The Asolo Theatre, now celebrating its 60th anniversary, began the season with a stunning remake of the Music Man – the American 1950’s play that snatched Best Musical from Westside Story with its fate-shaping song.
Music Man Review
The Music Man’s protagonist is a Broadway tapmaster, a showman that truly reflects the legendary character’s entrancing charisma in his sale-of-a-dream pitch without the fuzzy logistics yet worked out. This fake-it-till-you-make-it approach, now quintessential, becomes a call for community-making around music, where “it’s not the destination, it’s the journey” to a harmonious and loving town.
The production spares no expense, from the select cast to the costuming marvels and the settings that disappear into the ceiling. The Asolo theater demonstrates its creativity and use of stage space – every single time.
As for the direction, let’s just say two things: it begins with a hip-hop intro and it includes one of our regional drag queen legends (Matthew McGee) playing Eulalie, the Mayor’s wife, who becomes the statue of liberty and then the mother of our flag, Betsy Ross.
The Music Man is a joyous play that shows you “the lie” from the get go, but gee-godz-be-darned if you won’t buy it still, snake tail and all. And not to be a fly-by-night salesman about this, but one thing’s for sure (and this is the pitch): Harold Hill … knocks your socks off … straight out the ballpark.
The Music Man is playing now through December 30th. Tickets are still available ranging in price from $43.20 to $125.00.
About the Asolo Theatre
Upon entering this regal theatre, a façade removed from Scotland’s Dunfermline Opera House (1903) and planted in Sarasota (Today), one is infused with a sense of the decades piled onto the years and the hours put into a venerated human craft: to show, as Viola Davis said, “what it means to live a life.”
Throughout the year, the Asolo Theatre also caters to the LGBT community by providing its Out@AsoloRep Nights. On these nights, attendees are invited to partake of food and drink before and after the show in the company of cast members and the artistic director, Michael Edwards, a man of inextinguishable charm and vision.
With special engagement events such as talkbacks, school tourings, luncheons and family days, one is never at a loss for theater experiences at the Asolo.
One of their most unique and engaging events is the Faces of Change documentary project, in which members of the community are invited to engage in conversation with the cast and creators of upcoming shows about gender equality, local industry, and class disparity.
Side Note: rush hour tickets are always available, especially for the Conservatory plays.
The Asolo Repertory Theater – 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL; phone: (941) 351-8000; https://www.asolorep.org/
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