The Music Man (1999)

No, I'm not the starting pitcher for the 1975 Houston Astros, that's me as Charlie Cowell, the one guy who doesn't sing.
No, I’m not the starting pitcher for the 1975 Houston Astros.  That’s me backstage as Charlie Cowell, the one guy who doesn’t sing in The Music Man (1999). Yes, that’s burlap.

I wasn’t initially going to audition for the musical (you do NOT want to hear my voice circa 1999) but I did anyway because the same director for First in Line was asked to be in charge of it.  I wasn’t familiar with the show going into that audition, I just knew that it was a highly beloved Broadway musical with some great songs.

If you look up “swan song” in the dictionary, you’ll see a definition of this production, and possibly that picture over there.  Words can’t describe how magical the whole thing was, from beginning to end.  Rehearsals were tough.  Real tough.  As part of the chorus, I had to learn a whole lot of songs that I was unfamiliar with very quickly.  At the same time, I had to learn how to dance, I had to learn some complicated rhythms for the opening number, and I had to deal with the fact that I accidentally dropped a fellow dancer.  (She was okay, just mad) It’s a good thing my course load was light that year, otherwise I don’t think I would have been able to pull this show off.

The final week was extremely tense.  The band wasn’t ready, the dances weren’t ready, and there were still people calling for their lines.  But once we were in costume, and the lights were up, the energy just hit like a bolt of lightning.  We were on point.  Everyone.  There wasn’t a weak spot in the house.  From top to bottom, this was truly the best show I had ever been a part of.

This is another time I look back on fondly.  I was just starting to play in a band, I had a really cool girlfriend, and I was just about to graduate from high school.  But I almost didn’t walk the stage…



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