No wonder it was called "The Music Man..." There's a song every 2 minutes!

Last night I stumbled across “The Music Man” on TCM. I was then, of course, glued to the TV set for the duration of the movie. You see, this movie holds a special little place in my heart, as I was a town member in the Leonia Player’s Guild production of this very musical back in 1970-something.

Every year the theater group in my town put on “the play in the park.” It was always a big style musical, and anyone could try out for it. This was the one year that I tried out, got cast, and followed the process all the way through to the performance. Other years I either didn’t get cast (no young kids needed) or something hindered me from following through on my obligation.

One year, I was cast as a trick pony in the play “Fanny.” My whip wielding task master was an older boy in my school who took the job of training me with the flick of his leathery lash a tad too seriously. With the creep factor reaching new heights, I opted to bow out of my role and instead joined my best friend John and his family on a trip to Jamaica.

Come on…you would’ve too…

Watching the movie brought me back to that very summer. My music teacher, Mrs. Macarry, played the lead role of Marion the Librarian; she was so lovely. She was thin and blonde with a fetching little overbite like Beverly D’Angelo. Having a minor role as a towns person left me lots of time for horseplay. You have to understand – the play was performed in the park. There was LOTS to do when you were not required to be on stage. A brief rendezvous with my crush, a giggly chat with my girlfriends, or a few minutes on the swings in full costume.

With so much history attached to this musical, there was no question as to whether or not I was going to watch. Real Housewives of NJ? See ya! I have some serious reminiscing to do.

A few things struck me really odd. First, I remembered WAAAAYY too many lyrics. I can remember all the words to “Shipoopi,” but ask me to name you 3 senators and I’ll stare at you with a dead, blank look on my face. That’s fucked up.

Secondly, there was literally a song every 4 minutes. According to Wikipedia, there are TWENTY SIX songs in “The Music Man.” Twenty freakin’ Six.  “West Side Story?” Eleven songs. “Oklahoma?” Twelve songs. “Sound of Music?” Roughly Eleven, not counting when songs are re-sung during the Saltzburg Music Festival.

Twenty Six. That’s insane.

In any case, I really enjoyed watching this movie again. I have to admit, I got pretty tired and decided to blow off the big ending scene where the ramshackle boys band magically transforms into a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade band. And, I kept seeing Robert Preston’s Harold Hill character morph into the very gay Toddy Todd  in “Victor Victoria” – another musical favorite, which made it hard to buy into  him wooing Shirley Jones. It was his best role, if you ask me.

Oh, and “Victor, Victoria?”

Seven songs.