WHADDYA TALK, WHADDYA TALK, WHADDTA TALK! We are only 24 AWAYS AWAY from Broadway's biggest night of the year, the 73rd Annual Tony Awards playing you the best spectacular performances from the past telecast. Are you ready for more showstopping performances?!! Here comes another classic.
At # 24 today on our countdown, we take a trip to the small town of River City, Iowa in the year 1912. There, we meet a superstitious sales conman playing a game of hit and run. The game is played simple…. organizing an all boys marching band, collecting all the money needed for it (including Musical Instruments, Uniforms, and Music Books), and then heading to the next down before everyone finds out they've been tricked. However, his world turns upside down when he meets the town's Librarian. That superstitious conman I am talking about “Professor Harold Hill”, better known as The Music Man. The musical features a score and book by Meredith Wilson and Franklin Lacey.
From the 1971 telecast (where some of the most famous Broadway stars at the time came back to recreate their iconic performances), the late Tony winning original star Robert Preston as "Professor Harold Hill" and the company perform the song that became well known to this day as the earliest version of rap… the patter showstopper YA GOT TROUBLE.
THE MUSIC MAN was inspired by Meredith Wilson’s 1948 memoir entitled AND THERE I STOOD THERE WITH MY PICCOLO talking about his early life in Iowa and playing in a John Phillip Sousa band. The book did so well, he originally conceived his story as a Musical Television special. However, it did not work out. Wilson later teamed up with Franklin Lacey to edit the book of the show.
In the original script, the character of " Harold Hill" had literally an 8 minute monologue which slowed down the show. They read through it and Wilson started seeing it more as a lyric. The long monologue was then changed into an entire musical named considered as an early version of rap. That song happened to be YA GOT TROUBLE. The inspiration of the leading lady role of "Marian The Librarian" was a woman named that Wilson met during World War II named Marian Seely who as a medical librarian in Utah.
After many years of rewrites, the show had its World Premiere in 1957 at Broadway's Majestic Theatre for 1,375 performances. Under the direction of Morton DaCosta and choreographed by Onna White, the cast starred….
Tony winner Robert Preston (later Eddie Albert and Bert Parks) as "Professor Harold Hill"
the late Barbara Cook as "Marian”.
The original production was nominated for 9 Tony Awards that same year winning 5 including Best Musical, Best Leading Actor in a Musical (for Robert Preston), and Best Leading Actress in a Musical (for Barbara Cook).
The show went on to become a worldwide hit. It was later revived 3 times in New York City.
In 1965, New York City Center presented a limited run of 16 performances stint. The creative team featured direction by Gus Schirmer Jr. and choreography by Vernon Lusby. The cast featured…
Bert Parks as "Professor Harold Hill",
Gaylea Byrne as “Marian”.
The show was then brought back to New York City Center in 1980 for another short stint of 29 performances. This time, the creative team under the direction and choreography by Michael Kidd featured a cast led by ….
the iconic Dick Van Dyke as "Professor Harold Hill"
Meg Bussert as “Marian”.
Both New York City Center engagements did not receive and Tony Award nominations or wins.
The most recent Broadway revival of The Music Man on Broadway happened in 2000 at the Neil Simon Theatre running for a total of 721 performances. This production was directed and choreographed by Tony winner Susan Stroman. The cast starred…
and Tony nominee Rebecca Luker as "Marian".
The revival was nominated for 8 Tony Awards that year including Best Revival of a Musical but lost all the categories.
Most recently, it was announced that THE MUSIC MAN will officially be marching its way back to Broadway in the Fall of 2020. Previews will begin September 9th, 2020 and Opening Night scheduled for October 22nd, 2020 at a TBD Shubert Organization house. Under the direction of Tony winner Jerry Zaks and choreography by Tony winner (and a nominee again this year) Warren Caryle, the cast will star…
Award winning stage and screen favorite Hugh Jackman as "Professor Harold Hill"
Tony winner Sutton Foster as "Marian".
We know for a fact that this new revival will be getting so much buzz.
In addition to THE MUSIC MAN being a successful stage musical. It also became a huge hit on the screen as well.
The original film adaptation was released in 1962 from Warner Bros. Entertainment. Featuring its original creative team under the direction of Morton DaCosta and choreography by Onna White, the cast featured…
Robert Preston reprising his Tony winning performance as "Professor Harold Hill"
Shirley Jones Ingels as "Marian".
The original film was nominated for 6 Oscars that year winning only 1 for Best Score.
In 2003, THE MUSIC MAN was captured on film again. This time it was made as a TV Movie for Disney and ABC Television Network. Under the direction of Jeff Bleckner and choreography by Tony winner Kathleen Marshall., the cast starred…
Tony winner Matthew Broderick as "Professor Harold Hill"
Tony and Emmy winner Kristin Chenoweth as "Marian".
The TV movie remake was also nominated for a 5 technical Emmy Awards.
THE MUSIC MAN today is a popular show still performed in schools, community, and regional theatres worldwide.
Doesn't this show make you want walk out singing the songs?