During the day, Matt DeLuca and Aislinn Oliveri can be found teaching in the Mineola School District; Oliveri is a music and dance teacher and DeLuca teaches fifth-grade. But after the school day ends, the two educators are pursuing their love of the arts, working as the creative team behind Community Synagogue Theater Company’s upcoming performance of The Music Man.
DeLuca, who serves as director, and Oliveri, who is the show’s choreographer, have been busy rehearsing the actors and working with production staff for the show. This isn’t the duo’s first time working together; they were most recently the creative team behind the production of Suessical at Mineola High School.
The Music Man is a Tony Award-winning Broadway musical that was made into an Academy Award-winning film starring Robert Preston and Shirley Jones. It is considered to be one of the classics of musical theater. The story follows fast-talking traveling salesman, Harold Hill, as he cons the people of River City, Iowa, into buying instruments and uniforms for a boys’ band, despite the fact that he doesn’t know a trombone from a treble clef. His plans to skip town with the cash are foiled when he falls for Marian, the librarian. The score is filled with wonderful tunes including “76 Trombones,” “Being in Love,” “Till There Was You,”“Wells Fargo Wagon,” and the showstopper “You Got Trouble.”
“The Music Man is a masterpiece,” said DeLuca. “It is quintessential musical theater and you won’t want to miss this production.”
Oliveri, who teaches dance at Mineola High School and theatre at the middle school, said her favorite part of choreographing The Music Man was being able to work with wonderful people from all age groups.
“Being able to work with this lovely group of people has been such as joy. Not only does the cast work hard, but the staff and crew for this show is beyond anything I have ever seen.
The talent the crew, set designers and stage managers have is incredible,” she said. “This is a very challenging show, musically, but working with this group of hard working children and adults has made it a pleasure to choreograph. Each person involved in this production has created depth to their character and has applied that to the choreography, music and lines. It has been amazing to watch the cast and crew put so much effort into this show, and cannot wait to see it come alive on stage.”
After graduating from The College of William and Mary with a degree in theater, DeLuca became an elementary school teacher in Mineola where he has stated that he has been blessed to not only teach amazing kids, but to have the opportunity to direct many shows. This is his first time directing for the Community Synagogue Theater Company. Oliveri and DeLuca first met when he cast her as Abigail in The Crucible, and since then they have become friends and colleagues, collaborating on the Mineola High School musical for four years.
“Having the opportunity to work alongside Aislinn and watching her brilliance touch the lives of so many is one of the highlights of my entire career,” said DeLuca.
Oliveri went to Wagner College and majored in theater performance. After Wagner, she went back to school for her masters in educational theater at Adelphi University.
“Being a part of a theater production is so much more than learning lines, music or a dance; you become family,” said Oliveri. “Theater brings together so many different elements of the arts. Actors bring life to the stage, allowing their creativity and expression to shine.”
“I truly believe there is something magical about live theater,” said DeLuca. “I have witnessed first-hand how lives are changed when people come together to create a work of art.”
The Music Man will be performed at the Landmark on Main, Jeanne Rimsky Theater at 232 Main St. in Port Washington on Thursday, April 27 and Saturday, April 29 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 30 at 1:30 and 5:30 p.m. Regular tickets are $28 and premium seats are $44. To order tickets and learn more, visit www.commsyn.org or www.landmarkonmain.org.