatically scolded kids for not getting their homework done,” said Dillenburg. “I loved going to shows at the LTCA as a kid and by the time I was in high school I wanted to participate in theatre productions.”

Taking each opportunity as it came, Dillenburg enjoyed each experience big and small. In 10th grade, he played a cowboy in the community musical “Girl Crazy” and later that year played a dopey maintenance man in “My Sister Eileen.”

“The director, Kristin Lohrentz, gave me some freedom to improvise in that show and I loved it,” he said of that experience. (Lohrentz appears as Mrs. Paroo in The Music Man.)

As a high school senior, Dillenburg played the role of Charlie Brown in the musical “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” and that spring was a side character in the play “Zap!”

Andrew Dillenburg will portray Professor Harold Hill.
Andrew Dillenburg will portray Professor Harold Hill in LTCA’s “The Music Man.”

While studying music and education at Viterbo University, he performed in two chamber operas, playing the roles of Betto del Signa in “Gianni Schicchi” and Spiridione in “The Night Bell.” Along with studying music theory and arranging, piano, music history, opera, conducting, sight singing, diction and foreign language, Dillenburg also sang in choir and with a small a cappella group called “9th Street Singers.” In total, he performed in five operas, a senior recital, and outside of school wrote and performed rock music with friends as part of the band “Cardiac Radio.”

For Dillenburg, performing is a fun stress relief and a way to explore other identities.

“I love pretending to be someone else, temporarily. On stage, I can’t be Andrew Dillenburg in that moment, I have to be my character and live in a different world,” he said. “It sounds kind of crazy, but to me, acting allows me to put aside stresses in my real life and be somebody else for a while.”

Dillenburg also loves collaborating with other community members and students.

“It’s amazing how many memories we have made and continue to make during our rehearsals and time spent together,” he said. “I would have to say that’s probably my favorite part of being involved in a theatre production.”

Now working as a music teacher in the Spencer School District, Dillenburg credits the theatre with helping influence his career choice.

“Having the LTCA in our community played a big part in that as well,” he said. “I wanted to continue to perform with the community theatre productions.”

Though performing once before as Pat in the LCTA presentation of “State Fair,” bringing to life the lead Professor Harold Hill in this fall’s production of “The Music Man” is easily Dillenburg’s biggest role to date and he is enjoying every moment of it.

“My favorite part of ‘The Music Man’ has been seeing the characters develop,” he said. “As we’re putting the show together, we run through our scenes each night. But now that we’re getting more comfortable with memorization of lines, and the relationships between characters (both good and bad) the show is really taking off into something realistic. We’re able to see each scene as something that could happen in real life with genuine reactions and responses to the events taking place.”

Though a well-known classic, Dillenburg shares that LCTA’s presentation of “The Music Man” is special due to the people involved.

“A lot of people really love the show, but I think what makes our effort special is our cast,” he said. “Many of us have been in shows together in the past and there’s a lot of talent in our group.”

He adds that the music is unique and rhythmic, and many songs are beautiful with lots of incredible singing, including barbershop quartet style songs as well as dramatic, lamenting love songs.

“We’re working hard to put on an excellent show,” he said. “If you’re a fan of the show or never heard of it before, you will enjoy it!”

“The Music Man” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on November 4 and November 5, with a matinee performance at 2 p.m. on November 6. General seating tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youths.