The Music Man is a timeless classic that has been produced by many professional and amateur theater companies, adapted into a television movie and a film. The show's success led to a long-running 2000 revival on Broadway. It was also made into a television adaption, film adaption and countless of professional and amateur theater productions. Basically, it's a favorite among many and a staple in anyone's musical theater CD collection. Artistry Theater in Bloomington, MN has picked this production for their 2017-2018 season and has already had massive success. The production is sold out and it runs from Oct. 14 - Nov. 5.
The Music Man, directed by Angela Timbermann, takes place in River City, Iowa. The fast-talking con-man Harold Hill creates quite a buzz when he comes to town. Swiftly, he convinces the town's parents to pay for a variety of uniforms, instruments and more for the children of River City to start a band. He offers them classes and to direct...however he knows nothing about starting a band. While he plans his departure from the town with his reward, he unexpectedly falls for the town's young librarian. This production has an unforgettable score including Broadway favorites such as Goodnight My Someone, Ya Got Trouble, Marian the Librarian, Shipoopi and my personal favorite Til There Was You.
The thing about this particular production is that it is nothing short of an impressive production value. The cast, dancing, set and lights are all fabulous. The set was minimal but served its purpose. The actors are all talented and dance wonderfully with Michael Gruber's choreographer (who also played Harold Hill). It's energetic at times, silly at others and engaging for the entire audience.
The acting by Harold Hill and Marian Paroo (played by Jennifer Eckes) were the exact leads that Artistry needed to lead this show. Harold was and is the star of the show. The tone of his voice is rich and beautiful even after intense dance breaks. While Harold is suave and charming, Marian parallels with being typically uptight but with a golden voice. She effortlessly hits the highest of notes throughout all her solos.
Artistry is clearly doing something right because, at the time of seeing this production, it was completely sold out. They continuously produce well-known musicals that resonate with their core audience and knock it out of the park. However, this production was not my favorite. The only thing wrong with this production is that it's The Music Man. No matter how talented the cast is I just am not a fan of the actual script. Personally, I think it drags a bit and can suffer from pacing issues and this one did.
As I mentioned before the cast is stellar and that should not take away from the fact that I didn't like the actual show. Artistry is an amazing theater that produces extremely high-quality theater. Even though The Music Man is sold out, be sure to stop by their website because Artistry is producing so amazing pieces later this year and next including The Last Five Years and Follies!