Our Marians: Josie Weinberg & Tobi Baisburd of Bravo@KAT’s ‘The Music Man Jr.’ by Joel Markowitz

Part One: Meet the cast of Bravo@KAT’s The Music Man Jr.
Introducing our Marians: Josie Weinberg & Tobi Baisburd.

Josie Weinberg.
Josie Weinberg.

Hi! My name is Josie Weinberg, I’m twelve years-old, and I play Marain Paroo in Bravo@KAT’s production of The Music Man. I’ve received training in dance, acting, and musical theatre at Adventure Theatre-MTC and Imagination Stage, and I take voice with Rosie Dyer. Previously, I have played Iris Kelly in Fame Jr. at ATMTC and Gertrude Mcfuzz in Seussical Jr. also at ATMTC.

Tobi Baisburd.
Tobi Baisburd.

Hi, my name is Tobi Baisburd. I am 13 years-old and play the part of Marian Paroo in The Music Man. I am currently working with Ms. Lisa Carrier Baker on singing and have taken dance at Musical Theater Center. My previous credits include:  Fame, Jr. where I played Ms. Sherman, Once On This Island as a narrator and in the ensemble, Guys and Dolls as Society Max, and The Wizard of Oz as a Munchkin all of which were produced by Laurie Levy Issembert at Musical Theater Center. I’ve also worked under Darnell’s direction in Fame and The Wizard of Oz.

Joel: Why did you want to be in Bravo@KAT’s production of The Music Man? And why did you want to play this role?

Josie: I wanted to be in Bravo @ KAT’s production of The Music Man because it is the perfect example of great classic musical theatre! I also love all the people involved with the show and have made so many friends through previous shows. I wanted to play Marian because she is very different than the previous roles I’ve played, and she sings great songs!

Tobi: I enjoy the experience of working on musical theater production with other kids who are passionate about theater. I’ve worked with Darnell and Laurie on other productions and I’ve learned so much from them that I wanted to be a part of their first Bravo@KAT production. I wanted the role of Marian the Librarian because it was a good chance to expand my range by playing a character that is so different from who I am.

How are you similar to to Marian? What do you admire most about her?

Josie: In the beginning of the show, Marian is introduced as an uptight and a bit snotty librarian and piano teacher. Her main concern is her family, and she doesn’t have much interest in men until Harold Hill comes to River City. As the show progresses Marian transforms into a headstrong and confident young women. I am similar to my character because I am not afraid to take chances and stand up for what I believe in.

Tobi: Marian is a stubborn woman who stands up for what she believes in. We both share the will to express ourselves without fear. I admire her because she doesn’t let anyone bring her down or compromise the things she thinks are important.

Have you ever appeared in a production of The Music Man before? 

Josie: I have never been in a production of The Music Man before, but I’ve always LOVED the show.

Tobi: No, but I hope to do so again because I love the music.

Set up the songs you sing and tell us what is happening in the story of the show to your character – when you sing the songs.

Josie: After my first encounter with Harold Hill, I sing “Piano Lesson.” In this song I’m arguing with my mother, who wants me to get married, while trying to teach Amaryllis her piano lesson. Next I sing “Goodnight My Someone” to Amaryllis, who loves my brother Winthrop and is discouraged because he “never notices her.” While I’m singing this song I’m also thinking about myself and how I don’t have someone to say goodnight to. Towards the end if the show I sing the duet, “Till There Was You” with Harold Hill. I am finally realizing that nothing mattered until I met him.

Tobi: Marion sings “Goodnight My Someone” where she sings to the Evening Star about the special someone she hopes to meet soon. Of course, she doesn’t know that that special someone is Harold Hill. She also sings “Till There Was You” where she confesses her love to Harold.

What advice and suggestions did Director Darnell Morris give you about playing your character that has helped you mold your performance?

Josie: Darnell has given me so much helpful advice! He has told me to be very standoffish in the beginning off the show when Harold Hill is following her around,  and I really think this helps with the characterization of Marian.

Double cast of ‘The Music Man Jr’: Left to right: Winthrop Paroos: Eli Schulman and Cole Edelstein. Zaneetas and Harold Hills: Anne Coulson and Zachary Conneen, Shira Minsk, and Jake Land. Photo by Erica Land.
Double cast of ‘The Music Man Jr’: Left to right: Winthrop Paroos: Eli Schulman and Cole Edelstein. Zaneetas and Harold Hills: Anne Coulson and Zachary Conneen, Shira Minsk, and Jake Land. Photo by Erica Land.

Tobi: He has helped me connect with Marian by discussing her mindset with me so I could place myself in her shoes.

Why do you think The Music Man is still so popular 55 years after opening on Broadway? 

Josie: I think The Music Man is still popular because if its memorable music, characters, and story!

Tobi: The songs are true Broadway classics. They are songs that everyone loves to sing along with. It is a classic love story between a stubborn woman who refuses to settle for anything less than her ideal man – and the man who things he is changing the woman but is also being changed at the same time.

What has been the most fun for you while rehearsing the show?

Josie: The most fun for me while rehearsing has been all of the crazy, funny, and exciting moments I’ve had with all of my friends!

Tobi: I enjoy sharing the experience and bonding with my castmates. It is also a very special feeling to see how a show develops from just reading the words on the script into a full-fledged production with 76 trombones.

Why do you think young theatregoers will enjoy coming to see The Music Man, Jr.?

Josie: I think young theatre goers will enjoy seeing The Music Man because of its fun music and dancing!

Tobi: Young theatergoers are more used to the modern musical. I think they’ll enjoy seeing a classic musical performed by their peers.

What’s next for you on the stage?

Josie:  I hope to do Bravo @ KAT’s spring show Fiddler on the Roof and many more of Bravo @ KAT’s productions!

Tobi: I hope to participate in Bravo@KAT’s upcoming production of Fiddler on the Roof, Jr.


The Music Man Jr. plays at Olney Theatre Center’s Historic Stage – 2001 Olney Sandy Spring Road, in Olney, MD on Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 1:00, 4:00, and 7:30 pm, and on Sunday, January 20, 2013 at 1:00, 4:00, and 7:30 pm. Purchase tickets online for $18.00, or at the door for $20.00.


Bravo@KAT, Theatre for Young Artists Presents The Music Man Jr. by Laurie Levy Issembert.

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Joel Markowitz
Joel Markowitz is the Publisher and Editor of DCMetroTheaterArts. He founded the site with his brother Bruce to help promote the vast riches of theatre and the arts in the DC Metro area that includes Maryland, Virginia, and DC theater and music venues, universities, schools, Children's theaters, professional, and community theatres. Joel is an advocate for promoting the 'stars of the future' in his popular 'Scene Stealers' articles. He wrote a column for 5 years called ‘Theatre Schmooze’ and recorded podcast interviews for DC Theatre Scene. His work can also be seen and read on BroadwayStars. Joel also wrote a monthly preview of what was about to open in DC area theatres for BroadwayWorld. He is an avid film and theater goer, and a suffering Buffalo Bills and Sabres fan. Joel was a regular guest on 'The Lunch and Judy Show' radio program starring Judy Stadt in NYC. Joel founded The Ushers Theatre Going Group in the DC area in 1990, which had a 25-year run when it took its final curtain call last year. Joel is a proud member of The American Critics Association.



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