Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER The Music Man
by Jonathan Abarbanel, Windy City Times
2019-07-20

This article shared 1869 times since Sat Jul 20, 2019
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Author: Meredith Wilson ( book, music & lyrics )

At: Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn. Tickets: 312-443-3800; GoodmanTheatre.org; $25-$142. Runs through: Aug. 18

Director Mary Zimmerman won a Tony Award and a MacArthur Fellowship for her imaginative adaptations of classical literature such as The Arabian Nights and Ovid's Metamorphoses. But she's always wanted ( she told me over 10 years ago ) to direct a classic Broadway musical comedy. Previously she's staged Candide and Wonderful Town, both with brilliant scores by Leonard Bernstein, but both with fragmented plots she couldn't overcome. Now, with The Music Man, Zimmerman has staged a strongly-written musical comedy with a memorably tuneful score and an all-American story … and it's a resounding success!

Of course, it's easy to triumph with songs such as "Seventy-Six Trombones," "Til There Was You," "Ya Got Trouble" and all that great barbershop quartet stuff. All you need is a terrific tight marching band orchestra, four guys who actually can sing notoriously-difficult barbershop harmony, a warm-hearted Marian the Librarian and a Prof. Harold Hill who's slickly charming but not too cynical. The rest is a piece of cake, right? The costumes, choreography, scenery, supporting players and the ambience of a kinder, gentler, early 20th century America.

Well, Zimmerman and her fellow artists really do make it seem like a charming piece of cake. Geoff Packard is rakish but likeable as con man Harold Hill, selling musical instruments to the rubes, and he's a master of Meredith Wilson's rapid patter, both sung and spoken. Marian the Librarian—suitably red headed as befits her Irish heritage—is sweet voiced Monica West, whose songs betray her dreamy side so well. The 29-person troupe features top Chicago musical theater veterans, among them ( but not limited to ) Matt Crowle, Heidi Kettenring, Ron E. Rains, Tommy Rivera-Vega, Bri Sudia and Mary Ernster.

The brass-rich, 12-piece orchestra sparkles under musical director Jermaine Hill, earning a well-deserved ovation, although the lone violin gets lost in the mix. Denis Jones's choreography works really well, even with the non-dancers in the ensemble, with Act II's Shipoopi as the delightful highlight. Ana Kusmanic's costumes are fresh, summery and period-accurate down to the shoes. Daniel Ostling's set ( nicely lit by T. J. Gerckens ) is simple but effective with its hedgerow of corn, Midwestern main street and miniature Wells Fargo wagon.

Zimmerman doesn't conceptualize this iconic work but wisely allows it to tell its own story just as written. She understands that The Music Man is an idealized—if gently satirical—version of America, similar to Ah, Wildlerness!, Eugene O'Neill's bucolic comedy also set in an early 20th century summer. Both works offer characters that are inherently good and optimistic. This makes The Music Man pertinent for our time when, regrettably, we are governed by people who are inherently greedy and self-serving ( I won't declare them inherently bad, although some may be ). We have a better nature, as this family friendly musical sings loud and clear.


This article shared 1869 times since Sat Jul 20, 2019
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

THEATER Steppenwolf presenting three Tracy Letts virtual works Sept. 29-Oct. 24 2021-09-18
- Leading up to ensemble member Tracy Letts' production Bug returning this November to Steppenwolf's Downstairs Theater, the company is bringing audiences a sampler of the playwright's voice to their homes with a trio of new virtual ...


Gay News

Frank Ferrante to return as 'Groucho' for one night 2021-09-15
- Actor/director Frank Ferrante returns to his internationally heralded stage performance for one night only in "An Evening With Groucho" on Tuesday, Oct. 26, at the Spiegeltent ZaZou, on the 14th floor of the Cambria Hotel Chicago ...


Gay News

THEATER Out actor Dan Butler to be in 'When Harry Met Rehab' 2021-09-15
- Don Clark, a Chicago-based film/theater producer as well as co-owner of the Chicago Magic Lounge, will present the world premiere of When Harry Met Rehab—a comedy that takes sobriety seriously and is based loosely on the ...


Gay News

Students urged to apply for Musical Theatre Awards 2021-09-14
- Broadway in Chicago is inviting high schools across Illinois to participate in the 11th Annual Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards. These awards celebrate excellence in high school theater throughout the state. Beginning Thursday, Sept. 16, ...


Gay News

First Floor Theater announces 2021-22 season 2021-09-13
--From a press release - CHICAGO, IL (Sept. 13, 2021) — First Floor Theater is excited to announce their ninth live-production season, featuring one world premiere and one Chicago premiere, along with a second round of The Blueprint Commission, it' new ...


Gay News

AstonRep Theatre Company announces 2021-22 season: 2021-09-13
--From a press release - CHICAGO (Sept. 13, 2021) — AstonRep Theatre Company is pleased to welcome back live audiences this fall, kicking off with a revival of Yasmina Reza's frenetic dark comedy God of Carnage, translated by Christopher Hampton and ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Dear Mom, I'm Gay!' on Oct. 1-2 2021-09-11
- Dear Mom, I'm Gay!—a workshop of a new musical by David Dilsizian—is running at The Jarvis Square Theater, 1439 W. Jarvis Ave. It will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 1; and 2 and ...


Gay News

Saint Sebastian Players to perform four shows during 40th season 2021-09-10
--From a press release - The Saint Sebastian Players (SSP) announce the company is resuming live, in-person production with an expanded 40th Anniversary Season. The four-play lineup celebrates genres that have been popular with SSP ...


Gay News

Victory Gardens Theater announces plans for 2021-22 season 2021-09-10
--From a press release - Chicago, IL— Victory Gardens Theater announces their 2021/2022 Season, which will be presented in-person at the Biograph Theater in Lincoln Park. The season will feature three mainstage productions: Queen of the Night by travis tate, the ...


Gay News

Broken Nose Theatre presenting Black LGBTQ drama 'Kingdom' Oct. 4-24 2021-09-10
- Broken Nose Theatre is launching its tenth season with an audio adaptation of its hit 2018 play Kingdom, written by resident playwright Michael Allen Harris and directed by Manny Buckley. Kingdom features ensemble members RjW Mays ...


Gay News

DANCE Ensemble Espanol to open Auditorium Theatre season Oct. 16 2021-09-10
- Ensemble Espanol Spanish Dance Theater, in residence at Northeastern Illinois University, will return to the Auditorium Theatre on Saturday, Oct. 16, at 7:30 p.m. The company will mark the finale performance of its 45th-anniversary "Zafiro Flamenco ...


Gay News

'Close-Up with Carmen' Sept. 9 at Center on Halsted 2021-09-08
- 'Close-Up with Carmen'—about the intersection of drag and opera—will take place Thursday, Sept. 9, at 6 p.m. at the Hoover-Leppen Theatre at Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St. During this event, participants will discuss cross-dressi ...


Gay News

THEATER Neo-Futurists' 'The Infinite Wrench' returns to the stage Sept. 18 2021-09-08
- Chicago's longest-running late-night show, The Neo-Futurists' The Infinite Wrench, kicks off the company's 2021-22 season of programming with a return to weekly in-person performances on Saturday, Sept. 18. The signature ...


Gay News

THEATER 'American Mariachi' at Goodman on Sept. 18-Oct. 24 2021-09-05
- Goodman Theatre is running American Mariachi—a new comedy about the freedom to dream big, written by Jose Cruz Gonzalez, directed by Goodman Resident Artistic Associate Henry Godinez and presented as part of Chicago Latino Theater Alliance's ...


Gay News

MUSIC Upcoming 'Carmen' featuring queer lead, male drag 2021-09-05
- On Sept. 16 and 18 at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph St., Chicago audiences will have the rare opportunity to hear two world-class dramatic mezzo-sopranos debut new roles opposite one another ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.