The Music Man

Original Broadway Production (1957)

Trivia & History

In the annual New York Drama Critics Circle voting for 1958, which took place on April 8 that year, The Music Man and West Side Story tied with nine votes on the first ballot for best musical. After a brief deliberation, it was agreed that John Chapman of the New York Daily News, who had voted for West Side Story on the first ballot, would change his vote to The Music Man on a second ballot. And thus The Music Man won the award.


When the production opened, only Don Walker was credited with the orchestrations, although other orchestrators had worked on the score with Walker. Several months into the run, the names of those other orchestrators — Sidney Fine, Irwin Kostal, Seymour Ginzle and Walter Eiger — were added to the playbill. They were credited with having provided "additional orchestrations."


In January 1959, Robert Preston and Barbara Cook were on vacation simulteaneously for two weeks, from January 12 through January 24. Their replacements during this time were Norwood Smith and Barbara Williams.


Eddie Albert took over as Harold Hill in January 11, 1960. His run was originally scheduled to end in April. He signed to extend his run by two months to June 11. Bert Parks was signed to take over the role starting on June 13. An Actors Equity strike started on June 2. When it was settled and Broadway performances resumed on June 13, Robert Preston stepped back into the role through June 25 since Parks had not had sufficient rehearsal time because of the strike. Parks took over on June 27.


It had been announced that Arlyne Frank would replace Barbara Cook as Marian Paroo on June 29, 1959, but Frank took over a week earlier because, as reported by Earl Wilson in his column on June 26, Cook's pregnancy had reached the point where her costumes could not be let out any further. And since (quoting Wilson), "Barbara played a spinster librarian, . . . the producers just couldn't see letting her stay and wear a maternity dress."



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