Review Roundup: THE MUSIC MAN at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres - What Did the Critics Think?

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Review Roundup: THE MUSIC MAN at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres - What Did the Critics Think?

Chanhassen Dinner Theatres (CDT) brings its audiences Meredith Willson's THE MUSIC MAN. a colorful, musical comedy that's all-American as apple pie and a beloved classic for every generation. THE MUSIC MAN opened to a week of previews on February 28 and celebrated its official opening on Friday, March 6, 2020.

Chanhassen Dinner Theatres is the last professional regional theatre to be granted rights to produce the show prior to its major Broadway revival starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster opening in October. Chanhassen Dinner Theatres production of THE MUSIC MAN will run through September 5, 2020. It will be performed eight times weekly with evening performances Tuesdays through Sundays, and matinees on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Dinner and show ticket prices: Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday evenings $78; Friday $93; Saturday evening $93; Wednesday matinees $68 and Saturday matinees $75; Sunday $88. Groups of 12 or more are eligible to receive special discounts. For reservations and information, call the CDT box office at 952-934-1525 or visit

Let's see what the critics are saying...

Basil Considine, Twin Cities Arts Reader: There is a magic in music, but moreso - as the climax of The Music Man tells - in watching children grow and develop through music. This is what gives the show its true emotional heft: watching the characters not in the spotlight smile and beam as the children of River City are swept up and enlivened in the magic. It's the ensemble that sells the con, and the ensemble that sells this thrilling evening of theatre.

Star Tribune: Gruber plays Harold with a light touch and very little cynicism. His glib, ready-to-flatter Harold is more an artist than a criminal. What River Citians see as flaws in themselves, he sees as assets. Again, he's blowing smoke, but they are willing to believe, and that faith inspires them. Gruber is a strong vehicle for such inspiration. Michels brings smarts, steadiness and her gorgeous soprano to Marian, a character who willingly relents to Harold's con because she has a hunger to believe. Her Marian knows his secrets, and that he is likely to love her and leave her like all the rest. But she sees the unintended effect Harold has had on her community, and that is enough for her.

Ross Raihala, Twin Cities Pioneer Press: Like many classic musicals, "The Music Man" does feel painfully sexist and even demeaning to women. But without changing any dialogue, Brindisi has updated "The Music Man" into a show that not only makes sense in 2020, it rings with a deeper sense of joy than the original. This version of Marian is tougher, savvier and more fully realized as a character. She's still looking for love, but she's not a one-dimensional pushover. The change is most notable in two key scenes, when she forcefully kisses traveling salesman Charlie Cowell (Jay Albright) to stop him from exposing Hill and when she confesses her love to Hill, who now spends the song looking away from her with pained guilt. The move amplifies Hill's inherent charm in a character that can come across more like a creepy predator.

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