The parade of performers in the upcoming Broadway revival of The Music Man has been announced, and Max Casella, of "Doogie Howser, M.D." and The Lion King, is a featured player previously unconfirmed.
Casella will play Harold Hill's pal, Marcellus, who sings the choice dance number, "Shipoopi," in the 1957 musical comedy. Film actor Craig Bierko is Hill, the slick salesman who transforms an Iowa town and melts the heart of Marian the Librarian, played by Rebecca Luker (The Sound of Music, Show Boat). As previously announced, Paul Benedict ("The Jeffersons") plays provincial Mayor Shinn and Ruth Williamson (Epic Proportions) is his wife, Eulalie McKechnie Shinn.
Susan Stroman (Contact, Big, Show Boat) directs and choreographs. Previews begin at the Neil Simon Theatre April 5. Opening night is April 27.
The Music Man is presented by Dodger Theatricals, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Anita Waxman and Elizabeth Williams.
Bierko is a thirtysomething film actor ("The Long Kiss Goodnight," "The Thirteenth Floor") making his Broadway debut. He recently played a guest spot on "Ally McBeal," as a man Ally rear-ends with her car to get a date. The company includes Kathy McGrath (Mrs. Paroo), Ralph Byers (Charlie Cowell), Michael Phelan (Winthrop Paroo), Clyde Alves (Tommy Djilas), Kate Levering (Zaneeta Shinn), Blake Hammond (Jacey Squires), Jack Doyle (Ewart Dunlop), John Sloman (Oliver Hix), Michael-Leon Wooley (Olin Britt), Martha Hawley (Maud Dunlop), Leslie Hendrix (Alma Hix), Tracy Nicole Chapman (Ethel Toffelmier) and Jordan Puryear (Amaryllis). Ensemble cast members include Ann Brown, Ann Whitlow Brown, Kevin Bogue, Andre Garner, Michael Duran, Dan Sharkey, Mary Illes, Ellen Harvey, Joy Lynn Matthews, Liam Burke, Michael McGurk, E. Clayton Cornelious, Chase Brock, Robbie Nicholson, Pamela Remler, Ipsita Paul, Cameron Adams, Sara Brenner, Travis Wall, Lauren Ullrich, Jim Walton (standby for Harold Hill), Jeff Williams, Cynthia L. Heim, Jason Snow, Jennie Ford and Tara Young.
* The Music Man opened on Broadway Dec. 19, 1957, starring Robert Preston and Barbara Cook. The Meredith Willson score includes "Trouble," "Seventy-Six Trombones," "Til There Was You," "Gary, Indiana" and more.
Book, music and lyrics are by Meredith Willson and the story is by Meredith Willson and Franklin Lacey. It was a Tony Award winner for Best Musical and ran 1,376 performances. Willson would not have a greater success, despite the run and movie version of The Unsinkable Molly Brown.
The Music Man tickets are $20-$70 in previews, and $20-$85 after opening.
Tickets go on sale by phone Feb. 16. Call (212) 307-4100. In person tickets are on sale Feb. 28. The Neil Simon is at 250 W. 52nd Street.