Theater: Seventy-six Trombones to lead the Maltz production of The Music Man
The Maltz Jupiter Theatre announced the launch of its second show of the 2012/13 Season with preview performances of The Music Man on Tuesday Nov. 27, and Wednesday, Nov. 28. Opening night is Thursday, Nov. 29.
“This show is entertaining for everyone. The tunes are irresistible, the lyrics are funny and clever, and each song pulls the audience in,” said Andrew Kato, the theatre’s producing artistic director. “The Music Man is a fun-filled tale of risk and redemption, and I think that audience members of all ages will delight in the story’s sense of adventure and classic American sound.”
The Music Man is a musical with book, music, and lyrics by Meredith Willson, based on a story by Willson and Franklin Lacey. It opened at the Majestic Theatre in New York on Dec. 19, 1957 after years of development, more than 40 drafts, and 22 songs discarded from a total of almost forty. It played at the Majestic for three years when it moved to The Broadway Theatre and continued to play for a total of 1,375 performances, closing on April 15, 1961 with five Tony Awards and the release of a film adaptation in 1962.
The Music Man opened in the UK in 1961. It had 21 performances at the New York City Center in 1980; 699 performances at the Neil Simon Theatre in 2000. In 1987, a Chinese translation of the musical was staged at Beijing’s Central Opera Theater.
The story is set in fictional River City Iowa in 1912. Traveling con man, Harold Hill (Matt Loehr) convinces the town folk that they need a school band and should purchase the instruments and uniforms through him.
In his usual scamming way, Hill was prepared to skip town after collecting his money, leaving River City with a leaderless band. However, he hadn’t counted on falling in love with the local librarian (Mandy Bruno). And that put the proverbial monkey wrench into the tale.
When asked why he thought The Music Man beat West Side Story for Best Musical Tony Award in 1957, Mark Martino, the show’s director said, “The Music Man offers some of the most thrilling and innovative scores ever written for musical theatre, including stirring marches, gorgeous barbershop quartets, propulsive character songs, exuberant song-and-dance numbers, achingly beautiful ballads and soaring love songs. “All of these songs are supported by a book that is populated by an eccentric, funny and lovable group of River City citizens – and centered by a truly moving love story.”
For a fun night of family entertainment, come see this show and be prepared to leave the theater humming any of a number of classical theatrical songs that came out of The Music Man including “Til There Was You,” “(Ya got) Trouble,” and “Seventy-six Trombones.”
The production will run through Sunday, Dec. 16, with shows at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; 2 p.m. Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays and 8 p.m. on Saturdays. Tickets start at $46 and may be purchased online at www.jupitertheatre.org.