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The Jingle Man shows promise

Looking for a show full of excitement? One with music, dancing and romance? And how about a villain thrown into the mix? If the answer is yes, then Chris Tolomeo’s The Jingle Man is the show for you.

In the show, Jerry Niles, a jingle writer for an ad agency, falls in love with Judy Conway, his boss’s daughter.

The boss doesn’t like musicians, so the relationship is doomed from the start. At the same time, Jerry is obsessed with writing a toothpick jingle.

In the end, however, “he finds a way to write the perfect jingle and get the girl back,” Tolomeo, the creator of the show, said. Tolomeo graduated from Eastern in 2002 with a degree in music education.

“It’s going to be a lot like the old Gene Kelly movies,” junior Katie Tricarico, a member of the ensemble, said. “It’s a Singing in the Rain kind of musical. It’s explosive and amazing.”

The entire show grew from a song Tolomeo wrote during college and from his personal experiences.

The show is also semi-autobiographical.

“I’ve seen the way the world treats musicians, like ‘ew musicians,’ so it’s like my life,” Tolomeo said. “Actual dialogue from my life is in the show.”

The Jingle Man is not without its quirky characters. The main character, Jerry, “is basically the heart and soul of the Conway Advertising Agency,” junior Bob Grant, who portrays Jerr, said. “He can write a quick cheesy song for any product known to man, right off the top of his head. He’s sort of like a white version of Wayne Brady. I love how much energy he has, and how absolutely corny all his songs are.”

And then there’s Sam, the best friend.

“The best part about my character is I am the punch line guy,” senior Brandon Rexrode said. “I come in, send off a one-liner and walk right off. It’s nice to play that character you can’t help but love.”

“The best thing about the show is that we’re still in the process of building it,” Grant said. “All of the scenes are being re-written as we do them. It’s never been fully performed before, so we have a real opportunity here to make theatre history. When people are performing this musical in high schools years from now, and in theatres in big cities, I’m going to be able to say ‘Did you hear that line? I WROTE that line!'”

You can see the show on Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. or Feb. 17 at 3 p.m. The show is free, but donations will be taken to cover the development of the show and future marketing.

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