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Meredith Willson's The Music Man (2000 Broadway Revival Cast) Cast Recording

4.6 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Cast Recording, June 13, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

Choreographer-turned-director Susan Stroman struck gold twice in the 1999-2000 Broadway season, first with her dance play Contact and then with her grand revival of Meredith Willson's The Music Man. One of the most loving--and beloved--celebrations of Americana ever to grace the stage, The Music Man captures the soul of the heartland with its evocation of brass bands, barbershop quartets, and even piano lessons. The titular role of the fast-talking con man who hoodwinks an Iowa town has, perhaps more than any other role in musical theater, always belonged to one performer: Robert Preston, who starred in the original 1957 Broadway cast and subsequent 1962 film. Craig Bierko, a movie actor making his Broadway debut, acquits himself well, sometimes sounding astonishingly like Preston but without aping him. In his hands, "76 Trombones" remains a rousing signature tune. As Marian the librarian, a radiant Rebecca Luker (star of the Broadway revivals of Show Boat and The Sound of Music) beautifully delivers her ballads, including "My White Knight," which was written for the original stage production but replaced in the film by "Being in Love." Longtime fans will appreciate the inclusion of the barbershop tunes "Ice Cream" and "It's You," and the dance music in "76 Trombones," "Marian the Librarian," and "Shipoopi," as well as a booklet with full lyrics. Preston's magical performances are irreplaceable, but this energetic revival is worthy of a spot on your shelf. --David Horiuchi

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Overture
  2. Rock Island
  3. Iowa Stubborn
  4. Ya Got Trouble
  5. Piano Lesson/If You Don't Mind My Saying So
  6. Goodnight, My Someone
  7. Seventy Six Trombones
  8. Ice Cream
  9. Sincere
  10. The Sadder But Wiser Girl
  11. Pick-A-Little, Talk-A-Little/Goodnight Ladies
  12. Marian The Librarian
  13. Gary, Indiana
  14. My White Night
  15. The Wells Fargo Wagon
  16. It's You
  17. Pick-A-Little, Talk-A-Little (Reprise)
  18. Lida Rose/Will I Ever Tell You
  19. Gary, Indiana (Reprise)
  20. Shipoopi
  21. Till There Was You
  22. Seventy Six Trombones/Goodnight, My Someone
  23. Finale Ultimo

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 13, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Cast Recording
  • Label: Q. Records
  • ASIN: B00004TJ9M
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,397 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert Lopez on June 15, 2000
Format: Audio CD
The new 2000 Cast Recording of the Music Man has some great material, even including some songs never released before such as "Ice Cream", "Gary Indiana" (by Harold Hill), "Pick-a-little (reprise), and a whole lot a dialogue added, deaming it the "Premiere Cast Recording of the Complete Meredith Wilson Score. I would Highly recommend this CD for anyone who's auditioning for a part in the show, or who's working on it. Although I would highly recommend the Original Cast recording with Robert Preston and Barbara Cook. New comer Craig Bierko (Harold Hill) does not upset at all, as a matter of fact I found him quite charming, but he does have some pretty big shoes to fill. As does Rebecca Luker (Marion Paroo), but I had a bad experience with her watching the TONY AWARDS a few years ago when SOUND OF MUSIC was up. She played Maria and I felt her voice was weak, and not controlled. She sings quite nicely on this CD, my faith is somewhat restored. Familiar face Max Casella (aka Vinnie Delfino of "Doogie Howser" fame) plays Harold's sidekick Marcellus. (He was also Timon in the Broadway production of "Lion King".) An adorable Michael Phelan as the lisping child Winthrop. All in all the CD is great especially with all the bonuses not on the Preston & Cook CD, including a much longer version of "76 Trombomes" and "Shipoopi." Although some diehard MUSIC MAN fans might be disappointed, even a little shocked at the slower pace of some of the tongue twisting songs such as "Trouble" and the beginning of "76 Trombones." But the orchestration and the singing is so lively you soon forget!
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Format: Audio CD
Having seen this show during the first week of previews on a trip from London I had to go back and see it again. It is, without doubt, one of the finest productions on Broadway at the moment and exactly what the London stage needs. Shame they took nearly 2 months to release the CD!
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!
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Format: Audio CD
What can you say about "Meredith Wilson's The Music Man?" For starters, it is beautiful, funny, touching, way ahead of its original (1957) time, and absolutely amazing! And that was just for starts!
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!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I first heard of this revival on Terry Gross's NPR show, Fresh Air, when she interviewed Craig Bierko and Rebecca Luker and played parts of some of the songs. I then bought the cd and listened to it and then to the original Broadway score, and then to this again.
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.
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