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1 Clay Square, Charleston, WV 25301 #cwv
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Meredith Willson's The Music Man opened on Broadway in 1957 to an audience caught by surprise at the irresistible charm and rousing sentimentality created by the small town River City, Iowans of 1912. The razzle dazzle of Willson's music caused an opening night audience to break out spontaneously into applause. The appeal of the charlatan Harold Hill and his rap style song, Trouble, is just as strong today as in the 50s. Broadway audiences are anticipating the Covid delayed revival starring Hugh Jackman as Hill and Sutton Foster as Marian the Librarian.

The original production starred Robert Preston and Barbara Cook and a book, music and lyrics by Willson and story by Willson and Franklin Lacey, it garnered 8 Tony Awards including Best Musical and the cast album won the Grammy for Broadway Musical Score. A 1962 film starring Robert Preston and Shirley Jones followed and won an Academy Award for Best Score.

Featuring classic songs such as Till There Was You, Gary Indiana, Lida Rose, Goodnight My Someone, Pick-A-Little, Talk-A-Little, Shipoopi and Seventy Six Trombones, the show is an All-American salute to music, romance and fast-talking flim flam. Numerous revivals, international productions, tours, a 2000 Broadway production with Craig Bierko and Rebecca Luker and 2003 made-for-television film with Matthew Broderick and Kristin Chenoweth have followed. Charleston Light Opera Guild has presented the show 4 previous times. The last Guild revival was in 2003 and it was the first community production mounted at the Clay Center.

  • Fred Combs

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