"The Music Man" creator Meredith Willson, a flautist and piccolo player, composer, conductor and musical arranger, seemed on the surface an unlikely candidate to create Broadway’s next hit, given his lack of experience in the medium....In the late 1940s, Willson began working on the first of his three autobiographies, "And There I Stood with My Piccolo." This lighthearted book explores Willson’s turn-of-the-20th-century childhood in Mason City, Iowa, where he adroitly honed the skills that enabled his professional career in music while also wholeheartedly participating in small town misadventures.
From Leonard Bernstein’s "Candide" to the Damon Runyan-inspired "Guys and Dolls," to her own adaption of "The Jungle Book," Tony Award-winning director Mary Zimmerman has brought her unique style to this beloved American entertainment. She’s long exercised her chops on the Goodman stage and now returns with "The Music Man," the 1957 classic about a smooth-talking swindler and the small Midwestern town he wraps around his little finger.
“One of the most significant literary achievements in modern-day Chicago” ("Chicago Tribune")—Ike Holter’s seven-play “Rightlynd Saga”—is now complete. Courtesy of the playwright and dramaturg Kendra Miller, here is a look back at these remarkable works.
Lynn Nottage sets her play "Sweat" in Reading, Pennsylvania—a once-prosperous city 48 miles northwest of Philadelphia—captivated by its early 21st century economic struggles. Reading’s story, from its earliest pre-Revolutionary beginnings to its apex in the 1930s to its current state of economic decline, mirrors that of many cities across the nation that have undergone sweeping changes in their economic landscapes.
As historians often try to make clear, the us-and-them divisiveness that defines American life today did not spring full-blown from the election of 2016: our cultural discord goes back decades. And while its causes are varied, the threads of race and the economy are woven deep into the fabric of this dilemma. With "Sweat"—for which she won her second Pulitzer Prize—playwright Lynn Nottage unravels these knots and reminds us that so much of what sets us at odds is often beyond our control.