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CCT students make beautiful music

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By Sara Miller

“Dubuque, Des Moines, Davenport … you really ought to give Iowa a try.” After a weekend in Evergreen without power and piled in late April snow, perhaps we should give Iowa a try. If not in reality, then definitely on stage, in the Colorado Children’s Theatre’s latest production of “A Music Man.”

Coming off a successful run of “Fame,” the students of Colorado Children’s Theatre will metaphorically be heading to Iowa on May 2 when the CCT Junior Company brings the seventy-six trombones of River City to life.

The cast of 27 players from metro Denver and mountain area schools ranges in age from 6 to 12. Director Kerri Vickers is overjoyed with her students’ progress.

“This group truly is one of the best ensembles vocally that I have ever heard,” says Vickers. “They sing together, and I practically fall out of my chair.”

The vast majority of the students have been studying with Vickers and her mother, Karen Tobey, since CCT’s inception three years ago.

“It’s wonderful to see all of the things that we’ve been telling these kids over three years come to fruition,” Vickers says. “We’ve been telling them to work hard and trust the process. To come to this point and see it starting to pay off for these kids is phenomenal.”

Vickers is quick to add that in spite of the tight-knit “family” that CCT has become, there are new additions to the family every year.

“We aren’t an exclusive organization. We have new students coming into the program all the time, and we have families and siblings that return year after year,” says Vickers.

One such returning student is Erika Guth, who will be playing Marian the Librarian.

“Erika has been working toward getting a lead part for three years,” says Vickers. “She walked into rehearsals this year with a new air of confidence, as if to say, ‘I am so ready for Marian.’ And she was right. All of the pieces were in place — the hard work, the confidence level, the maturity.”

Erika will be joined by 11-year-old Lachlan Hyatt playing Professor Harold Hill. Alex Hunter is playing Mayor Shinn, and Elizabeth Edwards is playing Eulalie, the Mayor’s wife. Emily Seracuse is playing Amaryllis, Marian’s youngest piano student, and Jacob Pappert is playing Winthrop, Marian’s lisping baby brother.

“The Music Man” is just the first step for the CCT students in their study of stagecraft. Vickers and Tobey are taking some of the CCT students to Los Angeles in July for a week-long summer camp.

“We’ve rented a theater for the week,” Vickers says. “We’re bringing in some professional actors — both kids and adults who work in the entertainment industry. It’s an exciting opportunity for our students to get a feel for the city and the business. The week will end with a performance in the Little Victory Theatre in Burbank.”

The CCT kids still have a lot of performing to do in Evergreen before they head to the City of Angels. The Wells Fargo Wagon is “a comin’ down the street,” and they’re hopping on board straight toward River City.

INFO BOX:

“The Music Man”

Presented by Colorado Children’s Theatre May 2-3, Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at Evergreen Country Day School, 1093 Swede Gulch Road.

For tickets, call 303-884-8719 or visit www.coloradochildrenstheatre.org.