BWW Reviews: Shirley Jones and Son Make Already Spectacular MUSIC MAN Beautiful

August 2
4:05 PM 2012

BWW Reviews: Shirley Jones and Son Make Already Spectacular MUSIC MAN Beautiful

Mother-son pair Shirley Jones and Patrick Cassidy have more than star power. They embody love and sweetness every moment they stand on stage together. And the special "Till There Was You" duet they sing each night through August 5 at Music Circus – more than enough to leave a few damp eyes in the theater – is only a small portion of the magic these two create next to the  beautiful California Musical Theatre summer 2012 cast of "The Music Man."

Jones was pregnant with Cassidy when she filmed the original "Music Man" film. The pair's history with the musical makes the current Music Circus production all the more enjoyable. A few small changes have been made to feature the two, including the short after-show talk and duet. But the MerEdith Wilson musical features a near-perfect script that, unfortunately, leaves Jones with very little stage time. Having originally played Marian the librarian in the film, Jones returns to the musical to play the leading lady's comedic, Irish mother.  While her time on stage is short, Jones quickly proves she still has amazing star talent, and she deservedly gets the most applause of each performance before she even has the chance to say her first line.

Jones' son, Broadway performer and brother of classic rock singer David Cassidy, takes on the role of the con man attempting to get those stubborn Iowans to buy into his scheme of a River City Boy's Band. Patrick Cassidy slurs over his words some in songs like "76 Trombones," which are meant to have a crisp, constant rhythm and beat to them, but his energetic acting captivates the audience at every second. In addition to a wonderful singing voice, Cassidy delivers a strong, confident, yet dreamy Harold Hill.

Cassidy stars opposite Brandi Burkhardt as the hard to break local piano teacher Hill tries to woo. Brukhardt possesses a lovely Broadway-caliber voice.  Her talents easily equal those of the stars surrounding her for this production. And there's plenty more to be found in the lively chorus and in the unique touches actors bring to their supporting roles.

Carter Thomas (Winthrop) has a gorgeous voice for his young age. The quartet (J.D. Daw, Jack Doyle, Michael Dotson and Joseph Torello) provides a consistent highlight of the show with tight harmonies and humorous bickering. Jason Graae adds plenty of pizzazz to Hill's sidekick, Marcellus. Paula Leggett Chase creates the character of the Mayor's wife anew with a wonderfully distinct take on the comedic character. Kevin Cooney stumbles over his words to the perfect effect as the suspicious and clumsy Mayor Shinn. Ron Wisniski is hilarious as the traveling salesman out to tell everyone the truth about Harold Hill. Diane Vincent brings plenty of character to townswoman Ethel Toffelmier. The rest of the women are spot on in their rendition of the fast paced "Pick-a-Little, Talk-a-Little." And Michael McGurk and Bradley Benjamin are adorable as the Romeo and Juliet pair Tommy and Zaneeta (even if McGurk is a bit old for the role).

Creative choreography and beautiful costumes and sets create a wonderful flow for the Music Circus production. "Music Man" is worth seeing just for its two stars, but a perfect cast and lovely production make Music Circus a very bright star, in itself.


The Music Man
Music Circus
Through August 4





Sacramento THEATER Stories | Shows  Like BWW Sacramento  Follow BWW Sacramento

About the Author

Get Author Alerts
Harmony Wheeler Harmony Wheeler is the Marketing Director for Sierra Repertory Theatre and the Marketing and Events Coordinator for Columbia Chamber of Commerce. She also volunteers with (read more...)

  • BWW Review: Jane Austen Fans Embrace an Enchanting New MISS BENNET
  • BWW Review: Cirque du Soleil Visits the World of Avatar in TORUK
  • BWW Review: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Enchants at Playhouse Merced
  • BWW Interview: THE KING AND I's Anthony Chan and Stephanie Lo
  • BWW Interview: Ted Sperling on Rodgers & Hammerstein Concert at SF Symphony
  • BWW Interview: Laura Silverman on Cirque du Soleil TORUK

  • Advertisement Advertisement


    HAIRSPRAY LIVE! Latest - BWW Interview: Kristin Chenoweth and Bob Greenblatt Talk HAIRSPRAY LIVE!
    Folsom Old Tyme Radio Show in BroadwayFolsom Old Tyme Radio Show
    Sutter Street Theatre
    (Runs 3/12 - 12/10)
    A Seussified Christmas Carol in BroadwayA Seussified Christmas Carol
    Sutter Street Theatre
    (Runs 12/10 - 12/24)
    Chicago; The Broadway Musical in BroadwayChicago; The Broadway Musical
    Harris Center for the Arts
    (Runs 3/23 - 3/26)
    The Bodyguard in BroadwayThe Bodyguard
    Community Center Theater
    (Runs 4/18 - 4/23)
    The 39 Steps in BroadwayThe 39 Steps
    Big Idea Theatre
    (Runs 11/18 - 12/17)


    Save $$$ on Tickets to:
    Backstage with Richard Ridge
    JERSEY BOYS' Mark Ballas
    Backstage Bite
    Thanksgiving Special!
    Turning the Tables
    BWW TV LAST MINUTE with Randy Rainbow Congas to ON YOUR FEET!
      Chewing the Scenery with Randy Rainbow
    Randy Rainbow Checks in w/ Liza to Chat HAIRSPRAY, Pence & More!
    Open Mic'ers Bring It All to Broadway Sessions!
    Advertisement AdvertisementAdvertisement Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement