The Music Man Debuts on Broadway

On December 19, 1957, he original Broadway production of Meredith Willson’s musical “The Music Man,” starring Robert Preston, Barbara Cook as Marian, Eddie Hodges as Winthrop, Pert Kelton as Mrs. Paroo, Iggie Wolfington as Marcellus Washburn and David Burns as Mayor Shinn, opened at New York’s Majestic Theatre for 1,375 performances.

Where was Shirley Jones? She didn’t appear on the scene until the film was made in 1962. The Broadway role was performed by Barbara Cook . It was Cook’s third appearance on the Great White Way, previously starring in Plain and Fancy (1955), Candide (1956). Her her “vocal agility, wide range, warm sound, and emotive interpretations” were renown, taking on a darker tone as the years passed. She continued to be considered one of the leading interpreters of song well into her 80s. Via Wikipedia.

The young actor, Eddie Hodges, also made his Broadway debut in The Music Man in the role of Winthrop, made famous on screen by Ronnie Howard. A bit of trivia. If you’ve seen the film The Right Stuff, the Hodges character is seen competing with as  Ed Harris as John Glenn on the game show Name That TuneThis is a true event that happened on October 4, 1957, the day the Russians launched Sputnik 1.

Watch the dance sequence in the Steven Spielberg film 1941 closely and you’ll see Iggie Wolfington as the talent agent, “Myron Mishkin”.