The Arts

Stratford Festival 2008 – Meredith Willson’s The Music Man

Stratford Festival 2008 – Meredith Willson’s The Music Man featured image

by Paula Citron.
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The Music Man
Stratford Festival
Music, lyrics and libretto by Meredith Willson
Directed by Susan H. Schulman
Starring Jonathan Goad, Leah Oster, Eddie Glen, Lee MacDougall and Fiona Reid
At the Avon Theatre until Nov. 1
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With American director Susan H. Schulman and choreographer Michael Lichtefeld on board, Meredith Willson’s 1957 Broadway hit The Music Man has been give a sure fire treatment. Everything in this nostalgic Patrick Clark designed show works. The staging is polished, and the muscular and robust choreography befits a small Iowa town.

This production also shows how multi-talented the Stratford ensemble is – doing Shakespeare one minute and a musical the next. Jonathan Goad is now one of the festivals leading men. His Prof. Harold Hill oozes charm and confidence. Newcomer Leah Oster is a lovely singer whose portrayal of Marian the Librarian is feisty and assured.

In the second banana roles, Eddie Glen makes an amusing Marcellus Washburn while the malapropism mayor and his flighty wife are played with suitable ditsyness by Lee MacDougall and Fiona Reid.

This production is an example of just how well Stratford does musicals.

The Music Man continues at Stratford’s Avon Theatre until Nov. 1.

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