Theater News

Deaf Actor James Caverly to Star as Harold Hill in The Music Man at Olney Theatre Center

Television audiences know Caverly from his memorable turn in ”Only Murders in the Building”.

James Caverly will lead the cast of The Music Man at Olney Theatre Center.
James Caverly will lead the cast of The Music Man at Olney Theatre Center.

James Caverly will star as Harold Hill in a new production of Meredith Willson's The Music Man, which will feature a company of both Deaf and hearing performers. Previews begin at Olney Theatre Center on June 17 ahead of an official opening on June 23. Performances are scheduled to run through July 24.

Now enjoying a blockbuster revival on Broadway, The Music Man is about traveling salesman (some might say, flimflam artist) Harold Hill, who arrives in River City, Iowa, peddling marching band instruments and uniforms. Will his con be exposed by the shrewd Marian the Librarian (played here by Adelina Mitchell) or will the two fall madly in love?

The production is co-directed by Deaf performer Sandra Mae Frank and Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma's artistic director Michael Baron, who have reimagined Willson's idyllic yet prickly Iowa town as a place where Deaf and hearing people coexist in community.

Caverly is best known to television audiences for his performances in the Hulu series Only Murders in the Building. In that true crime podcast send-up, he played Theo Dimas, the Deaf son of a deli tycoon who owns an apartment in the luxury co-op in which the show is set. Before that, he was a staff carpenter in Olney Theatre's scene shop.

In addition to Caverly and Mitchell, the cast of The Music Man features Vishal Vaidya as Marcellus, who will perform the vocalizations in the songs of Harold Hill. Additional cast members include Florrie Bagel as Ethel Toffelmeier, Heather Marie Beck as Alma Hicks, Amelia Hensley Eulalie Shinn, Matthew August as Tommy, Gregor Lopes as Olinn Britt, Andrew Morrill as Mayor Shinn, Anjel Piñero as Woman #1, Mervin Primeaux-OBryant as Maude Dunlap, Nicki Runge as Mrs. Paroo, Christopher Tester as Oliver Hicks, and Dylan Toms as Ewart Dunlop. Rounding out the ensemble are Jay Brisby and Sarah Ann Sillers. Swings include Sophia Early, Aarron Loggins, Jane Enabore and Stephen Russell Murray.

Music director Christopher Youstra conducts a 10-piece orchestra that also chips-in on the barbershop quartet for "Lida Rose." Karma Camp choreographs, with Michelle Banks serving as the director of Artistic Sign Language.

The creative team for The Music Man includes set designer Ethan Sinnott, costume designer Rosemary Pardee, lighting designer Jesse Belsky, Olney's resident sound designer Matt Rowe, projections designer Sean Preston, and stage manager Ben Walsh.

Tickets are currently available and range from $42 to $85, which is just $9 more than it costs to stand through all 2 hours, 45 minutes of the Broadway production.