The Music Man: Teaching Shy Youth Confidence

Are you looking for holiday statements devoid of traditional sing-a-longs or visions of Old Saint Nick?

Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire’s production of Meredith Willson’s classic musical, The Music Man, offers a very charming alternative for positive wintertime celebrating.

Recounting the well-worn tale of con man Harold Hill’s small town redemption via the affections of Marian, a crafty librarian, Willson’s score includes “Ya Got Trouble,” “Seventy-Six Trombones” and “Gary, Indiana.” Shy children will also experience a sharp connection with the character of Winthrop, Marian’s younger brother, who overcomes a severe speech impediment and finds confidence due to Hill’s boisterous ways.

One can also delight in the revolutionary show opener, “Rock Island,” perhaps the first precursor to rap music, in which the talented ensemble tells an entire story through accelerated speech and physically commanding movement. Add Marian as a strongly unconventional heroine, played with grace and vocal agility by Johanna McKenzie Miller and exuberant supporting performances from Iris Lieberman, as a wealthy townsperson with artistic aspirations, and handsome Adrian Aguilar, as a ruffian turned good, and a delightful time is assured.

And while Willson’s masterpiece might have been even better served if celebrated director Gary Griffin (Broadway’s “The Color Purple”) had dug deeper than an energetically glossy surface for the show’s often complex characters, this show’s 2 1/2 hour running time (including a 15 minute intermission) speeds swiftly by, accompanied by much laughter and, perhaps, a few sentimental tears.

The celebrated Music Man (which won 5 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, for its original Broadway run in 1957) runs through January 9th, 2011 at the Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire, IL. Tickets range from $40 to $48 and can be purchased by calling 847-634-0200 or visiting or

Interested in making an evening or afternoon or it? Check out these nearby restaurants: Big Bowl, Flemings Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar or Kona Grill.