Broward Stage Door Stays True to the Original "Music Man"
The Music Man, Meredith Wilson's 1957 Tony winner about a traveling swindler who ignites a controversy in a fictional Iowa town, is an oddball sort of musical, which is why it's accrued more cult acclaim than many Broadway shows.
Its musical palette is eccentric, from jazzy scat rhythms to jubilant hoedowns to serene barbershop crooning to marching-band orderliness, a schizophrenic goulash of styles that somehow meshes under the same umbrella. Wilson's book also has a strange wit about it, full of ridiculous alliterative analogies and double-entendres that should be heard to be believed. The Broward Stage Door's commitment to the show's uniqueness is commendable. Boasting a topnotch, 26-piece cast, this is a standup production from a venue that seems to be improving with age.
Jonathan Van Dyke is an exuberant, physically engaging Harold Hill, zipping around the stage with a cockamamie plot to cure the town's moral ills with the snake oil only he can prescribe — a "boy's band" with him, a bargain-basement Barnum, as the conductor. Colleen Amaya is even better as Marian Paroo, bringing a soaring, operatic voice to Hill's prim and proper love interest.
Stage Door's set design is merely functional, as usual, but Allen Wilson's costume design evokes the Midwestern period attire with fitting nostalgia.
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