Friday, March 1, 2013

The Music Man @ the 5th Avenue ... B+

The Music Man
5th Avenue Theatre

We went to see the Music Man at the 5th Avenue this week.  I have had a weak spot in my heart for the Music Man, ever since I was able to be in it at the Warehouse Theatre in Yakima, Wa.  After being in several high school plays, it was nice to go to the "big" town and be in the more professional theater.  It was a big thing for me, as I was in my senior year of high school.  I had joined Melody Lane Singers and was seeing things a bit differently than my small town and small high school in Eastern WA.

I loved the set that they set-up at the 5th Avenue.  The sets are always things that change from production to production.  The 5th has a larger budget than many and does a great job, often with very simple sets.

The story, of course, stayed true to Meredith Wilson's play.  One of the best things about the 5th Avenue productions is that they have a deep talent pool.  They can take a play in a direction of singing, as you'd expect with the Music Man, or dancing, or acting.  In this case, they moved mostly toward singing, although there were some parts which were a bit weaker.

For the most part, the cast was excellent.  I enjoyed the acting of them and they shared the sharp and wittiness of Wilson's play.  Marion was an excellent singer.  Professor Hill was okay.  The chemistry between them was only small sparks.  You almost felt like it was just a swindling ploy of Hill.  I'd liked to see a stronger chemistry.

The Barbershop Quartet was great and their voices blended very well.  You honestly were pleased to see them singing together ... well, maybe pleased to HEAR them singing together.

The comedic part of the cast was excellent, too.  Between Mayor Shin and his wife, you were smiling or laughing at the lines you've heard before.  The barbershop quartet and ladies were also enjoyable.  "E Gads!" and "Golly Gee" from Tommy and Zanita could've been bigger than they were.

Probably the best part was Wintrhop.  You can always count on good to great older performers at the 5th Avenue.  You usually can count on the same from younger performers, too.  But, it is always exciting to see how easy it is for some of them to act and sing.  Well done to this young man.

Luckily for me, I know and can sing all of the songs.  So, it was a great time!  I would've loved to see some more chemistry and stronger singing from the main star.  But, it was good and gets a B+.

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