Getting the female lead in "The Music Man" is an experience Katie Walzer will never forget as she prepares to leave high school and head off to Ohio State University possibly to study nursing.

Getting the female lead in "The Music Man" is an experience Katie Walzer will never forget as she prepares to leave high school and head off to Ohio State University possibly to study nursing.

Walzer, a senior at Davidson High School, has been preparing for the role all of her life.

"It is the first big lead," she said, "I usually get the smaller, weird characters. This is very different for me."

Walzer decided to audition for the part of Marian Paroo because she knew all of the songs in the musical.

"I'm a singer," she said.

Ben Miller, the male lead as Harold Hill, has known Walzer since they were in kindergarten at Britton Elementary School.

"Your mom loves 'The Music Man'," he said.

Walzer acknowledged that her mother, who is a music teacher, has a passion for the production and is part of the reason she hoped to play the part of Marian.

The production, which involves acting, singing and dancing, will appear on stage at 8 p.m. May 1 and 2 and at 3 p.m. on May 3.

Despite having to act, sing and dance, Nick Navaratnam, as Marcellus Washburn, said the cast and crew are "psyched" for the event.

"The adrenalin you get from doing the show helps you through the five-hour dance rehearsals," said Miller, who plans to pursue acting at Wright State or Otterbein College.

Maggie Eldridge, playing the part of Mrs. Paroo, said when she leaves the theater for the day, she knows she has worked off everything she has eaten.

It might seem odd that Eldridge acts the part of mother to one her best friends, but she thinks she fell into the motherly role nicely.

Walzer said Eldridge, also a classmate since kindergarten, is the advice-giver in the group.

"I tell everybody to 'wash your hands,'" said Eldridge, who plans to study communications and sign language at Otterbein College in the fall. "Just give me your trash, I will throw it away."

Miller laughed, saying she does.

He is a con man in the production, telling the parents of River City, Iowa, that he can teach their musically disinclined children how to perform.

Miller, who has played several different roles in the high school productions, said when he was going over the script with his mother he realized what a mean character Hill is as he tricks the entire town.

"He's a bad guy you love," said Navaratnam, who plans to pursue business at Ohio State University.

Washburn, a con man gone straight, is a delight to portray, according to Navaratnam.

"I really like Marcellus' voice," he said, "because he has a really funny, nasally voice. I just love the song he gets to sing. He gets one solo song, but it is a show-stopper."

Miller agreed that Navaratnam has the best number in the show.

"It is contagious," said Eldridge.

Navaratnam said he finds himself doing the dance in the number at home with his sister.

While Eldridge is quick to admit that she is not a dancer, the number is fun and she tries it in her spare time.

The song, which sets the tone for the entire production, according to Miller, is the opening number as the cast sits on the train.

Navaratnam said it is a cappella.

"It is no music at all," said Walzer.

Miller described it as a "slam style."

"It's talking, but it is almost in some sort of rhythm," he said.

The cast is excited that the production will have backdrops this year, as it did with "Guys and Dolls" last year.

"They set the mood," Navaratnam said.

Eldridge said she was in the audience last year watching "Guys and Dolls" and was amazed by the backdrops.

"There are some musicals where adding a drop to it, it just makes it that much more fun," said Miller. "They were hanging them up the other day and I was just like, 'Oh my gosh, that's the library! That's the house!'"

Eldridge said it is cool to see the house appear after weeks of using the imagination.

The four seniors said it will be hard to take the final bow from the stage, but it will be fun having the entire cast on stage at one time during the song, "Seventy-six Trombones."