Norm Lewis, Jessie Mueller, and Rosie O’Donnell Talk Bringing The Music Man to Washington, D.C.

Video   Norm Lewis, Jessie Mueller, and Rosie O’Donnell Talk Bringing The Music Man to Washington, D.C.
“We draw from a lot of things that are happening politically,” says Lewis, who takes on the title role in the Kennedy Center production.

Tony nominee Norm Lewis will bring “trouble” to Washington, D.C. as he takes on the role of Harold Hill in The Music Man at the Kennedy Center. Marc Bruni (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical) directs the semi-staged production, as part of the venue’s ongoing Broadway Center Stage series.

Check out the video above to get a sneak peek of the production and to hear from Lewis and his co-stars: Tony Award winner Jessie Mueller and Rosie O’Donnell.

Jessie Mueller and Norm Lewis Marc J. Franklin

“It’s all about creating something that’s not there, and we have a lot to pull from,” says Lewis of bringing the American musical to the nation’s capital. “We draw from a lot of things that are happening politically in the show, subtextually. Some of what the administration is doing I’m going to use in my character.”

So how, exactly, would Lewis compare Harold Hill to the Commander-in-Chief? “Harold creates problems that are not there,” he explains. “The difference between billiards and pool? Not really. He’s creating mass hysteria in the community. Nothing is going on that’s that difficult, but he has an agenda.”

Seeing through that hysteria is Marian Paroo, and Mueller (Jessie, that is) hopes to bring that out through a contemporary lens. “She’s quite a modern woman for her time—a woman of her own principles,” she says. “She doesn’t go the way of the lemmings of the town. And yet she has a fun turn, too, because she has some realizations about how she’s lived her life. She opens up, and she does the same to him.”

As for O’Donnell, a familiar Meredith Willson tune comes to mind: “We got trouble, right here in D.C., with a capital T and that stands for…”

The Music Man runs February 6–11 at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater.

Lewis is among the guest performers on Playbill's sold-out Broadway on the Rhône River 2 April 7–14, 2019, featuring Melissa Errico, Rebecca Luker, Marc Kudisch, and Seth Rudetsky. Cabins are now on sale for Playbill’s Broadway in the Great Northwest. Playbill Travel’s first domestic cruise will bring passengers on a journey through the Pacific Northwest from April 26–May 4, 2020. Playbill Travel is currently accepting waitlist travelers for its sold out cruises: Broadway on the Rhône River 2 , Broadway in Bordeaux With Michael Feinstein (September 1–9, 2019), and Broadway on the High Seas: The Greek Isles (June 24–July 1, 2019). Call Playbill Travel for tickets at 866-455-6789 or visit

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