MEREDITH WILLSON'S THE MUSIC MAN - Classic Musical Marches To Lake Worth Playhouse
76 TROMBONES SOUND
AT THE LAKE WORTH PLAYHOUSE
The Lake Worth Playhouse is closing out its 2011-2012 season with Meredith Willson’S THE MUSIC MAN, unquestionably one of the most beloved shows of all time.
This Tony Award-winning, critically acclaimed Broadway classic is an all-American institution, thanks to its quirky characters, charming dramatic situations, and one-of-a-kind, nostalgic score of rousing marches, barbershop quartets and sentimental ballads which have become popular standards.
Complete with a stunning and elaborate set, The Music Man features a cast of 45 players, all local talent from the South Florida Community features a soaring soprano ingénue, Emily Thompson, parts for young performers and children and one of the musical theatre’s treasures, a tour de force leading role for the charismatic actor, Tom Cooch.
An affectionate paean to Smalltown, U.S.A. of a bygone era, The Music Man follows fast-talking traveling salesman Harold Hill as he cons the people of River City, Iowa into buying instruments and uniforms for a boys’ band he vows to organize – this despite the fact he doesn’t know a trombone from a treble clef. His plans to skip town with the cash are foiled when he falls for Marian the librarian, who transforms him into a respectable citizen by curtain’s fall.
With more than 40 actors involved in this grand production, The Music Man features many South Florida theatre and Lake Worth Playhouse favorites including: Tom Cooch (Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors, Lawrence Jameson in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Curly in Oklahoma), Emily Thompson (Roxie in Chicago), Briana Pallerine (Annie in Annie) and Simone Kaye (Annie in Annie). Additional Playhouse theatre favorites to make appearances include: Christopher Burdick (Chicago), Sean Gogan (Chicago), Morgan Kennedy (Annie), Bernadette Grosbeck (Annie), Courtney Grosbeck (Annie), Morgan Kennedy (Annie), Anna Leon (Annie), Beck Lester (Biloxi Blues), Bianca Matthews (Annie), Katie McBroom (Chicago), Shenise Nunez (Chicago, Little Shop of Horrors), Manny Oliver (Annie), Larry Parker (Annie), Frank Vomero (Chicago), Marlin Wagner (Annie) among many other new, talented artists.
“Music Man is the quintessential American Musical, it is “Americana” at its best. A witty and heartwarming view of the heartland. This extremely gifted cast, at Lake Worth Playhouse, will make you believe in love and send you out of the theatre singing every memorable song. The show and the cast are a joy to behold. And it is great fun for the entire family.” – Clayton Phillips, Director
“a whopping hit”
“one of the few great musical comedies…”
“…The Music Man, which is as American as apple pie and a Fourth of July oration…The Music Man is a marvelous show, rooted in wholesome and comic tradition.”
-The New York Times
The original production of THE MUSIC MAN opened at the Majestic Theatre on December 19, 1957. Winning five Tony Awards (including Best Musical), the show ran for 1,375 performances. The cast album won the first Grammy Award for Best Original Cast Album. The show was such a sensation that even Jack Lemmon's character attended it (or tried to, anyway) in the 1960's Best Picture, The Apartment.
Willson went through many trials and tribulations in getting THE MUSIC MAN to Broadway. Before achieving his first success on Broadway, Meredith Willson was a popular radio personality and bandleader who occasionally worked with Frank Loesser (GUYS AND DOLLS, HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING). Loesser believed so much in THE MUSIC MAN that he backed it for years of development and produced the original production.
THE MUSIC MAN made a star of Robert Preston. Marian was originated by Barbara Cook, who went on to be one of the most celebrated Broadway singers in history.
The popular 1962 film version had Robert Preston repeating his stage triumph. Shirley Jones was Marian, Hermione Gingold was Eulalie and a young Ron Howard portrayed Winthrop.
The first Broadway revival (directed and choreographed by Michael Kidd) opened on June 5, 1980 at the New York City Center. After eight previews, it ran for 21 performances. The cast included Dick Van Dyke as Professor Harold Hill, Meg Bussert as Marian, and Christian Slater as Winthrop.
The second Broadway revival (directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman) opened on April 27, 2000 at the Neil Simon Theatre. After 22 previews, it ran for 699 performances. The cast included Craig Bierko (making his Broadway debut) as Professor Harold Hill and Rebecca Luker as Marian.
The success of the 2000 stage revival prompted a 2003 television movie starring Matthew Broderick as Professor Harold Hill and Kristin Chenoweth as Marian, with Victor Garber as Mayor Shinn, Molly Shannon as Mrs. Eulalie Mackechnie Shinn, and Debra Monk as Mrs. Paroo.