Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

April 23, 2008

The Music Man- A 50th Anniversary Tribute

The Bushnell, Hartford
April 22nd-27th, 2008
By Rachel White

Marching into Hartford's Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts as part of their 2008 Broadway Series, "Meredith Willson's The Music Man" celebrates the timeless Broadway and film classics' 50th Anniversary and brings with it a star-studded cast, both new and legendary to the musical's history. Produced by the Bushnell's own Vice President and starring the famous mother and son duo of Shirley Jones and Patrick Cassidy, this wonderful story unfolds using the entire theatre as its stage and set.

For those in need of a refresher, Shirley Jones played the role of Marian in the film version, while pregnant with her son Patrick. In this anniversary edition, Jones shines in the role of Marian's mother, Mrs. Paroo, while Cassidy is completely stunning in the role of Professor Harold Hill. Creatively staged, the musical is told by the cast and the orchestra, which stays on the stage throughout the entire performance. The conductor actually plays a pivotal role in delivering the story to the audience and adds his own humor to the performance.

True to film version, the ensemble delivers a colorful and energetic performance to the classic songs such as "Goodnight My Someone," "Marian the Librarian" and ever-famous "76 Trombones," which will have audiences clapping and singing along throughout the evening. Notable and endearing is the roles played by the children actors who completely captivate with their talent and maturity while sharing the spotlight with more seasoned performers.

The Bushnell should be applauded for this wonderful and rare opportunity that it offers to patrons by bringing this fun, family classic for audiences of all ages to enjoy. The chance to see Shirley Jones and Patrick Cassidy perform together is a memory theatre-goers will be sure to treasure long after the curtain closes and the band has marched out of Hartford.