Local performers ‘relocate’ to Iowa for ‘The Music Man’


Ron Morgan (center), choreographer of “The Music Man” at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre and director of Performer’s Edge School for the Performing Arts in Carmel, works with Carmel cast members (from left) Doug Stark, Vickie Cornelius Phipps, Josh Stark, Rebecca DeVries McConnell, Kenny Shepard (of Fishers) and Susan Boilek Smith.

More actors in Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s production of “The Music Man”call Carmel “home” than any other town. But now – at least until May 25 – they are fictional residents of River City, Iowa.

Vickie Cornelius Phipps, as Mrs. Paroo, is taking the Beef & Boards stage for the first time. This Carmel resident moved from California at age 19 to attend Indiana and Wesleyan Universities. Now married and the mother of two sons, Phipps has returned to live theater – a love she discovered in high school.

Also making her Beef & Boards debut is Susan B. Smith, as Alma Hix. A licensed certified public accountant by day, Smith has enjoyed performing since she was young. “I landed the lead as Bossy Betty the Evil Fairy in first grade,” Smith recalls. “I’ve been hamming it up ever since!”


Carmel’s talents are found in choreographer Ron Morgan, who is also director of Performer’s Edge School for the Performing Arts in Carmel.

At the helm of River City is its Mayor Shinn, played by longtime Carmel resident, Doug Stark. The theater’s owner and artistic director, Stark performs each season in a show or two.

Josh Stark, last seen in “Dora’s Pirate Adventure” as Benny the Bull, joins his father on stage as Constable Locke.

Carmel’s talents are also found in choreographer Ron Morgan, who is director of Performer’s Edge School for the Performing Arts in Carmel.

Performer’s Edge is also represented by Westfield High School freshman Rowan Elizabeth Whitcomb, who makes her debut at Beef & Boards as Gracie Shinn.

Kenny Shepard of Fishers plays the role of Oliver Hix. Kenny is perhaps best known as the host of Beef & Boards’ annual Christmas production.

  • WHAT: “The Music Man”
  • WHEN: Today through Saturday – 8 p.m., Wednesday – 1 p.m., Sunday – 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • WHERE: Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre, 9301 N. Michigan Rd., Indianapolis
  • COST: $37 to $60 (includes buffet, coffee and tea)
  • INFO: Visit beefandboards.com

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