Through November 10, 2019
“The Music Man” is an apple pie, All American, feel good musical which gets a fresh, dynamic and engaging production at GLT under the creative direction of Victoria Bussert.
As is the case with all Great Lakes Theater productions, this "Music Man" is shared with the co-producing Idaho Shakespeare Festival, where all performances are staged in an undoubtably cavernous outdoor amphitheater. That may be why this otherwise ernest production at the comparatively intimate Hanna Theatre (with the orchestra hidden under a stage that extends into the audience) comes across as way too broad -- and even strident at times. It's a big brass band of a show marching through a living room, and it's a missed opportunity to mine a bit of nuance in a high-school/community theater warhorse.
Nothing beats a well conceived and executed live performance of this classic Broadway musical and Great Lakes Theater does an extraordinary job. The casting is perfect, the music stirring and the acting superb. Come witness Broadway magic in the intimate Hanna Theatre.
How many ways to say “wonderful?” Meredith Willson’s beloved classic, "The Music Man," now at Playhouse Square’s Hanna Theatre inspires a search for fresh adjectives to describe this lively look at small town life in 1912. Director Victoria Bussert and her cohorts make every minute engaging, from overture to triumphant finale.
The Music Man won Best Musical at the 1957 Tony Awards. In the right hands (and this Great Lakes production is), it’s still easy to see why: terrific score, romantic storyline, and engaging, loveable characters (even the villains turn loveable despite their villainy). It’s just fun to imagine living in 1912 River City, Iowa (at least in the Disneyfied version of Willson’s River City we see here).