From the executive producers of the Academy Award(R)-winning musical CHICAGO (Best Picture, 2002) comes a fresh interpretation of an all-time classic. Featuring some of the most beloved songs in history, THE MUSIC MAN "is impossible to resist" raves TV Guide. Con man "Professor" Harold Hill (Tony Award winner Matthew Broderick, 1995 Best Actor, Musical) arrives in River City, Iowa, promising that he can teach the small town's children how to play in a magnificent marching band. It's all part of a big swindle, but falling in love with the town librarian (Kristin Chenoweth) wasn't part of the deal. Also starring Victor Garber and Molly Shannon, THE MUSIC MAN is an irresistible production the whole family will enjoy.
Meredith Willson's musical masterpiece is such an American classic, it deserves to be known by each new generation--and this sprightly TV-movie version spiffs it up nicely for the young folk. It's a testament to Willson's achievement that this 2003 production can survive a casting flub: the usually engaging Matthew Broderick's low-key charm is an exact mismatch for the brassy energy of traveling salesman Professor Harold Hill. When Broderick sings the words "thundering, thundering!" from "Seventy-Six Trombones," he sounds as though he's murmuring, murmuring. But he wears well (especially in a nifty "Marian the Librarian"), and he has lyrical support from Kristin Chenoweth's crystal-clear singing. Director Jeff Bleckner has a maddening tendency to cut away from the crucial moment of a scene, but the atmosphere of small-town Iowa is ably created. Adding zip is Molly Shannon, hilarious as chief busybody Mrs. Shinn. In short, the "Think System" still works. --Robert Horton