The Classic ‘Man’ Gets a Fresh Voice

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From left: John Wallis, Alex Camp, Hisato Masuyama-Ball and Robert Schaumann in the Glendale Centre Theatre's production of "The Music Man."

From left: John Wallis, Alex Camp, Hisato Masuyama-Ball and Robert Schaumann in the Glendale Centre Theatre’s production of “The Music Man.”

GLENDALE — This is the play you know and love, but with a new take and a mod­ern approach, said Hisato Masuy­ama-Ball, who is currently cast in a production of “The Music Man” at the Glendale Centre Theatre running through July 5.

“This is done in the round,” Masuyama-Ball explained, “With minimal sets and a close relation­ship with the audience. The pacing is quick and crisp.”

A native of Tokyo, Masuyama-Ball began acting at the age of 10, and when he turned 21, he decided Los Angeles was the place to be if he wanted to pursue a career on the stage.

He said one of the most reward­ing aspects of his current role is that although it was certainly not written with an Asian in mind to play the part, director Valerie Rachelle has focused on talent rather than biology.

“The good thing is that she has been basically color-blind in doing the casting,” Masuyama-Ball said. “It’s been refreshing and I think gives us all a sense of freedom.”

One of the most beloved musi­cals of all time, Meredith Willson’s classic follows the devious plan of a fast-talking salesman and a pretty, no-nonsense librarian. Famed for its rousing score and high-spirited dancing, the play first opened on Broadway in 1957 and has enjoyed countless productions worldwide.

“The Music Man” plays nightly Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m., with a 3 p.m. matinee on Saturday.

The Glendale Centre Theatre is located at 324 N. Orange St. in Glen­dale. Call (818) 244-8481 or visit www.glendalecentretheatre.com/ for tickets and information.

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