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Meredith Wilson and Franklin Lacey's

The Music Man

April 16th - November 2ndFestival TheatreTicket Info
Generally Positive Reviews based on 15 Critics
  • top 99% of shows in the 2018 season
  • most reviewed show of the season
15 Reviews

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This is a listing for the 2018 season. For the current 2019 shows click here.

The Chicago Tribune - Chris Jones

Emphasizing the radical ideas

“Feore is both delivering the kind of “Music Man” that can attract 1,800 people or more to the Festival Theatre — her own choreography is richly engaging and plenty showy and, on the surface, the show checks every box that any Ontarian might wish — while also emphasizing the radical ideas that lie at the core of Meredith Willson’s musical.

In this production, Hill mentors the young townsperson Tommy Djilas, who is also played by an African-American actor, Devon Michael Brown of course, he turns the world of Marian the Librarian, played with longing and sadness by Danielle Wade, completely topsy-turvy.”

Read Full Review07/26/2018

The New York Times - Jesse Green

Far outshines Broadway

“Even if tinkering with classics annoys you, it would be hard to be disappointed with Mr. Herbert’s eely Hill or the delicious enthusiasm of the many children in the 41-person cast or the vivacity and variety of dance and song that Ms. Feore puts onstage. Her jaw-dropping “Seventy-Six Trombones” far outshines the version seen in the most recent Broadway revival; the final scene of understanding between opposites has never played as movingly.”

Read Full Review07/25/2018

Stratford Festival Reviews - Robert Cushman

Ross is reliably delightful

“Steve Ross is reliably delightful here as the mildly tyrannical mayor but his wife (Blythe Wilson) can hardly compete with memories of Fiona Reid, deliriously drilling her neighbours in the angular niceties of Grecian interpretive dance. There are, though, two outstanding supporting performances: from Denise Oucharek, real and true as the heroine’s Irish mother, and Mark Uhre who with his fine singing, sharp-edged acting and amazing long-legged dancing, shows himself, not for the first time, a major musical-theatre talent. He plays “The Music Man’s” buddy and helpmate. Which is both fitting and frustrating, as he would clearly make a great Music Man himself.”

Read Full Review06/22/2018

London Fuse - James Stewart Reaney

Cute. But not too cute

“You will love The Music Man because: those tunes, that dancing, that energy… Alexander Elliot is sensational as young Winthrop Paroo (Marion’s little brother) & sings the best Gary, Indiana ever…The adults in the cast are pros, but those kids. Cute. But not too cute. The result? You will love the nine (or so) tykes as much as Feore obviously does.”

Read Full Review05/30/2018

On Stage Blog - Joseph Szekeres

Passionately and lovingly directed

“To see burgeoning youthful talent flourish on the Festival Stage gives me tremendous hope that Stratford will continue to be in solid hands of professional artists for the future. The Music Man offers a most enjoyable afternoon or evening of fine entertainment.”

Read Full Review06/02/2018

Capital Critics' Circle - Jamie Portman

Funny and culturally revealing

“You start having a good feeling about the Stratford Festival’s latest revival of The Music Man from the very beginning.

That‘s because of how brilliantly it brings off that audacious opening scene on a train bound for River City, Iowa, in 1912. It’s a guy setting — a lot of traveling salesmen here — and they can’t stop talking and attempting bits of one-upmanship with each other. But it’s no normal conversation — no music, just snippets of dialogue snapping back and forth to the jiggling rhythms of the passenger car and reaching an almost fugal complexity.

The execution of this number at Stratford, as funny as it is culturally revealing, testifies to the high ensemble qualities of this production — qualities that will continue to dazzle as the show progresses.”

Read Full Review06/04/2018

The Slotkin Letter - Lynn Slotkin

Depth missing in this production

“Donna Feore is both the director and choreographer and I find she is better at creating the dances than in directing and established relationships…

While the show is lively, energetically danced with the requisite gymnastic moves, there is a lot more to The Music Man than just out front singing and dancing, and I found that depth missing in this production.”

Read Full Review06/06/2018

James Wegg Review - James Wegg

A real crowd-pleaser

“As Marian the Librarian, Danielle Wade’s début appearance here was a gem of haughtiness, understatement then genuine, unabashed love. As Professor Harold Hill, Stratford newcomer Daren Herbert proved to be an excellent choice…the characterization of the fly-by-night salesman was a joy in its metamorphosis from huckster to hero.”

Read Full Review06/01/2018

Broadway World - Lauren Gienow

Music Man Hits All the Right Notes

“The ‘Seventy-Six Trombones’ number was utterly spectacular and deserved every moment of the mid-show standing ovation that it received on opening night…. Music Director Franklin Brasz’s 19-person orchestra is superb.”

Read Full Review05/30/2018

The Toronto Star - Karen Fricker

Two hours and 40 minutes fly by

“By leaning into the material’s folksiness Feore also goes a long way toward selling a story that has, by contemporary standards, some icky elements in terms of its representation of women, men and courtship….But there’s so much else going on that’s captivating, starting and ending with Feore’s total command of the staging…Two hours and 40 minutes fly by… I didn’t want this show to end.”

Read Full Review05/30/2018

The Stratford Beacon Herald - Steve Rice

Appeals to all ages

“The Music Man has something that will appeal to all ages. It’s a great play for the kids, or anyone who hasn’t been a frequent theatre-goer. Like the good folks in River City, they’re likely to fall under Harold Hill’s charismatic spell and may just discover for themselves the incredible power of the arts.”

Read Full Review05/30/2018

The Globe and Mail - J. Kelly Nestruck

Danielle Wade is fierce and sweet

“The strongest aspect of Feore’s production is Danielle Wade’s performance…As for Herbert’s Hill, I was impressed by the salesmanship in his patter songs, the fresh and funny gospel howls he brought to Ya Got Trouble and the groovy curlicues in his choreography that suggest the professor may have run into the ancestors of the Jackson family when he was studying in Gary, Ind.”

Read Full Review05/30/2018

Stage Door - Christopher Hoile

Buy your tickets now

“Herbert is supercharged as a con artist ready to take in a whole town, but rapidly becomes sympathetic as man who realizes he has been caught in his own trap and is noble enough to face the consequences….As Marion’s mother and brother, Denise Oucharek and Alexander Elliot are absolutely delightful…Buy your tickets now.  This will be, no doubt, the hit of the season.  “

Read Full Review05/30/2018

Entertain This Thought - Mary Alderson

Perfect for multi-generational families

“It’s truly a company performance with stunning singing and dazzling dance…

A well written musical with a stellar cast makes this the perfect evening out for multi-generational families. All ages will love it. The humour holds up, despite being written in the 1950s about 1912 and everyone will enjoy the laughs and engaging story.”

Read Full Review05/27/2018

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