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Holmes Theatre summer camp kids to present "Music Man Jr." on July 21-23

A total of 35 kids signed up for the summer theater camp at Detroit Lakes' Historic Holmes Theatre this year — which means that the cast of "The Music Man Jr." will be the largest for the Holmes' summer musical to date. Three shows are planned between July 21-23 on the theater's main stage.

Music Man Jr.JPG
The young cast of the Historic Holmes Theatre's 2022 summer musical, "Music Man Jr.," had a little fun posing for a cast photo before starting their last week of rehearsals leading into opening night on Thursday, July 21, 2022.
Vicki Gerdes / Detroit Lakes Tribune
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DETROIT LAKES — It's 1921 in River City, Iowa, and Harold Hill is just about to take center stage.

That's the familiar opening to "The Music Man," one of America's most iconic works of musical theater. And while the "junior" version of the show won't be quite as long as the original work by Meredith Willson, the essential elements of the show being presented at the Historic Holmes Theatre on July 21-23 will be the same.

"It's a classic," says Kendra Gilsdorf, who is directing her fourth summer musical for the Holmes Theatre this year. "It's been performed by generation after generation, and it's very cool how timeless (the story) is. It's kind of like a warm hug."

Ethan Hendrickson, who is appearing in his third summer musical at the Holmes, will be portraying the aforementioned Harold Hill.

"Jenna (Deremer, who plays Marian Paroo, the female lead) told me I was going to do the summer musical this year," he said with a laugh, but added that he had no regrets. "It's one of the best things I can do with my summer. I get to do all this fun stuff, with people who love doing the same things. It's so awesome!"

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Deremer, who is appearing in just her second summer musical at the Holmes, was similarly enthused with the experience. "I really like creating a bond with the cast and the directors."

She added that she "really likes" her character, Marian, because "she sticks up for herself and doesn't let the townspeople get in her head or change the way she thinks."

Though it's less than a week before the show opens, choreographer Hope Hansen is more excited than nervous at the prospect.

"It's (the show) really coming along," she said, adding that she thinks the cast will be ready to put on an awesome production.

"It takes place in 1912," Hansen said, adding that it's been "really fun to explore a different time," with all its attendant customs, speech patterns, clothing and attitudes.

And while, with 35 kids in attendance, the show is their biggest undertaking to date, Gilsdorf and Hansen, along with musical director Nick Larson, feel they are up to the challenge.

"We really have a dedicated cast of kids," Gilsdorf said, adding that even with a five-day break over the July 4th holiday weekend, they have continued to show up for rehearsals without fail, every Monday through Friday from 1 to 5 p.m., since they started on June 20.

"This is the fourth year that we've been doing this together, and we've learned a lot," Hansen added. "And we can feel the love... the support between the cast and the directors."

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"The elements are starting to come together, and it's exciting to see," Gilsdorf said. "No one's going to want to miss this show."

If you go

What: "The Music Man Jr."
Where: Historic Holmes Theatre, 806 Summit Ave., Detroit Lakes
When: July 21 and 22, 7 p.m.; July 23, 2 p.m.
How: Tickets available online at dlccc.org/holmestheatre.html , by phone at 218-844-7469, or in person at the Holmes Box Office before the show. Cost is $10 for adults, $5 for students.

A reporter at Detroit Lakes Newspapers since relocating to the community in October 2000, Vicki was promoted to Community News Lead for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and Perham Focus on Jan. 1, 2022. She has covered pretty much every "beat" that a reporter can be assigned, from county board and city council to entertainment, crime and even sports. Born and raised in Madelia, Minnesota, she is a graduate of Hamline University, from which she earned a bachelor's degree in English literature (writing concentration). You can reach her at vgerdes@dlnewspapers.com.
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