Music Man Set – Finished

Here are the photos of the finished set pieces after a hell of a week with very little sleep. You can check out the initial set sketches here to compare the sketches with the final sets. You can see a few in-process pictures of the build here. There are a few changes to the designs, one being that the Paroo house is flipped from the initial sketches to accommodate the blocking of the scene better. We decided to get rid of the fountain in the town square because it was easier for the dancers to move without it. The set actually came out pretty well, and fairly close to how it was planned, which I am happy about.

I was happy to be able to put this set together for these kids, as they are un-used to having any sort of set at all. They informed me at one point that last year for Guys & Dolls their set consisted of a backdrop of a city and a lamp-post! In fact, they weren’t totally sure what to do with all the sets we had for them, it was a bit of a learning curve getting them to move things around! Enjoy, and thanks for stopping. As always, click on the pictures to view them larger.

Did a quick lettering job on this old suitcase for Harold to flash around during the show.

This is the train car used during the first scene for the musical number “Rock Island,” I found some great old school desks to use for the train seats and painted some old benches maroon for the rest of the guys in the scene.

Here is the River City, Iowa town square. From left there is the Library, Livery stable, City Hall, Billiards Hall, Mayor’s House.

Close ups of the Library and Livery Stable wagons.

Close ups of the Billiards Hall and Mayor’s house wagon. This wagon is one of the largest in the show, being 4 ft x 12 feet. The wall at its tallest is 10 feet and it slopes down to 8 feet at the upstage end. This gives a forced perspective to give more depth to the space.

This is a 12 foot City Hall flat that doesn’t need to move throughout the play. Those are 10 foot columns off to the sides to add a little depth.

Whenever the Paroo house, or the footbridge are on stage, the town square is pushed back to accommodate them, creating a skyline for River City.

The interior of the Paroo house as it looks onstage, skyline in background.

A closer shot of the Paroo house interior. The house is one complete, single wagon that incorporates the porch in front and the small black extension beneath the window is there so that Marian (the librarian) can sit down, look out the window and the entire wagon can be rotated, mid-scene so she can finish the scene singing out of the window and still face the audience. That moment is actually quite nice, and was tricky to incorporate into the design of such a large piece.

The exterior of the Paroo house, showing the porch and the window that Marian sings out of.

The wagons that make up the outside faces of the buildings of Town Square spin around and create another forced perspective bookshelf to give the idea that we are now inside the library. From the left the bookshelves are also the Library, the Livery Stable, and the Mayor’s House/Billiards hall. Incorporating dual-sided walls to create separate spaces was another challenge, but it makes for more efficient use of the small wing-space of the theatre and makes it easier for the kids to just move these pieces around rather than have to move other pieces on and off.

Close-up of the Library shelves with a slight forced perspective.

The left side of the library shelves.

The opposite side of the Train Car wagon is also the Well’s Fargo Wagon. That wheel was a part of a bookstore display, it was two halves of a wheel, but the two parts were actually more than half circles to begin with. I took them to a table saw and cut them to have matching angles so they could be mated together and then bolted to the flat.


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