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On the Bright Side

October 1, 2012

'Music Man' takes show on the road -- to Oman

It has been said that a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. For some local musicians, a journey of more than 7,000 miles begins with a bus ride. 

This afternoon, the cast that performed “The Music Man” at the Glimmerglass Festival in Springfield will board a bus headed to New York City — the first leg of a journey that will take their production to a new opera house in Muscat, Oman.

“It’s a 13-hour flight there, and I think, a 14-hour flight back,” Henry Wager said.

Henry, a fourth-grader at Cooperstown Elementary School, plays Winthrop, the lead child role in “The Music Man.”

“There’s supposed to be a lot of camels just walking around,” Henry said when talking about things he was interested in seeing when he reaches Oman. “How different it is from New York. The weather — it’s supposed to be 90.”

Ten-year old Aria Maholchic, who plays Amaryllis and attends school in Norwich, said cast members found out they had been invited to perform in Oman at the beginning of May.

“It was the day before my first rehearsal,” Aria said. “I was really excited. I didn’t know what to think.”

“I was really, really excited,” Henry agreed. “This is going to be my first time going overseas.”

“The Music Man” was also Henry’s first time acting.

“I was just thinking that I’d get in the chorus, but when I got Winthrop, that was really great,” Henry said. 

Aria has been acting since she was 7, but this was her first professional production.

“I was really excited,” Aria said, recalling the day when she was told she landed the role of Amaryllis. “I found out at school during lunch. My mom called the office.”

“It has been really amazing,” Aria’s mother, Jamie, added. “They got to meet the Omanian ambassador, and they got to work with Marcia (Milgrom Dodge, the director/choreographer for ‘The Music Man’), who has been nominated for seven Tony awards. That’s not something that usually happens to a kid from Norwich.”

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