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The Music Man

by Meredith Willson


Department of Musical Theatre

April 16-19, 2015 • Power Center

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The Story: 1912 River City, Iowa, is your typical bucolic, small, Midwestern town filled with stubborn, persnickety townsfolk with a gossip circle that would put the NSA to shame. Into this rather unwelcoming environment comes fast-talking salesman Harold Hill, ready to solve all the town’s troubles with a boy’s brass band. Intrigued by the promise of shiny instruments and grand uniforms, the townspeople fall under Hill’s spell. Uncertain of Hill’s spiel, the Mayor enlists the local librarian/music teacher and a quartet of council members to verify Hill’s credentials. As Hill evades questions and romances the librarian, his efforts begin to transform the dull town. He tries to keep everyone at bay just long enough to skip town after he gets his money but perhaps love will foil his plans.


Background: Writer/composer Meredith Willson spent six years, wrote 30 drafts, and composed over 40 songs in his quest to bring The Music Man to the stage. A valentine to his hometown of Mason City, Iowa, the show is irresistibly All-American, evoking nostalgia for small-town values. Its score is filled with favorites including “Till There Was You,” “Gary Indiana,” “Lida Rose,” and “Seventy-Six Trombones.” Winner of five Tony Awards in 1957, The Music Man edged out West Side Story for Best Musical and won the first Grammy for Best Original Cast Album. The musical was adapted for film in 1962 and television in 2003. Heartwarming, and rousing, The Music Man is “…as American as apple pie and a Fourth of July oration…a marvelous show, rooted in wholesome and comic tradition.” (New York Times)


Artistic Staff

Director/Choreographer Linda Goodrich
Conductor Jason De Bord
Scenic Designer Rusty Jones
Costume Designer Jessica Hahn
Lighting Designer Mark Berg
Wig Designer Dawn Rivard
Stage Manager Miriam Michaels




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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower