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The Dress Circle: Multiple Music Men

Meredith Willson had three musicals that made it to Broadway, and we’re going to be looking at the most famous one, “The Music Man,” on this week’s Dress Circle (2/26 7:00 p.m.) in a program we’re calling “Multiple Music Men.”

“The Music Man” ran for 1375 performances initially, and has been back on Broadway four times. Willson’s other two Broadway musicals “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” and a musicalization of “Miracle on 34th Street” titled “Here’s Love” haven’t ever been revived there. Another show, “1491” about Columbus trying to fund his infamous sea voyage never made it past its first production in Los Angeles.

Our “Multiple Music Men” will sample eight cast recordings and present seven “Harold Hills.”

Of course, we’ll hear from the role’s originator, Robert Preston, who starred on Broadway and in the 1962 film. We’ll also hear from Hugh Jackman, the most recent Hill, Craig Bierko from the 2000 revival, Matthew Broderick from the 2003 TV version, and Van Johnson from the 1961 London original cast. From two studio cast recordings, we’ve got Timothy Noble and Brian Cox.

Our Marians include the role’s originator, Barbara Cook, Sutton Foster, Kristin Chenoweth, Rebecca Luker, Kathleen Brett, and Shirley Jones.

We’ve managed to get most of the score together for “The Music Man,” and we hope that you’ll join us for this celebration of a show that took Willson eight years, thirty revisions, and over 40 songs to get right and boy, did he get it right.

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Ted Otten is co-host of The Dress Circle
Michael is program host and host of the WWFM Sunday Opera, Sundays at 3 pm, and co-host of The Dress Circle, Sundays at 7 pm.
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