The Music Man


Did any of you watch the new "The Music Man" on ABC tonight? It's a nice surprise. I was not sure what I'd think of it, because I like the original so much, but this new film is well done. A very good production. Faithful to the original, yet different enough that you can view it as a fresh piece.

The soundtrack is out on CD. Don't know if I'll buy it or not, but I sure will get this new Music Man when it's released on DVD. It's really got some great moments.


Yeah, I really liked it. It's hard not to compare it to the original film, which was *so* good, but if you can look at this on it's own merits, it's quite good as well.

I had bought the soundtrack last week, and will definitely grab the DVD as well.
I really hope ratings were high. These are the types of things that a Disney owned TV Station should produce. Not things like "Are You Hot?" :eek: :mad: :mad: :-[ :- ::) ::) ::)

However, I absolutely loved it. A perfect end to a weekend! I thought Mr. Broderick needed a little bit more emotion in his singing, but it was a really good contrast to the broadway and original film.


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We taped it. I watched the first 5 minutes or so though, before we left the house last night. I am a HUGE fan of the original Music Man and I've seen the Bierko version on B'way and the traveling company version in Tampa....loved the Bierko version because he "was" Robert Preston, but I'm SO connected with "that" kind of Harold Hill that I have real problems separating the good from the bad if it's a different interpretation of the role. And once that's wrong, I find fault with everything else too. But I know I'll watch it anyway....



I know I'm gettng a bit OT from the Disney version, but since you mentioned the Bierko version--I *didn't* care for it for the very same reason that you liked it--he was just doing his Robert Preston imitation. If that's what I wanted, I'd listen to/watch the original.

I'm very glad Broderick put his own stamp on it. It's still hard to not just sit and compare them, since Preston is *so* classic in the role, but I am glad he went a different way.


I'm a huge fan of the original MUSIC MAN. Unfortunately, the snow storm forced me to work at my video store, so I missed the show.

I like Matthew Broderick, but he is in a no win situation when up against Preston.

However, Kristen Chenenworth [sp] is amazing. If you get the CD, listen to her songs on headphones. When you look at her, she seems a little young to play Marian, who has been unlucky in love for years. Listen to her voice, and it becomes very believeable.


Kristin Chenoweth was so great as Marian. I still remember her amazing performance of "Spoonful of Sugar" about a year ago on the Kennedy Center Honors, honoring Julie Andrews. She blew the audience away.

Molly Shannon was really fun as the Mayor's wife last night, and Janine Theriault as Ethel Toffelmier, the pianola girl, was really charming. She looked like something right out of the turn of the century.


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Yeah, I thought it was just ok. I agree with Bill and Sharon. I was really hoping that Mathew would bring more to the table than he did. I could see the potential for where he was leading it, but it just never happened for me. I love Robert Preston, and I thought the original was one of the best stage to film translations ever (as do many people), so there was no real need to remake it other than it being filmed "on location" and have authentic sets and such, but I really didn't mind the studio "look" of the original. I really did like Kristin Chenoweth because she's got such a great voice. Victor Garber and Molly Shannon really didn't do anything for me though.

It's always hard remaking something that was so sucessful, and a classic. It would be much easier to remake something that was done poorly in the first place and the new version can't help but be better. They did that with Annie. The movie version of that was so bad compared to it's stage version. and the new "Annie" remedied that.

The Music Man was not in need of repair...


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Hi there, all!

I have to agree with most of you. I thought it was okay.... and Kristin Chenoweth as Marian was awesome! But somehow it seemed a little lethargic to me. I like Matthew Broderick's different take on Harold Hill, but it seemed almost too understated. I was looking for a little more devilish twinkle in his eye.. or something, I guess. That said, I do think Hill and Marian were a more convincing couple in this version than in the Robert Preston/Shirley Jones one.

As for bad movie musicals that could be redone... what about "Mame"? I believe they have the rights to this one, and at one time Cher was going to be Mame, but I think that fell through. Maybe Liza Minelli could be persuaded. Or Catherine Zeta-Jones? Or Bebe Neiwurth? Or even Carol Burnett? (I know she's a little older but I think she could pull it off) And definitely Christine Baranski as Vera!

Actually, I think the next Disney musical TV remake is "Fiddler on the Roof". And I believe CBS is getting ready to do "Annie Get Your Gun"... with Reba McIntyre, I think.




I was disappointed. :( I really thought Matthew Broderick was miscast. I just didn't believe him as a salesman. He just doesn't have a "sales" personality. I was also sad to see ABC did not have the foresight to produce the show in high definition format. I hate those black bars on the sides of my 16X9 set.
I have to give my thumbs down.

Someone said that Broderick was Miscast. I agree. Someone else said it was lethargic. I agree.

I also had a problem with the design aspect of the film. The muted colors of costume, sets and lighting lent a very "I'm tired" look to the film. It's a MUSICAL. And most musicals require a stylelized (sp?) look, which I couldn't see in this current recreation.

If only network politics didn't play into it... would have been GREAT to have Eric Mcormick. He's a salesman if I ever saw one!

Oh... and the dance numbers were good... just Filmed badly.


Yes, the muted colors bothered me at first. The original film was so colorful and had a 'candy' look and very idealized everywhere, just like Main Street in Walt Disney World. But then the more realistic style of this new film grew on me. It still had a handsome look to it, and bringing each musical number into a variety of locations, instead of just staying in one area, was great.

I think the major flaw of this new version is the casting of Matthew. Whatever he was trying to do with the role, it did not work. He hardly even smiled. There was no twinkle in his eye.

TicketMediaGuy, I was just thinking the same thing about Eric Mcormick. He would have been much better. I also did not like Victor Garber as the Mayor, but I did enjoy all the female leads and little Winthrop was great.

It's really a shame that a more suitable lead was not cast. It would have made this film just wonderful.


I guess what I meant by more "locations" during the musical numbers, was actually the staging of them. In the original "Ya Got Trouble" number, it started off in front of a store and then moved a few feet away to the center of Town and stayed there. In the new version it starts off in front of a store, moves through the streets, into a barber shop, back out into the streets, then into the Billiard Parlor. There was also some interesting choreography involving him jumping onto a moving cart as the towns people followed.

Another example was "Seventy Six Trombones", which included not only the Gym, but moves into locker rooms and classrooms, and then to a second upper level.

I also liked the idea of putting the first rendition of the ladies' "Pick-a-Little, Talk-a-Little" into a Hat shop, and then including the seldom heard reprise in the Ice Cream shop later in the film. Another nice touch was having the busy outdoor streets visible from the interiors of the shops as the scenes were played out.
Re:The Music Man - long winded

To reply to Chris' statement on Erick McCormick (sp?). I had the pleasure of seeing him portray Harold Hill in a concert version at the Hollywood Bowl (Kristin performed her Marion role). Although very different from the "original" music man actor (life of me... forgot his name!), he did an amazing job at recreating the role of a swindling sales man. And I hate to say it, but Kristen's Hollywood Bowl appearance had more depth and entertainment value than this past performance with Mathew Broderick.

I guess that just a good example (if you're not in tune to the world of acting) that an actor REACTS off of the other actor. And unofortunately as we've all discussed here, Mathew Broderick in no way helped give her any good reactions to work with.

Blah. That's all I gotta say about that Mathew boy... BLah....

On a POSITIVE note... When HOW TO SUCCEED premiered in La Jolla, Mathew Broderick did an EXCELLENT job as the lead role. He had a very defined character that was both flushed out as an actor and entertaining for an audience. I think Broderick has slipped as an entertainer over the years since then. There's a term in the theatre world. It's called "phoning in a performance". I highly believe that's what Broderick did.

Victor Garber is a VERY accomplished actor. From Sweeny Todd on Broadway to Damn Yankees in San Diego he always chose roles that fit him (including Cameron's TITANIC), but it eludes me as to WHY he chose this role as a comedic grumpy man. He just couldn't find the right balance of comedy and drama in this role. At time I felt he was down right menacing in a seriouse dramatic way.

Anyway, Yes... the muted colours were VERY brown. If I wanted to see so much brown I would have stared at my backyard for three hours (I can't figure out how to get the grass to grow! I water and I water but... that's another story).

To pull some musical numbers into many different venues didn't HURT this current version of the show. It indeed seemed entertaining, but at times I felt they were too influenced by MTV's music videos. The great thing about this musical is that the music, the plot and the dialog can carry this show very well. To move a number from venue to venue could prove distracting to that music. I feel if they had two more months of creative time they could have saved lots more money and production time by utilizing a FEW venues instead of so many different ones for one musical number.

The funny thing I find about this film is that this SAME production team created the infamous CHICAGO with Richard Geere. Why they chose to keep the orginal Style of THAT production in tact and change the style for Music Man puzzles me. (yeah... I MIGHT be a traditionalist... but I also feel if that if the whell aint' broken....)

But let's all not forget the most important part of this production of MUSIC MAN as well as all the other made for TV musicals. As we may all have different feelings regarding the certain choices made in this TV Film (Yeah, WHY a locker room?! Best Little Whorehouse anyone?) it has become a definate boost to a long lost form of entertainment - MUSICALS. With the success of CHICAGO and the powerhouse of the recent MOULIN ROUGE my hope is that more musicals will be created for film (Original or from the vaults of countless Regional theatres and Broadway Theatres). This would be a great boost to a re-discovery of a past traditional form of family entertainment - Something that has been sparadiclly (sp?) missing for a long time.



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No more fishy that John Goodman and David Ogden Stiers making it their lifes' work to be a voice in every animated Disney movie known to man.....



I thought the Disney version of the Music Man
was interesting. Matthew was a little wrong for
the part, I would have loved Mandy Patinkin,
he really has the voice for that role.
I also wish that the role of Mrs. Perue had
been played by Barbara Cook, she originated
the role of Marian on Broadway and still has
one of the greatest voices. I also would love to
see someone redo the film version of Mame and
Camelot, this time using actors that can sing!