The Rarick family from Baxter Springs has found that being involved in Miami Little Theatre’s production of ‘The Music Man’ together is a lot of hard work but also a lot of fun. Charlie, the father, is playing Euart, Elaine, the mother plays the “Picklalittle” lady and is part of the town’s people, Kelly, the Rarick’s youngest daughter, plays a teenager. David, the Rarick’s youngest son, has helped with building the set, Elaine said, “He’s been kind of like the foreman when they were building sets and stuff,” and their son Michael plays the conductor and is also part of the town’s people.

The family has participated in other play productions. The Raricks were all part of ‘Scrooge’ performed at the Assembly of God Church and ten years ago they participated in ‘Cheaper by the Dozen’. Elaine played the part of the mother and Michael was one of the children. “We were actually drug into it,” said Elaine with a smile on her face.

Elaine and Charlie were also in MLT’s production of ‘No No Nannette.’ “We brought all the kids and everybody came to practice,” Elaine said.

Kelly said she has early childhood memories of being in the theatre, “I remember playing under the stage when I was little.”

“We got involved in this play when my son Michael found out about it and told us he was going for try outs and my husband said, ‘’Music Man’ we need to go do that’ and he drug me down here again the whole way, with me saying ‘We don’t have time for this, we don’t have time.’ We made time and it’s been fun,”she said.

Charlie actually has a history with the musical, he played Winthrop Paroo in a production of the musical when he was 10 years old. “I’ve been in a lot of plays since then and musicals,” Charlie said.

Kelly said she didn’t even try out. She said, “They just let me be part of it. I just hopped in and started learning. I love being in productions and being on the stage.”

David agreed that he enjoyed working on the production and being with his family. When asked if he enjoyed set production, he said, “ Yes” with a smile.

Michael grinned as he said he could remember being in the Coleman as a child and getting yelled at for running around. He said working with his family has its pros and cons. Michael laughed, “I live with them, so, you know.”

Charlie said, “It’s nice to be involved in something where we can all participate as a family. A lot of things we do now days can divide us so we enjoy the opportunity to be together.”

One thing the family all agreed on is that it was nice to come  together and be part of something they all have a mutual interest in and  share a love for in acting and plays.

 Micheal said he’s enjoying his part and had never met any of the rest of the cast before, but said after practicing together for 6 weeks, “Now it’s like one big family.”

“The talent here is amazing” Elaine said and hopes the family will be involved in future MLT productions.

 Michael’s favorite part of the play is the “Shapoopy dance,” Elaine and Kelly like the library scene. Kelly said,“The song we have to do is creepy but really fun and the dance we have to do is so much fun.”

Charlie said, “I really enjoy singing with the other three guys in the quartet. I’ve had a blast.”

“There’s a lot of great people and we really feel welcome,” he said.

“She knows what she wants and it works” Michael said of Director Pamela Catt.

Elaine has been acting in plays since high school. She said, “We are all involved in the arts, the whole family is artistic, and loves art, drama, dance and music.”

The Raricks have three other grown daughters for a total of six children. Their friends, family and church, The GatewayChurch in Welch, where Charlie is the music pastor, are coming out to support the family and see the show. Michael and Kelly work at Pizza Hut in Baxter Springs and said their employer has worked around their schedule and been great to allow them time off for production.

Michael has enlisted in the Army and will be leaving in October.

The Raricks encourage everyone to come to the Coleman to see ‘Music Man’. “Its funny it’s fun, it’s lively, and everyone will love it,” Elaine said.

When asked about the time commitment of rehearsals Elaine laughed and said. “We haven’t eaten yet. We eat on the run.” 

The Miami Little Theatre’s presentation of ‘The Music Man’ kicks off its 52nd season. “The plot concerns con man Harold Hill, who poses as a boy’s band organizer and leader who sells band instruments and uniforms to naďve townsfolk before skipping with the cash. In River City, Iowa, prim librarian and piano teacher Marian Paroo sees through him, but when Hill helps her younger brother overcome his fear of social interactions due to his lisp, Marian begins to fall in love with Harold. Harold, in turn falling for Marian, risks being caught to win her.

The play was a Broadway smash and received the Tony Award for Best Musical in 1957. The musical features several great songs including “Ya Got Trouble,” Seventy-Six Trombones,” “Pickalittle (Talk-a-Little),” “ Gary, Indiana,” “Till There Was You,” and many more.

The cast includes Jason Miller as Harold Hill, Amanda Cole as Marian Paroo, Matt McClain as Marcellus Washburn, Jerry Venis as Mayor George Shinn, Paula Darnell as Eulalie Shinn, Sallee Barger as Mr. Paroo, and Alex Walls as Winthrop Paroo.

The musical includes a barber shop quartet featuring the vocals of Rod Neal, Brent Ford, Charlie Rarick and Eric Carter. A special appearance by the Miami High School Band will also be a feature of the performance.

The MLT’s  scheduled performances of ‘The Music Man’ is September 15, 16, 17, and 18, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Coleman Theatre in Downtown Miami. For the best seats and tickets call the theatre today at ( 918) 540-2425.