Contemporary rethinking of the legendary Broadway musical and 1962 film, updated to reflect a few early twenty-first-century sensibilities: A masterful con artist tries to bilk a staid ... See full summary »
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At a music camp for gifted teens, a popular teen idol overhears a girl singing and sets out to find who the talented voice belongs to. What he doesn't know is that the girl is actually a camp kitchen worker with a fear of being heard.
Contemporary rethinking of the legendary Broadway musical and 1962 film, updated to reflect a few early twenty-first-century sensibilities: A masterful con artist tries to bilk a staid Midwestern community, with unexpected results. Written by
Well, The Music Man is one of my all time favorite musicals. There were aspects about this one that I preferred to the original and some that I didn't. I have been in the stage version before and I noticed that they made this movie more similar to the stage version than just like the original movie. For example, they put in the reprise of pick-a-little, talk-a-little, etc...
First of all, the casting. I thought that if I hadn't seen the original movie version of this musical I would have enjoyed Matthew Broderick in this role a lot more. I thought he was good, but he didn't hold a candle to Robert Preston's performance as Harold Hill. He wasn't as convincing as Harold Hill as I hoped he would be. Overall, I wasn't impressed with him.
Kristin Chenoweth is definitely someone in this musical that I was impressed with. I really didn't think I would like her in this role, but I think I actually liked her better than Shirley Jones. I knew how well she fit the role of Sally in the new Broadway version of "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown" and after that, I was having trouble picturing her as Marian Paroo. I still found her speaking vioce a little annoying and Sally-ish, but I thought she made it work. I think what I liked most about her performance was the change I saw in the character of Marian throughout the movie. I saw the transition from the up-tight librarian to a woman who is a lot looser and not as shrewish. I never saw that in the version with Shirley Jones. I really saw Marian fall for Harold Hill in this version, I don't think Shirley Jones played that up as well as she could have.
A couple complaints I have about this version are the fact that I found the girl playing Zaneeta Shinn pretty annoying and...well...not very good. Her "Ye Gods" was...well...just kind of...blah. I found the dance number of Shapoopi to be pretty weak, also. I thought that Harold and Winthrop's thing was cute and I thought that the Shinns' thing was cute, but where was all the fun dancing?
I don't really know how I felt about Molly Shannon playing Eulalie. I thought Hermione Gringold was perfect in that role in the original movie, but I really had no problem with Molly Shannon in this role. I didn't think she was better or worse, just different. Victor Garber could have been better, though. The role of the mayor is an entertaining role and he didn't really play up the mayor's stupidity as much as he could have. Same for the guy who played Marcellus. He could have put more into it. Buddy Hackett made this role unique and fun. This guy just made it...okay. Not bad, but not very good either.
Overall, I enjoyed the movie more than I thought I would. Mainly because of Kristin Chenoweth. I didn't think this movie was great, but it wasn't bad. It was...fine.
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