The Music Man
By Meredith Wilson andFranklin Leahy
FEBRUARY 13–15, 2020
BOWMAN GRAY AUDITORIUMPURRING TON STAGEDIRECTED BY TED BLAIN
Though the story of the thoroughly unmusical Harold Hill swindling the town of River City with the promise of musical prowess is well known, the real story of the February weekend that saw The MusicMan go up at Woodberry belonged to the show’s director, Ted Blain. Retiring after thirty-eight years at theForest — and with thirty-eight directorial credits to his name — Ted was staging his last show.
To honor the occasion, many drama department alumni joined the audience. And the cast paid tribute bysurprising their director during the final curtain call, bringing him onstage to sing “Amici.” The song wasarranged for the pit band by music director Wallace Hornady, and everyone joined in.
In his valedictory director’s note, Ted listed the many faculty members past and present to whom hefeels gratitude for their help in teaching him his craft. But he counts himself most appreciative of his casts,especially the thirty-five students, faculty members, and local young women who helped him stage his final,and possibly most ambitious, show.
“. . . In the course of three and a half decades, I’ve learned that casts can have their own personalities,”Ted wrote. “I’ve bonded with most, spatted with some, and kept a polite professional distance with a couple.But I’ve been absolutely blessed this winter to have a cast that cared from the outset, a cast that was onboard from the very beginning, a cast that has made rehearsals a daily pleasure. The cast, the crew, thecolleagues: I am forever grateful to each person involved in The Music Man for making this, my last show at
A Musical Curtain Call
for Ted Blain
Rhew Deigl ’ 20 and Reed Taws ’ 20
Riley Cluff ’ 20, Ellett Miller ’ 21, Miller King ’ 20,and Carter Nicoletti ’ 20
Sarah Sydnor, Tracey Stakem, Tammy Firman, KimberKeating, and Lillyana Freitas