Sunday, May 13, 2012

REVIEW: MUSIC MAN at Arena Stage

On Friday night, I went to see Meredith Wilson's THE MUSIC MAN at Arena Stage in Washington, DC. The production was directed by Molly Smith and starred Kate Baldwin (Finnian's Rainbow) and Burke Moses (Beauty and the Beast).

Overall, I thought the production value was very high, but I did not love the show. I found it to be sort of slow and had some issues with the script and score (but no matter how good a production, you can't fix these things).

I thought Moses and Baldwin were great. I thought Baldwin's voice was just wonderful and she hit every note with perfection. Especially in the show-stopper, "Till There Was You," her voice was perfection throughout the entire show.

Donna Migliaccio (Ragtime), who played Mrs. Paroo, was also a standout among the ensemble of great actors, both established and those making their debut. Migliaccio really found the humor in her character and the power as the matriarch as well.

I also thought the dancing was awesome. The extended dance sequences (like Shapoopi) were fantastic and I thought all of the actors seemed truly naturals.

Overall, I think this production was enjoyable and good, but not the best I have ever seen. I don't quite think it rivals Smith's previous musical hit, OKLAHOMA!

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