WHADDYA TALK, WHADDYA TALK, WHADDTA TALK! We are only 34 days away from Broadway’s biggest night of the year, the 72nd Annual Tony Awards playing you the best spectacular performances from the past telecast..
At # 34 today on our countdown, we take a trip to River City, Iowa where a superstitious sales conman is playing a game of hit and run trying to organize an all boys marching band leader and selling instruments before heading to the next down. However, his world turns upside down when he meets the town’s Librarian. That superstitious man 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 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. The creative team featured direction by Morton DaCosta and choreographed by Onna White. The cast starred?.
Tony winners Robert Preston (later Eddie Albert and Bert Parks) as “Professor Harold Hill”
and the late Barbara Cook Officialas “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”,
and 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 “Professor Harold Hill”.
and 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 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 “Professor Harold Hill”
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.
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. Entertainment. The cast featured?
Robert Preston reprising his Tony winning performance as “Professor Harold Hill”
and Shirley Jones as “Marian”.
The original film was nominated for The Academy Awards 6 times 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.. It was directed by Jeff Bleckner and featured choreography by Tony winner Kathleen Marshall. The cast starred Tony winning and Broadway favorites?
Matthew Broderick as “Professor Harold Hill”
and Kristin Chenoweth as “Marian”.
This TV movie remake was also nominated for a 5 technical Emmy Awards.
Doesn’t this show make you want walk out singing the songs?