Unauthorized parody imagines ‘Peanuts’ as teens
How many trombones can file through Oulu Community Theater’s home stage in ‘The Workshop?” By the time the 11-performance run of the troupe’s musical, “The Music Man,” is over, the total will be 836: “76 trombones in the big parade” each night.
Meridith Willson’s “The Music Man” centers around a fly-by-night con man named Harold Hill. He comes to a Midwestern town with a scam to teach a boys marching band by the ‘think system. But things don’t go as planned when he matches wits, and strikes romantic sparks, with a lovely librarian. The musical features a host of memorable tunes, including “Ya Got Trouble,” “Goodnight, My Someone,” “Seventy-six Trombones,” “Gary, India na” and “Till There Was You.”
The show opened last night. Additional dinner theater shows are slated for 6:30 p.m. tonight, Saturday, Thursday and April 11. Matinee performances take place at 1:30 p.m. Sunday and April 13. Evening shows without dinner begin at 6 p.m. Sunday, 7 p.m. Wednesday and 6 p.m. April 13. Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for children age 12 and younger; dinner theater tickets are $25 each. To reserve tickets, call Arlene at 715-372-8493 or Margie at 715-372-4102.
Every other year, The Workshop comes alive with drama thanks to volunteers and community support. Volunteers build set, costumes and props themselves with zero budget. Then, they give their proceeds away. Oulu Community Theater has donated more than $32,000 to youth activities in the area. They’ve purchased skates, books and even a furnace. They’ve funded 4-H activities, youth clubs, school activities, libraries, baseball facilities and ice skating facilities.
“You can’t get a whole lot more non-profit than us,” said Eunice Laakso, who has directed many of the company’s productions.