Revival of The Music Man

Adam Taxin writes:

I just got back from a great production of The Music Man in Philadelphia

Even though the show originally was poking good-natured fun at the Iowa of 1912, it’s so clear how much more desirable in many ways that setting is to, say, most of BRA-Philadelphia today. The showcasing of so many different great types of music that Western civilization has produced (more so than in almost any show) stands in stark contrast to Hip Hop Obamerica.

LA replies:

I only saw the movie of The Music Man for the first time a few years ago. It was much, much better than I expected. Shirley Jones—one of my favorite actresses—in particular is wonderful in it. For some reason, I had not been drawn to the musical or the movie of it when they originally came out.

- end of initial entry -

David G. writes:

Perhaps nothing more clearly shows the transition of old America [America 1.0] into multicultural America [America 2.0] than does the 2003 remake of The Music Man starring Matthew Broderick as Professor Harold Hill. Iowa in 1910, the era in which The Music Man is set, was nearly 100 percent white and, fittingly, so was the entire cast of the original 1962 film starring Robert Preston. The remake with Broderick made in 2003 has a multicultural cast that is off-putting to say the least.

Right from the opening scene when a seated black salesman is shown center screen among those lamenting the habits of Harold Hill, to a shot of a heavy black woman chiming-in (as I remember), “You’re in I-O -wayyy,” to scenes of numerous blacks singing and walking about town, the viewer is set up to know that this isn’t mean, old, racist America; this is happy, multicultural America, this is what could have been.

As a side note, the original film does have a plea for tolerance in it as the “bad boy” in the story is Tommy Djilas, a Lithuanian immigrant, who is wooing the Mayor’s daughter. At the end, boy and girl are together and all is well.

Viewing these two film versions of The Music Man is a quick study in what we have lost.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 19, 2012 11:15 AM | Send

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