HELLO BROADWAY FANS! Despite this ongoing time of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re about to experience a MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET in a whole new direction in 11 DAYS. We of course are talking about the 94th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. We at New York Broadway Tours are continuing to show our love and appreciation for this landmark event as it has continued to support our Broadway Theater scene for many years. We got more of the best of the Great Bright Way coming your way on our TOP 30 BROADWAY AT MACY’S PARADE.
At # 11 on our countdown, we take you to the small town of River City, Iowa in the year 1912. There, a traveling salesman (who turns out to be a con-artist) arrives to convince and collect money from its naïve residents in starting their own town Marching Band. However after collecting the money for Instruments, Uniforms, Books, and Lessons, the salesman (in a game of hit and run) immediately takes off before the town realizes they’ve been tricked. However, everything changes for this certain traveling salesman when he is smitten by the town’s resident librarian. We of course are talking about “Professor Harold Hill”, who goes by his notable name….. The Music Man. The show features a score by Meredith Wilson along with Franklin Lacey.
From the 2000 NBC Telecast, Craig Berko as “Professor Harold Hill” and the company of that year’s recent Broadway revival perform a high energy precision medley of 2 of the musical’s notable signature showstoppers YA GOT TROUBLE and 76 TROMBONES (which also turns out to be a appropriate anthem for a big parade).
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 as an early version of rap. That song happened to be YA GOT TROUBLE. The inspiration for the leading lady role of "Marian The Librarian" was a woman that Wilson met during World War II named Marian Seely who was 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. The creative team featured direction by Morton DaCosta and choreographed by Onna White. The cast starred….
Tony winner Robert Preston in a breakout signature performance (later Eddie Albert and Bert Parks) as "Harold Hill"
the legendary and 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. The creative team featured direction by Gus Schirmer Jr. and choreography by Vernon Lusby. The cast featured…
Bert Parks as "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 featured direction and choreography by Michael Kidd. The cast starred….
Dick Van Dyke as "Harold Hill",
Meg Bussert as “Marian”.
Both New York City Center engagements did not receive any Tony Award nominations or wins.
The most recent Broadway revival of THE MUSIC MAN happened in 2000 at Broadway's Neil Simon Theatre running for a total of 721 performances. This production was directed and choreographed by Tony winner Susan Stroman. The cast starred…
Tony nominee Craig Berko (later Robert Sean Leonard and Eric McCormack) as "Harold Hill",
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.
THE MUSIC MAN is officially set to march its way back to Broadway next holiday season when Live Theater resumes. This highly anticipated new revival will be playing Broadway’s Winter Garden Theatre. Previews will begin December 20th, 2021 and will officially open on February 10th, 2022. Under the direction of Jerry Zaks and choreography by Warren Carlyle, the cast will be led by Tony Award winners….
Hugh Jackman as “Harold Hill”
Sutton Foster as “Marian”.
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 directed by Morton DaCosta (who directed the original stage production) and was released in 1962 from Warner Bros. Pictures. The cast featured…
Robert Preston reprising his Tony winning performance as "Harold Hill"
Shirley Jones 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. It was directed by Jeff Bleckner and featured choreography by Tony winner Kathleen Marshall. The cast starred Tony winning favorites…
Matthew Broderickk as "Harold Hill"
Kristin Chenoweth as "Marian".
This TV movie remake would go on to be nominated for 5 technical Emmy Awards that same year.
THE MUSIC MAN today is also a popular show still performed in schools, community, and regional theatres worldwide.
Wasn’t that performance so appropriate for a parade?!!
Who is excited about this timeless show returning to Broadway next year?
#NYBTTop30BroadwayAtMacysCountdown #ThisIsBroadway #HolidaysAreAlmostHere #LetsHaveAParade