How did Iowa Old Press get even remotely involved in a musical production taking place in The Netherland? If you are curious, read on .......

This past summer I received an email from Anja:

I am trying to find out what papers in Iowa looked like in 1912. The reason for this is that I am a boardmember of a musical club, De Jonge Stem (The Young Voice), for young people (12 - 22 years of age) in IJmuiden a small city not too far from Amsterdam, the Netherland, Europe. Next november we are going to perform the musical The Music Man; well known in the States, but for the first time in our country! This musical is situated in River City, Iowa, as you maybe know. In the first scene there are people sitting in a train, reading a paper. We would like to make it as authentical as possible, so I wonder if you could let me know what an Iowa paper looked like in 1912. I really hope you can help me!
Thank you very much in advance,

Anja & I corresponded back and forth a few times while I dug through my collection of old newspapers, looking for just the right one to send him. Of course I knew I wouldn't have a "River City" newspaper, since it was a fictious name used in the musical, and there is no real town or city by that name in Iowa.

Alas! I didn't have one from Iowa in 1912 either ..... but I did have a Linn co. Missouri newspaper from November 1913.  Close enough, I thought, to be used as a realistic prop! I was excited as I mailed it off to Anja. Summer turned to fall, and then winter. I wondered if I'd hear from Anja, telling me how the musical projection went. Was it a sucess?

This past week I found out .... and was rewarded with photos of the musical cast & the very first Netherlands production of the classic American musical "The Music Man".

Thank-you Anja & congratulations to all of the De Jonge Stem young people!

Sharyl Ferrall
Iowa Old Press, November 2005

Photos of "The Music Man" by De Jonge Stem, IJmuiden, Netherlands
(click the photos to enlarge)

Click to enlarge
The Linn co. Budget that I sent
to Anja
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The cast
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The ladies of "River City"
Anja's daughter is 3rd from right
Click to enlarge
Character Harold Hill
& the school board
"The Music Man"
by De Jonge Stem
IJmuiden, Netherlands
(click the photos to enlarge)
Click to enlarge
Winthrop & Ethe Toffelmeier with
your paper. The boy is 12 years old and he was really very good!

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