What's it about?
The story revolves around a charming con artist named Harold Hill, who pretends to be a trained musician and boys' band organizer in order to make money off of selling the band instruments and uniforms to the people of Iowa. The catch? Harold has no musical training to speak of and has no intentions of forming any band. The musical premiered on Broadway in 1957, and Frank Sinatra's production is in honor of the 60th anniversary of the show's Broadway debut.
What I experienced?
I was unfamiliar with The Music Man, having never seen it before on stage, or even the film adaptation. So Frank Sinatra's production was really going to be my first experience of the show. All I knew about Frank Sinatra was that it was a performing arts high school and that it had a really fancy building thanks to a generous donation by Tony Bennett.
As I walked into the school, I was met with the sight of a Salmon-crested cockatoo named Pinkie. The bird was displayed in a large cage by a window, effortlessly flipping and flying around. I found myself wishing my high school had had its own live mascot.
I never knew how many songs from The Music Man I had already heard, but by the end of the first act, there were three songs (Ya Got Trouble!, 76 Trombones, and My White Knight) that I not only recognized, but even knew the words to! The only thing I didn't know was that they were from The Music Man!
And I physically jumped during the number Shipoopi in the second act, because until that moment I had truly believed that the song had come from the creative mind of Seth MacFarlane. I had seen the number hilariously performed in an episode of Family Guy years ago, and lyric for lyric, every word was the same! Even the choreography was similar. Clearly Seth MacFarlane had an appreciation for musical theatre that I had never known about...
The second-to-last song in the score, Til There Was You, was another song that was familiar to me, but hearing it sung by such young artists (teenagers!) playing two adult characters who wanted love and understanding above all else, it was like I was hearing it for the first time. And it was so nice to hear it in the context in which it was written. I felt for Harold, the con man who would give up his conning ways for the woman he loved, Marion. And I identified with Marion, who, in her own words, (as sung in My White Knight) wanted "someone to love [her]," and wanted this someone "to be more interested in [her] than he [was] in himself, and more interested in [the both of them as a couple] than in [her]." I knew she had found that person in Harold.
During the finale, the instrumental students (I presumed) left the orchestra pit and came on stage, where they had the opportunity to show off their musical talent while playing 76 Trombones during an audience-wide standing ovation and sing-along.
Want to see it?
Sorry! This show is longer showing.
What did you experience?
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