Hi friends, welcome back! Aside from all the delicious food, attending Broadway shows is one of my favorite parts of living in NYC. The last play Jon and I saw was Dear Evan Hansen in February 2020, and I was having major Broadway withdrawals. I’d been hearing a lot of buzz about The Music Man starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster, and I knew I needed to see it. I couldn’t pass up a chance to see Hugh Jackman in his dream roll. This show seems to be the next big hit, so tickets can be challenging to find at reasonable prices. We must’ve searched at the right time because I found front row, right center, mezzanine seats for a reasonable price. The tickets were for a Wednesday night, but I noticed that on the weekend most tickets cost almost $200 more each than what we paid.
Before the show, we made a reservation at Dutch Fred’s a few blocks away from the Winter Garden for dinner. This restaurant was a fun spot to eat at before the show. It seemed like half the people were having drinks after work, and the other half was having dinner before a show. The lively and extremely loud atmosphere made me even more excited for the show! Jon and I didn’t want to be too full for the show, so we got some Freddy’s Mules and I had the Turkey Burger with sweet potato fries and Jon went with the Fried Chicken Sandwich. This was a fun spot to go before the show and I’d recommend it!
The Music Man faced many setbacks the past few years. They were originally scheduled to open in fall 2020, but had to push back the previews to winter 2021 and the official opening night to February 10, 2022. Then the cast had an omicron outbreak and had to cancel a few shows late December/ early January, but all seems well now. I’m so glad the cast persevered and The Music Man was able to open. You could just tell how genuinely happy and grateful everyone on stage and in the audience was to be there. I felt the joy emanating from the cast and it was the perfect feel-good show to come back to Broadway with. The applause and the smiles at the end of every scene was so pure and seemed to last a little longer than prior shows I’ve seen.
Hugh Jackman was incredible! He had so much energy and charm and I couldn’t believe I was seeing him perform live. This play is special for him because in high school Hugh was Salesman #2 in The Music Man, and it was always his dream to be the lead. He even sang “Rock Island”, the opening number, at the 2014 Tony Awards and on various late night shows throughout the years. Getting to see him first hand living out his dream was pretty special. Sutton Foster, a two-time Tony Award winner, was also incredible as Marian Paroo! Hugh and Sutton had great chemistry and are both so talented! I feel so lucky to have seen such a talented cast, I’ve never seen an original cast before.
If these faces aren’t pure joy then I’m not sure what is!
I never saw the movie or any productions of The Music Man, so I went in with no expectations, except that Hugh Jackman would be awesome. I couldn’t stop smiling during the play, it was such a joy to see! I didn’t want the show to end, I was having too much fun and I was so happy to be there. The Music Man is such a delightful show and just what I needed to see. I wanted a fun night out at the show, and I got a better night than I could’ve imagined.
I like to rank all the shows that I’ve seen, this was our sixth Broadway show together, and I’m ranking it as my second favorite because of the all-star cast. I think if Hugh Jackman wasn’t in it, I’d rank it tied for third with The Book of Mormon and behind Dear Evan Hansen because they’re both funny shows with good songs and dancing. I’m not sure a show will ever replace Hamilton, I still listen to the soundtrack and sing some of the songs. My updated official ordering: Hamilton, The Music Man, Dear Evan Hansen, The Book of Mormon, Frozen, and Phantom of the Opera.
The joy from being back on Broadway mixed with the incredible cast, fun song and dance numbers, and the lighthearted story made for an incredible night at the show! I’d highly recommend seeing The Music Man if you can, you’ll be smiling from ear to ear and forget about all that’s going on in the world for a night.