Saturday, December 4, 2010
The Sadder But Wiser Girl
There's very little trouble in River City over at the Marriott Lincolnshire's joyous production the classic "The Music Man." I was actually originally surprised and disappointed that the Marriott choose to revive this classic as it's show that's been done quite a bit. After watching it though I was quite pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed it and even got a little teary eyed at the end of the show. It reminded me that this has one of the best books written for a musical with a first act closer that tugs at the heart strings and in Johanna McKenzie-Miller's capable handles wrings the emotion out of it. I thought the dancing was top notch especially with the stage limits and the chorus handled numbers like "Shipoopi," and the "Marian the Librarian" with excitement and fun considering so late in the run. As for the cast I thought the standouts were Mary Ernster's Mrs. Paroo, John Reeger's crotchety Mayor Shinn and Iris Lieberman's Eulalie were all golden portrayals. I did enjoy McKenzie-Miller's Marian but thought she lacked a loneliness and even a great fullness on what Harold has brought out in her but her singing especially of the gorgeous songs "My White Knight" and "Till There Was You" was heaven. As for the mammoth role of Harold Hill I was surprised that I wasn't knocked over by Bernie Yvon. I've seen him in things for years and always thought he has a certain star quality that seemed lacking in this performance. I didn't buy his Harold Hill nor thought that people would follow him around as much as everyone does. His singing in "Trouble" was great but there were some major problems with "Marian the Librarian" almost as if he couldn't sing it in the original key so he choose something that still didn't work. Overall though a good production of a wonderful show.
I do have to say that I was a subscriber for three years at the Marriott and this year decided against renewing due to the upcoming season. They're starting off with "Guys & Dolls" which they did several years ago and seems to be done everywhere, then following it up with "42nd Street" which I remember seeing there years ago, some 60's review called "Shout," I'm really tired that every season one of the shows is a review of music from a particular era instead of an actual show. They then are premiering a world premier musical called "For the Boys" which has to be better then "Once Upon a Time in Brooklyn," or "Married Alive," or will it? Then finishing it up with "White Christmas" a show that will be playing here for the first time this season. I wish since they already have the subscriber base that they would try daring things. I remember there "Sweeney Todd," "Chess," and "Sunset Boulevard" as being thrilling but it seems like they're playing it safe. Where are the "Side Shows," "Kiss of the Spiderwoman," I was so happy they did "Light in the Piazza" last year.