Today I did a rather fatal thing. I counted the days left until opening night of The Music Man. Forty-eight, not counting today. I feel like I've eaten of the tree of knowledge of good and evil - now that I know how many days left until we perform, I'll wake up every morning with a new nagging number in my head, unconsciously counting down the days and weeks.
Before it's too late, before I become so sick of this play that I feel like burning my script, I'd like to share my favorite quotes, lyrics and moments from The Music Man.
For some reason, I really really really like this play's music. I'm not exactly sure why. It's not powerful or brilliant in the way that other musicals are. At first it even drove me crazy. But now I've grown to appreciate songs I didn't like, or at least be more tolerant of them (Shipoopi).
So, here are some of my favorite lyrics:
Oh, there's nothin' halfway
About the Iowa way to treat you,
When we treat you
Which we may not do at all
-- Townspeople, "Iowa Stubborn."
I'm slightly biased in favor of the "Piano Lesson" song because as Mrs. Paroo, it's sort of "my" song.
When a woman's got a husband
And you've got none
Why should she take advice from you?
Even if you can quote Balzac and Shakespeare
And all them other high-falutin' Greeks!
-- Mrs. Paroo, "Piano Lesson/If You Don't Mind My Saying So"
There's not a man alive
Who could hope to measure up
To that blend o' Paul Bunyan
Saint Pat and Noah Webster
You've concocted for yourself
Outta your Irish imagination
Your Iowa stubborness
And your liberry fulla books.
Remember, my friends
What a handful of trumpet players
Did to the famous, fabled walls of Jericho!
Oh, billiard parlor walls come a-tumbling down!
-- Harold Hill, "Trouble Reprise/Seventy Six Trombones"
But when I try in here
To tell you, dear
I love you madly, madly
It's a long lost cause
I can never win
For the civilized world accepts
As unforgivable sin
Any talking out loud
With any librarian
Such as Marian...
-- Harold Hill, "Marian The Librarian"
My mother laughs every time she hears the following line - she says it reminds her of me.
And if occasionally he'd ponder
What makes Shakespeare and Beethoven great?
Him I could love till I die
Him I could love till I die...
-- Marian Paroo, "My White Knight"
What I like more than the music in the show is its fun dialogue and characters. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the script:
And there I was in Madison Hospital, and nobody come to see me! Cousin Will never come... Aunt Bertha never come --
Your Aunt Bertha's dead.
She wouldn't a' come anyway.
(Our Alma's are fabulous.)
Will you members of the School Board stop bickerin' in public?
(I don't know why this line always makes me laugh)
Oh, professor Hill, we're all agog - simply agog!
(Ever since I listened to Les Miserables, the word "agog" has made me giggle.)
ZANEETA, the Mayor's daughter
Papa, please! It's Capulets like you who make blood in the marketplace.
Later in the same scene...
MAYOR SHINN, to Harold
I'll settle your hash as soon as I get these premises offa' my oldest girl.
(I love all of Charlie Cowell, anvil salesman's great phrases. "They are gems," as my director says. )
I got the goods on him in spades. Swindlin' two-bit thimble rigger.
A few lines later
Mistake my old lady's corset cover! That fella's been the raspberry seed in my wisdom tooth just long enough.
(Brilliant... absolutely brilliant. I must start using the phrase "raspberry seed in my wisdom tooth" more often.)
And always remember, fellow River Citizens, I can only remind you that I did everything in my power to prevent this dire happening from - ah - happening.
Honorable Mention: The song that is way too much fun to make fun of.
"Till There Was You." The melody is beautiful, but the lyrics are lame.