Kaneland arts festivalâ€™s first summer show
by Paula Coughlan
KANELANDâ€”Kaneland will turn into River City when the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival presents â€œThe Music Man.â€
â€œThe Music Manâ€ will be the first summer-stock musical for the festival, which has presented adult and youth art shows and individual performers since 1998.
Performances will take place Friday through Sunday, July 16, 17, and 18, at the Kaneland High School auditorium.
The showâ€™s director, Diane McFarlin, Kaneland High School assistant principal, has enjoyed live theaterâ€”acting and directingâ€”locally and in New York for 30 years.
â€œI love to work with actors and character development,â€ she said.
Led by Kaneland alumnus Matt Scharlau as â€œThe Music Manâ€ character Harold Hill. The performance features actors aged 8 through 77.
The actors rehearsed last week for their â€œtroubleâ€ and â€œtrainâ€ scenes, with McFarlin drumming her hand on the table to set the cadence for Harold Hillâ€™s oration. Meanwhile, technicians tested backdrops, and choreographer Maggie McCord moved dancers through their paces for a library scene.
Linda Miller, who plays Mrs. Paroo in the show, sings a solo in the production. She became involved in theater when her son started acting at the community college level, she said.
Maria Dripps-Paulson, director of the Fine Arts Festival, has worked with McFarlin before, when they both taught in the Kaneland district.
â€œThis is our first collaboration in several years,â€ Dripps-Paulson said, â€œand weâ€™re really hoping itâ€™ll be a success.â€
McFarlin said she is grateful to the Kaneland School District for providing a venue for the production. She added that the sound system in the auditorium is top-notch.
For a list of cast and crew members (more volunteers are needed), visit www.kaneland-artsfestival.org.
Show times and tickets
Friday and Saturday, July 16 and 17;
and at 2 p.m.
Sunday, July 18.
$10 each, $8 for students
and senior citizens (age 65-plus),
$23 for a family ticket (household).
Reservations are required.
Purchase online at
Photo: Cast members practice a song for the upcoming performance of â€œThe Music Man,â€ set to premier Friday, July 16. Photo by Paula Coughlan