"The Music Man" will be this year's production of Zion Opera Workshop in Lehighton.

The musical by Meredith Wilson will be staged March 3, 4, and 5 in Derr Hall of Zion United Church of Christ, Second and Iron St., Lehighton.

Zion Opera Workshop, which has been a mainstay at Zion UCC for the last 41 years is in full swing once again.

This crowd pleasing musical is a story that's been on Broadway stage and on the silver screen.

The Music Man" takes place in 1912 in the small town of River City, Iowa. Swindling con man Harold Hill, played by Zion Opera Workshop veteran Bryan Buffington, arrives in stuck-up River City intending to cheat the community with his standard scam of offering to equip and train a boy's marching band, only to skip town with the money just before they realize he has no musical abilities.

Things don't go as smoothly as planned in this particular town however when the town's librarian, Marian, who is played by longtime ZOW member Jessica Schafer, immediately sees through his scheming ways and works to expose him for the fraud that he is.

To further complicate matters, both the school board featuring quartet Brent Harris, Dave Krum, Eric Werley and Marcus Kunkle, and the mayor, who is played by Robert Fatzinger, are hot on Hill's heels, watching his every step.

As the story progresses, Hill's attempt to establish a boy's band begins to bring the stuffy community together and creates a transformation in the town that Marian is grateful for.

Other roles include: Marcellus- Noah Smith, Charlie Cowell- Justin Plocinik, Mrs. Paroo- Michelle Stoudt, Winthrop- Mitchell Hourt.

Amaryllis- Erin McGinley, Tommy- Ryan Miorelli, Zaneeta- Laura Cressley, Eulelia Shinn- Alyssa Grell, Constable- Allen Heckman, Conductor- Jim Blakeslee, Salesmen- Matt Poirer, Jonathan Rodgers, Adam Richard, Ryan Miorelli and Michael Warkala.

Alma- Elyse Kistler, Maude- Ally Smith, Ethel- Samantha Ciermele, Mrs. Squires- Judy Harris, Gracie Shinn- Mikayla Blakeslee, Driver- Brandon Cressley, Newspaper Readers- Nicolai Kabana, Darrin Wagner, Kane Zerbe, Boy- Josiah Behrens, Women- Sarah Nanovic, Kaitlin Pierkowski, Alyssa Huntington.

Rounding out the cast are townspeople, band members and children: Evy Heckman, Teah Garrison, Jennifer Plocinik, Mike Muffley, Mindy Tkach, Gavin Krum, Maya Schweitzer, Hannah Schweitzer, Macie Hourt, Ally McGinley, Jenna Haydt , April Walker, and Owen Mendes.

The production is under the direction of Zion UCC's director of music, Bradley R. Cressley and Stage Director David Zimmerman.

Rehearsal pianist Cindy Mack will be joined by the Zion Opera Workshop orchestra. Assistant music director is Paul R. Smith, who originated this group back in 1970.

The shows will take place on 7:30 p.m. on March 3, 4, and 5, and also at 2 p.m. on March 5.

Tickets can be purchased from any member of the cast, at Carbon County Music and More, 199 S. First St., Lehighton, or by contacting Box Office Manager Sue Yeastedt at (610) 377-4667 evenings from 5-8 p.m.

For more information visit the Zion Opera Workshop's Web site at www.zionlehighton.org/zow.htm [1].