Broadway hopes that 'The Music Man" can lead it out of its winter woes

"(Ya Got (Trouble)" was one of the first songs in "The Music Man", and it has been the subject of many revivals on Broadway.

Broadway hopes that 'The Music Man" can lead it out of its winter woes

The show was scheduled to open in fall 2020. However, rehearsals were halted by the pandemic shutdown. After allegations of bullying, the show's lead producer Scott Rudin was fired. Both lead actors, Hugh Jackman, and Sutton Foster, contracted COVID-19 when they reopened. It was temporarily stopped by its understudies when they couldn't keep up the show.

Its producers now see the light at the end the tunnel -- for Broadway and the show. The Music Man opens Thursday as the main event in this season's theater season. It will sell hundreds of tickets and signals a new dawn in an industry that has been struggling.

Barry Diller, who is producing with Kate Horton and David Geffen, says that "Everything has come at us and we have survived." "But we won't be able to say that we have survived until we open. "I woke up this morning thinking that locusts might be coming."

The musical is about Harold Hill, a con artist who convinces small Iowa towns to form a band and sell them instruments until he falls in love. It features classic songs such as "Seventy-Six Trombones," "Goodnight My Someone," and "Till There Was You."

Horton, who has previously held executive positions at the National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company in England, says that "The Music Man" is like an antidote for the stress and uncertainty that everyone feels. It's a story of hope, community, love, and belief fulfilled."

Six Tony Award winners will be part of this star-studded revival of the musical comedy. 21 Broadway cast members will also make their Broadway debuts.

Jerry Zaks, four-time Tony Award winner, says rehearsals went smoothly in the fall. The show invited audiences to preview the show. This is crucial for the creative team as they can make adjustments based on the reactions of the crowd.

Jackman and Foster were among those who tested positive for coronavirus. Jackman's tribute for Foster during curtain call was viralized on social media. However, the show was canceled after only 11 performances.

Zaks says, "So instead of spending time making improvements to this show," that time would be spent on that. Instead, all that energy and time was dedicated to making sure there was a company on stage as well as preparing understudies, swings and standbys."

The return of "The Music Man", however, has not been welcomed with open arms. Many of those who protested against Broadway's status quo in April 2021 were upset at Rudin, but also felt that theatre producers were not listening to new voices. The crowd was particularly rowdy as they passed the Winter Garden Theatre, where "The Music Man" is located.

Zaks defends his version. It has eliminated Native American stereotypes, misogyny and has a diverse cast with one-third being actors of color.

"The people making noise have a point. He says that he doesn't believe the protestors about lack of diversity in the company knew anything about the company he was building.

"We made an effort to ensure that the stage looked more like America today than it did back in '57," said the organizers.

Broadway is emerging from a harsh winter with the arrival of "The Music Man". While musicals like "Waitress", "Jagged Little Pill", and "Ain't Too Proud", were once durable, new plays such as "Thoughts of a Colored Man," Pass Over," and "Is This a Room," struggled to survive and had to be closed. Many shows enjoy the tourist-filled holidays and feast, but many couldn't because they had to close. Casts are now healthier, but January and February are still difficult at the box office, even though they are generally more healthy than before COVID-19.

Producers came up with new ways to survive. "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" was reduced from a two-part play and made a one-part production. "To Kill a Mockingbird," however, is now moving to a smaller theater.

Two musicals -- "Mrs. Doubtfire and Girl from the North Country were two musicals that went on hiatus. They laid off workers until spring to make sure they would survive.

Ruben Santiago-Hudson says, "Sometimes it is smart to take a knee while you're boxing." He was a Tony-winner and helped revive Broadway with "Lackawanna Blues" this fall. Now he directs "Skeleton Crew". "If they count you out, if you lie down, they will count you out." It's okay to get down on your knees.

Many of the shows that were popular before the pandemic are still very popular, despite the fact that the omicron version was introduced. These include "Hamilton", "Wicked," and "The Lion King."

"The Music Man", a Broadway classic, has enjoyed the benefit of being loved by Jackman and Foster. It's also a sweet, American Valentine.

"I trade in joy. After going through the same thing, I was inspired to create a show that might bring joy to the audience.

Diller believes Broadway is in danger. He is also the chairman of Expedia, a giant online travel site. His prediction that international travel will boom in the second and third quarters will fuel ticket sales, was backed by Expedia. This is good news for New York City's marketing department.

"The New York City's arrival of Hugh Jackman's 'The Music Man' on Broadway immediately creates a new landmark New York City tent pole that lifts the whole tourism industry. Charles Flateman is chairman of NYC and Company.

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