Tickets Going Fast For This Week's "Music Man'' 

KROC CENTER -- After months of practice, the cast of the Peter Pan Jr. Theater's production of "Music Man'' moved into the Kroc Center Theater this week and is about to launch into a series of performance.
Tickets for Friday and Saturday's performances have sold our already, but tickets remain for Wednesday and Thursday shows. To purchase tickets, go to www.ppjt.org.

A previous posting on this issue follows:

PPJT Poised for "Music Man'' Magic

DALE AVENUE – On Saturday the Peter Pan Jr. Theater backstage crew was meeting at a Starbucks on La Mesa Boulevard preparing the "Green Room'' schedule.

In a large scene studio a few blocks away, sets for this year’s production of “The Music Man’’ were finished and waiting -- built by parents and volunteers.

In the auditorium of La Mesa Middle School, a cast of 90 – decked out in amazingly authentic outfits evoking the early 20th Century – stood quietly as the director, Dr. Mark Arapostathis, tweaked positions, costumes, timing and lines.

The show opens March 16 at the Joan Kroc Center on University Avenue. If this dress rehearsal was any indication, PPJT is poised to add another successful year to a program that has been training students in theater and personal conduct since 1970. Several of the PPJT alums have gone on to careers in entertainment and virtually all of La Mesa’s high school productions have representatives from PPJT productions which begin with fifth graders.

“The Music Man’’ is a theater classic, a period piece set, appropriately in 1912 America, the same year La Mesa was founded as a city.

Listen closely to the book of this show as Arapostathis, who traditionally adjusts a line of the show to insert a local reference, says he’s working on a way to connect the play with La Mesa’s looming Centennial celebration in 2012.

“We have a few ideas,’’ he said.

During this week’s dress rehearsal the fruits of months of labor by young actors and their parents started to take shape. Rhonda Archer and her small army of parent seamstresses were still putting finishing touches to more than 200 professional quality costumes that range from the casual to the formal and on to the marching band look.

One of the joys of the PPJT production is, in fact, the professionalism that drives the effort. From the clothes to the sets, the students find themselves supported just as the actors find at The Globe or the La Jolla Playhouse. Music for the show is performed by professional musicians hired for each production.
During “play week,’’ the cast – excused for the week from school – moves into the Kroc Center where they practice repeatedly to adjust to the real stage and to work on timing with the live musicians.

And throughout, Arapostathis runs a tight ship, demanding good performance in school and at home if the actors are to win a place in his cast.

It is not often that one can support a community institution and enjoy a great evening of entertainment.
Tickets are available at www.PPJT.org

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