St. Luke’s Brings “The Music Man” to Federal Way in November

Itching for a bit of Broadway? Well, Ya Got Trouble is coming, because St. Luke’s Theater Company is performing “The Music Man” in November at its Federal Way Church.

It’s the theater company’s first large-scale, full-cast musical since the pandemic began. Usually, the company holds a large community musical every fall, but discontinued this show in 2020 due to security concerns.

The following year, St. Luke’s held a small cabaret-style show, which did not require having too many actors on stage at once. But as the state enters a new chapter in the COVID-19 pandemic, the theater company is confident that now is the time to bring back a full production like “The Music Man.”

“We knew we would come back to it one day,” said director-choreographer Loretta Deranleau-Howard.

There won’t be quite seventy-six trombonists, but the production will involve a cast of around 45 and a production crew and band bringing the entire show to around 100 volunteers.

This is Deranleau-Howard’s 12th performance, and the second time St. Luke’s has performed “The Music Man.” This performance was the first show Deranleau-Howard had ever conducted. (Previously, she had only worked as a choreographer or assistant director.)

Now he’s back by popular demand: The theater regularly polls audiences on what they want to see next, and “The Music Man” is still in the top 5, she said.

Performances will be held November 4, 5, 11, 12 and 13 at St. Luke’s Church, located at 515 S. 312th St. at Federal Way. Friday shows are scheduled at 7pm, and Saturday will see two shows at 1:30pm and 7pm. The last show on Sunday is at 1:30 p.m.

Tickets are $10 and can be reserved at https://bit.ly/3fDeKVS.

Amy Araucto will play Marian Paroo, the stern and shrewd librarian who stars as the charming and assertive Professor Harold Hill. When Hill arrives in the fictional town of River City, Iowa, to find landmarks for his latest get-rich-quick scheme, Marian is the only resident to see through the act – but the two develop a budding romance as they go. they learn things about each other.

“I really see her as the antagonist of the show,” Araucto said. “She’s the one trying to stop the teacher from getting what he wants. She is constantly on her way. …but you don’t want her to come across as just bitter or mean.

This performance will be poetic for Aracuto, as she starred in a production of “The Music Man” when she was 15. Now, 36 years later, she’s back and in one of the lead roles, and her own 10-year-old daughter is also performing in the show in November.

With time comes wisdom and a richer perspective on “The Music Man,” set in the summer of 1912.

“So many things are different because I’m so different,” Araucto said. “I’ve grown from an idealistic child to a wiser, more worldly adult. … I see the big picture. I see it for more than cute songs and dances. I see the tale, which is really about hope, and [how] being part of something can bring hope and joy to those around you.

Although she’s an experienced actress with a BFA in musical theatre, Araucto hasn’t been on stage in 21 years – so it’s admittedly “terrifying” to headline such a massive production.

At the same time, it’s a gift to finally be able to participate in a big production again, she says.

“You don’t take it for granted anymore,” Araucto said. “And that kind of ties into the story, because you bring something to the audience that hopefully will spread joy. … It’s about an incredibly talented cast and staff… who give their time and talent to bring this to the community.

Carl Church, meanwhile, plays Harold Hill, confident and unflappable. He plans to swindle the people of River City, but everything begins to change when Hill meets Marian.

“He’s a good-for-nothing con artist, he comes in and cheats people, takes their money…but he falls in love, and it changes his life,” Church said.

Church began acting after his time in the military and performed in approximately 20 plays with St. Luke’s. This is the third time he has acted in the play, but the first time he has played the main role.

Church jokingly admits he’s not like Hill at all: “I tried selling early in my career. I was not good at it. So his process involved a lot of research and watching other actors play the character.

“Theater has the ability to bring people so much joy, and it was really missed in my life and a lot of people I know,” Church said. “So it’s a huge relief to be able to put on a show and entertain people.”

The cast of The Music Man reunites at the end of a musical number at St. Luke’s Church. Alex Bruell/sound editing