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Music Man, The - The New Broadway Cast
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Catalogue No: CASTCD85

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Meredith Willson's The Music Man has brightened the American musical landscape from its Broadway debut in December of 1957 to a stunning revival over forty years later. The Music Man was Meredith Willson's debut as a Broadway composer and author. The show swept the Tony Awards, beating out another landmark musical of the 1957-58 theatre season, West Side Story. It took more than six years and 40 different drafts, including a period of collaboration with Franklin Lacey, who shares story credit.

Meredith Willson's (1902-84) prior career endeavors had been as writer, humorist, radio conductor and personality. His intention for The Music Man was to write a musical story about his boyhood in Mason City, Iowa, largely at the suggestion of his friend, Frank Loesser and producer Kermit Bloomgarden. A musician himself, Willson played the flute in a town band. He left Iowa to study at the Damrosch Institute of Musical Art, later known as the Julliard School, in New York City. This started a career that led him to play, at age 17, with the John Philip Sousa Band, then the New York Philharmonic in 1925. In 1929, he became the musical director of the newly-formed American Broadcasting Company. Willson moved on to the western division of NBC Radio, where he served as musical director for various radio programs throughout the '30s, '40s and '50s. While in Hollywood, he composed and conducted for motion pictures such as The Little Foxes and orchestrated The Great Dictator starring Charlie Chaplin. While a member of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, he composed his first symphony, entitled San Francisco, which he also conducted.

The Music Man enjoyed a long life on Broadway, running a total of 1,375 performances at New York's Majestic Theater, not to mention countless touring, stock and amateur productions and a successful Warner Brothers movie.
Meredith Willson went on to write Here's Love, a musical adaptation of the famous film holiday classic Miracle On 34th Street. He wrote one more hit musical, The Unsinkable Molly Brown. In the late '60s, Willson's last attempt at writing for the stage was a musical re-telling of the life of Christopher Columbus and his queen, entitled 1491, which played for four months on the West Coast.

On April 27, 2000, director/choreographer Susan Stroman (Contact, Show Boat, Crazy For You, Steel Pier unveiled a production that is as fresh as when The Music Man opened on Broadway 43 years ago. Stroman's approach to small-town America as seen through the eyes of legendary con-man Harold Hill is so lovingly faithful to the spirit of the original production that Willson would be proud. As American as apple pie, The Music Man dignifies the art of the musical through innovative song, inspired dance and an adult love story. The new Broadway cast recording demonstrates for a new audience that The Music Man is indeed timeless.

Recording produced by Hugh Fordin
Associate producers: David Chase & Ray Roderick
Orchestra conducted by David Chase

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1. Overture 2. Rock Island 3. Iowa Stubborn 4. Ya Got Trouble 5. Piano Lesson/If You Don't Mind My Saying So 6. Goodnight, My Someone 7. Seventy Six Trombones 8. Ice Cream 9. Sincere 10. The Sadder But Wiser Girl 11. Pick-A-Little, Talk-A-Little/Goodnight Ladies 12. Marian The Librarian 13. Gary, Indiana 14. My White Knight 15. Wells Fargo Woman 16. It's You 17. Pick-A-Little, Talk-A-Little (Reprise) 18. Lida Rose/Will I Ever Tell You? 19. Gary, Indiana (Reprise) 20. Shipoopi 21. Till There Was You 22. Seventy Six Trombones/Goodnight, My Someone 23. Finale Ultimo







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