But He Doesn’t Know the Territory by Meredith Willson
Composer Meredith Willson once described The Music Man as “an Iowan’s attempt to pay tribute to his home state.” Never once forgetting his roots, Willson reflects on the ups and downs, surprises and disappointments, and finally successes of the making of one of America’s most popular musicals. His whimsical, personable writing style will bring readers back in time with him to the 1950s to experience firsthand the exciting trials and tribulations of creating a Broadway masterpiece. A newfound admiration for The Music Man—and the man behind the music—is sure to follow.
Considering that I’ve been waiting to read this out-of-print book since I was 11, you can imagine the thrill I experienced when I realized it had been printed again. This insightful look into how “The Music Man” came to be is charming and sheds light on one of (in my opinion) the greatest musicals ever made. I got it thinking I’d read about the Broadway play during its run and the movie. Instead, I got a history on Meredith Willson’s background and how he developed the idea for the play that originally started out as “The Silver Triangle” before eventually becoming the vehicle for that loveable conman Professor Harold Hill.
Watching the pains, failures and successes Willson went through to see his story realized was fascinating. Whether or not you’re a fan of the play/movie, I recommend reading this book. It’s an insider’s look at what goes in to creating a Broadway show.
Books completed: 11/50
Pages completed: 3213/15,000