Meredith Willson's The Music Man (2000 Broadway Revival Cast) Cast Recording
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Top Customer Reviews
This recording of Susan Stroman's (the woman's a genius) revival of Meredith Willson's classic captures perfectly the essence of the piece. On stage, The Music Man is larger than life and on CD it's bold, it's brassy and it's fantastic. The orchestrations delight, the performances - especially the fantastic Craig Bierko (this show could almost have been written for him) - sparkle. Rebecca Luker is in dazzling form too and a perfect Marian. Sadly you only get a glimpse of the brilliantly camp Ruth Williamson, who is a potential show stealer if ever there was one...!
Unlike the OBC recording, this version has the complete score and what a score it is. It's delivered by the Company exquisitely and Bierko's Harold Hill is a revelation. It's almost unbelievable that this show is Bierko's Broadway debut - he has a presence so rare to find and an ever present twinkle suggesting some sort of mischief is just around the corner!
If you've not bought a show cd before (hmmm, why would you be reading this then?) - make this your first - and get yourself along to NYC and see it on stage too.
76 stars for all involved!
Craig Bierko is wonderful as Professor Harold Hill! With songs such as "You Got Trouble," to the breathtaking "76 Trombones," there is no doubt that he will become a HUGE star of Broadway!
Rebecca Luker's voice (though sometimes a bit fluttery) is in it's peak condition! Her performance in this show overshadows her stint in "The Secret Garden" (yet another great show). Her renditions of "My White Knight" and the hilarious "Piano Lesson" are absolutely grand!
The ensemble though on this CD is the real high point of the show! Songs such as "Iowa Stubborn," "Shipoopie," and "Pick-a-little, Talk-a-little" will remain in your head for days! The best song on the album in my opinion though is the opening number "Rock Island!" How those men remember the lyrics is beyond me, but breathtaking at the least!
I think this revival ranks up there with the Nathan Lane/Faith Prince revival of Guys and Dolls and Showboat, and ahead of the more recent Cabaret and Kiss Me Kate revivals. I heartily recommend that you buy it. I frankly was not prepared to like it or think it as good as I did.
Craig Bierko grows on you; the longer you listen to him, the more he sounds like Robert Preston, and his vocal range and full voice are better than Preston's on the songs that are actually sung. Rebecca Luker sounds almost as good as Barbara Cook, but Cook sounds almost as good as Maria Callas or Leontyne Price, so that makes Luker pretty good.
The actors who play Mayor Shinn and his wife are good, but not Paul Ford and Hermoine Gingold, but perhaps it is not fair to fault them for not mimicking those idiosyncratic character actors. They sing better than they talk.
I usually am leery of revivals because I tend to think the original, if it is immortal, as this show is, cannot be equaled, so why bother; I am glad these people bothered. Susan Stroman is gifted; her arrangements took from the original and added something new, and I can only imagine the choreography. One area where this revival has the original score beat is in its inclusion of more of Whaddaya Talk, scene change music and longer versions of Shipoopi and dance music for 76 Trombones, plus some more of the barbershop music. This foursome is not the Buffalo Bills, but who is; they are on key and brassy, and loud.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A year after the Broadway musical "Bells Are Ringing", Broadway heroine Marion Paroo sang about bells on the hill that she never saw ringing, but definitely finds a leading... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Mark Waltz
Not having seen this production, I can judge the CD only on its own merits. I found it to be just OK - although Craig Bierko's renditions of the Harold Hill songs are eerily... Read morePublished 18 months ago by P. Hedlesky
The Music Man is an evergreen standard of American musicals. It remains as entertaining as ever more than 50 years after the show first ran on Broadway. Read morePublished on February 17, 2011 by L. Roth
I couldn't be a bigger fan of Craig Bierko and Rebecca Luker, but both they and this Music Man dissapoint. Read morePublished on November 20, 2010 by Bruce Balick
This is the best Music Man CD yet! It has enough new instrumentations that it is interesting, but not so many that it is very different than Broadway. Read morePublished on March 29, 2004 by Isaac Evans
If you like musicals, buy this CD. It is THE best Music Man cast recording of all time for one main reason; Susan Stroman (many Tony awards) directed it. Read morePublished on June 10, 2003 by Thomas A
This new Broadway Cast Recording of "The Music Man" is a real treat from start to finish. Whoever discovered Craig Bierko for the title role performed a wonderstroke. Read morePublished on January 24, 2003
The 2000 Broadway revival brought the live-on-stage version of "The Music Man" to a new generation of theatregoers, and this recording will take its place among the... Read morePublished on August 19, 2002 by Tony Parkes