The Music Man – “Great American Musical”

Categories: Miscellaneous
Contributing Diva:

by Angela Rocco DeCarlo  

Featuring: Huntington Beach Oilers Marching Band

The Wall Street Journal’s theater critic designated Meredith Willson’s (1902-1984)1957 Iowa fairy tale, “The Music Man”, as the great American musical,  after seeing a stellar production recently on the East Coast. Other productions are in the works for audiences in Chicago and in 2020 on Broadway.

Southern California is fortunate: the Pacific Symphony Pops is presenting a semi-staged concert production of the beautifully conceived and written show Friday and Saturday, May 31 and June 1,  8 p.m. at the Costa Mesa Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.

This hometown hymn to the complex and sometimes stifling, but ultimately lovable life in River City, Iowa, 1912, is based upon Willson’s experience growing upin Mason City, Iowa.

Enhancing that down home ambience will be a special appearance by the Huntington Beach High School Oilers Marching Band – playing the iconic show tune, “Seventy-Six Trombones”. Inspired by Willson’s time with the famous John Philip Sousa’s band in the 1920s.

Willson was an accomplished musician, composer and music director for leading network radio programs such as the Jack Benny Program, the Burns and Allen Program and many others. His stint with the New York philharmonic as first chair flute and piccolo added to his deep musical abilities.

He wrote over 40 songs – 22 were cut -during the six years Music Man was in development. Finding Robert Preston to play con man Harold Hill cemented the show’s fame, running for 1,375 performances at the Majestic Theater in NY. The 1962 film version with Preston and Shirley Jones garnered five Academy Award nominations, won for Best Original Music, adding to the Broadway Tony Awards for Best Musical and Best Leading Man in a Musical.

Pacific Symphony’s “The Music Man” features Richard Kaufman, conductor, Jamibeth Margolis, director and an exceptionally talented cast – Jeremy Stolle, Harold Hill; Elena Shaddow, Marian Paroo; Noah Baird, Winthrop Paroo and Jeff Mattsey as Mayor Shinn. Others include Aaron Kaburick, Jessica Medoff, Michele McConnell, Charlie Tingen and the Huntington Beach Oilers Marching Band.

See this great show for the fun of a look back at charming American Midwest life.

Concert sponsors: Ruth Ann and Jean Moriarty; Carol and Eugene Choi.


         The Music Man

          May 31 – June 1 8 p.m.

         Reneé and Henry Segerstom Concert Hall

         615 Town Center Drive

         Costa Mesa, CA

         Tickets: box office 714-755-5799 Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m. to 5 .m.



Angela Rocco DeCarlo covered travel, entertainment, culture for

The Chicago Tribune, Las Vegas Review Journal and Disney Magazine.

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