Robert Sean Leonard Leads Music Man Beginning Aug. 7

News   Robert Sean Leonard Leads Music Man Beginning Aug. 7 Playing the sensitive, young English poet, A.E. Housman, in The Invention of Love, Robert Sean Leonard won a Tony Award for his small, detailed choices, but come Aug. 7 he plays the brash, brassy, bigger-than-life salesman, Harold Hill, in The Music Man on Broadway.

Playing the sensitive, young English poet, A.E. Housman, in The Invention of Love, Robert Sean Leonard won a Tony Award for his small, detailed choices, but come Aug. 7 he plays the brash, brassy, bigger-than-life salesman, Harold Hill, in The Music Man on Broadway.

Eric McCormack stepped out of the hit revival of the Meredith Willson tuner Aug. 5 to return to his TV series, "Will & Grace," and Leonard, who is not known for musical theatre, tackles "Seventy-Six Trombones," "Trouble" and "The Sadder-But Wiser Girl," opposite Rebecca Luker as Marian the Librarian.

Susan Stroman directed and choreographed the new revival of The Music Man, a smash hit in 1957. Performances continue at the Neil Simon Theatre. Tom Stoppard's dense, rich The Invention of Love ended its run at the Lyceum Theatre June 30.

Leonard is a veteran of Lincoln Center Theatre stagings of Arcadia and Ancestral Voices, and Broadway's Candida (Tony nomination), The Iceman Cometh, You Never Can Tell, Breaking the Code, Brighton Beach Memoirs and Off-Broadway's Below the Belt. His film appearances include "The Last Days of Disco," "Much Ado About Nothing" and "Dead Poets Society."

* The Music Man revival, with Craig Bierko and Rebecca Luker, opened April 27, 2000. Previews began April 5, 2000. Q Records released an original cast recording of the revival June 13, 2000. A non-Equity national tour goes on the road this year.

The Broadway cast now also includes Joel Blum (as Marcellus), Kenneth Kimmins (as Mayor Shinn), Ruth Gottschall (as Mrs. Shinn), Katherine McGrath (as Mrs. Paroo), Andrew Boyer (as Charlie Cowell), Manuel Herrera (as Tommy Djilas), Michael Phelan (as Winthrop) and Cameron Adams (as Zaneeta Shinn). Susan Stroman directs and choreographs the revival of 1957 tuner.

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The musical comedy was one of only three Broadway scores composer lyricist Meredith Willson wrote (and he also co-wrote its story and wrote the libretto), but Music Man has sunk into the popular American imagination: It celebrates small town Iowa in 1912, a salesman's drive to succeed, a spinster's dreams of a quality man and true romance, and a child's wish to be special.

And it does so with now-classic tunes such as "Trouble," "Seventy-Six Trombones," "My White Knight," "Gary, Indiana," "Goodnight, My Someone" and "The Wells Fargo Wagon."

The Music Man is presented by Dodger Theatricals, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Elizabeth Williams/Anita Waxman, Kardana-Swinsky Productions, Lorie Cowen Levy/Dede Harris.

 

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The Music Man originally opened on Broadway Dec. 19, 1957, starring Preston and Barbara Cook. 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 (skunking West Side Story) and ran 1,376 performances. Willson would not have a greater success, despite the Broadway run and movie version of The Unsinkable Molly Brown. His musical, Here's Love, based on "Miracle on 34th Street," fared less well.

The Music Man originally opened on Broadway Dec. 19, 1957, starring Preston and Barbara Cook. 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 (skunking West Side Story) and ran 1,376 performances. Willson would not have a greater success, despite the Broadway run and movie version of The Unsinkable Molly Brown. His musical, Here's Love, based on "Miracle on 34th Street," fared less well.

The Music Man plays at The Neil Simon Theatre at 250 W. 52nd Street. Call (212) 307-4100 for ticket information.