The Music Man

Music, Lyrics & Book: Meredith Willson

Blasting Meredith Willson to the forefront of American musical theatre, The Music Man was a project that had been many years in the making. The idea for the show was originally suggested by Frank Loesser who was fascinated by Willson's tales of growing up in his small Iowa town. But it would be eight years before Willson was satisfied with the script. During that time, he would go through more than 30 revisions and write over 40 different songs.

The plot revolves around "Professor" Harold Hill, a con-man who--in order to sell band instruments--convinces the citizens of River City, Iowa that he can teach their children to play in a magnificent marching band. But Hill doesn't count on falling in love with the town librarian, and instead of skipping town before the instruments arrive, he is convinced to stay.

The Music Man opened at the Majestic Theatre on December 19, 1957 with Robert Preston playing the role of Harold Hill and Barbara Cook as Marian Paroo, the town librarian. The show ran for 1,375 performances. Preston reprised his role in the 1962 film version.

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