Does Harold Hill have to have a certain "visual" t
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Author:  The Guard [ Thu Apr 24, 2008 9:31 am ]
Post subject:  Does Harold Hill have to have a certain "visual" t

The role of Harold Hill is one of my dream roles. It's the first musical I ever saw when I was little, and I have always wanted to play the part if the opportunity arises. But I don't know that I'd ever fit the part as most people envision it. I'm not exactly soft-spoken, though I can be, and I'm about 6'3, 220 lbs of scary-looking swarthiness (even when I shave). I'm a Baritone, but I can sing tenor parts fairly well, and with a lot of emotion. And I know the music so well it's not funny. I was putting on impromptu performances when I was five years old.

So...would that be a valid take on Hill, or does he have to "look" a certain way? What are you all using to seeing the character portrayed as?

I mean, he's a con man, I always envision him as a man who doesn't fit the role he's trying to play very well, but who still manages to get away with it for a while.

Author:  Brad Walker [ Thu Apr 24, 2008 7:13 pm ]
Post subject: 

Harold is a leading man role that does not require a standard "hunk" in my opinion. It really is all about his personality and stage presence - that comes first. I've played Harold in a community theater show and I'm only 5'9" which is kind of short as far as the theater world is concerned. Also, your height matters most in relation to Marian I'd say. Whenever going for a romantic character, a lot of your looks have to do with your possible love interests looks. Being a little "scary" looking as you say could be okay, as the character is supposed to be a little smarmy.

Author:  Brigantine [ Thu May 15, 2008 6:21 am ]
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I agree, the character is more imporant than the look. He is smart, slick, fast-thinking, and a little *little!* bit oily at times. Well, maybe the best description is Smooth Operator. If you can pull that off and can sing it well, then I'd say you have an excellent chance.
And you'll be making some other tall Marian (like I was, at 5'8") VERY happy to work with a tall leading man!!!!!! My Harold was WONDERFUL, but we were about the same height, which made it dificult to find appropriate footwear for the costumes! ;)

Author:  The Duchess of Mint [ Fri May 16, 2008 5:47 pm ]
Post subject:  New kind of Harold Hill, and the height issue...

Dear Guard,

I know that you don't fit the immediate stereotype of Harold Hill (Ie: Slightly skinny, smooth, young-looking, All-American good guy), but I think that you can still be Harold Hill.

Harold Hill is, first and foremost, a slightly self-worshipping conman, who does not expect to fall in love with anyone, especially someone who's actually smart.

I think that a slightly larger, more imposing Harold Hill could work, as long as he's still all about being All-American and "honest." Actually, I think that Harold could be slightly more imposing, and still be successful, because Marian, who seems quiet, strict, preoccupied with a slightly superficial (?) paranioa and order, and buried up to her nose in books, could actually come right out of nowhere with her brainy sleuthing, and make a more imposing Harold Hill seem super surprised.

Marian has to cause Hill to "get his foot caught in the door", and, if he seems larger-than-life (literally), and take-charge, the moment when he finally decides that he loves Marian will be very sweet, because he will finally be able to show that his heart is as great as the act that he put on for the entire town.

I also don't know that height matters as much as the theatre stereotype says that it does. You'll probably be taller than your Marian, so you won't have to worry much about the height issue, but I still think that there are some female musical theatre characters who COULD be taller than their leading male costars. I think that Dolly Levi could be taller than Horace Vandergelder, and I think that Marian could be taller than Harold Hill. After all, Horace and Harold really think that they own their respective towns, and I think that they'd both see a tall woman as a challenge, rather than seeing her as a threat. Besides, characters like Dolly and Marian don't really blend into their surroundings, so they can afford to be tall, large, not super pretty, etc. Dolly and Marian are, above all else, witty matches for the men who engage in power struggles with them.

If you feel that I'm offending you, feel free to say so. I only know that the theatre world might consider you to be slightly "against-type" for the role of Harold Hill, so I'm thinking that you can explain that your "against- type" qualities can still work.

Thanks in advance for your reply.

Author:  The Guard [ Sat May 17, 2008 10:18 am ]
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My height and weight won't show it, but I'm fairly skinny. I definitely don't fit the stereotype at all. I'm anything but smooth. But then, I thinkt that's half the charm of the character. He could be this man who tries to be smooth, fails miserably, but still gets away with it because the people of the town are so into what he's doing for them they don't want to see how wrong it is, and that he's lying to them, etc.

I'm a pretty good actor, and I don't always come across as imposing, so I have that working for me. Definitely would be about the All American "honesty". I agree that the visuals could work in my favor when he turns himself around, similar to what happens with Billy Bigelow in CAROUSEL.

I've actually lost out on some great roles because I was too tall for female costars. I lost The Beast once, a few years ago, in part because they wanted a diminuitive Belle (didn't make much sense to me, isn't The Beast supposed to be a big fellow)?

I'm not offended at all. I'm definitely not your typical leading man type. But then, at some point, I believe that will start to work in my favor, given my approach to acting.

Author:  magic_to_do_21 [ Sat May 23, 2009 9:29 am ]
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to be fair, if you can act it well enough what you look like should be of less importance.

I'm at a girls school and we're doing it.
I'm 5"7 with long ginger hair and NOT a manly figure but i'm Harold and I have to say it is one of the most fun parts i've ever done as there is so much scope to the character

he is many characters in one
- public speaker - cum- gospel singer (Ya Got trouble = THE best song)
- romantic (towards the end)

If you wanna go for it, GO FOR IT

it is SO much fun and will be worth it

best of luck


Author:  TheMusicMan13 [ Mon Jun 22, 2009 5:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Harold

I was harold hill recently and i didnt think i had what it took to be Him, but if you watch my videos on youtube, you can see that its a very fun part!!! i definitely didnt think i had the guts or right stuff to play that part but, i got a standing ovation every time!!!

Author:  ActingDude17 [ Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:29 pm ]
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Do you have any YouTube videos that you could link us to?

Author:  The Guard [ Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:04 pm ]
Post subject: 

Apologies for missing that last post.

This is the only YouTube video of me I have. This isn't me singing, but it is me "acting".

So what's a good audition song for non traditional Harold Hill?

Author:  The Guard [ Fri Sep 11, 2009 7:49 am ]
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Author:  Jester-Jester Johnson [ Sat Sep 12, 2009 4:30 pm ]
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I'm 6'3" 313lbs and want to be Hill also. So in that case, I think he can played by anyone with charsima and stage presence.

Author:  The Guard [ Wed Dec 15, 2010 12:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Does Harold Hill have to have a certain "visual" t

So it turns out that Harold Hill does not have to be a certain visual type.

It remains to be seen whether Marian is tall, however there were three strong candidates who were.


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