I found The Music Man to be, overall, no better and no worse than any of the recent TV versions of great musicals. The best and most insightful comment came from a friend the other night when he said, "they don't know how to do them anymore." They don't know how to walk down that very narrow path containing reality as well as bright, colorful, delightful musical reality. They don't know how to choreograph. They don't know when to cut, and when to keep the camera steady. They don't make costumes that are fun but looked lived in. They can't orchestrate a number to save their skin. There were some aspects of the show which were (seemingly) inexcusable to me. The costumes and hair were strictly amateur, ill-fitting and making the actors look ugly and move awkwardly. There were some awkward shots showing the flimsiness of many of the sets. The lack of good color was the first thing we all noticed. The orchestrations were changed in that modern way to add a touch of "Vegas" everywhere (incidentally, this was NOT done to Gypsy, which used its original orchestrations). They hired Molly Shannon obviously to bring out the comedy, and then gave her no opportunity to do so (unlike Hermione Gingold in the original). They hired Victor Garber for a role utterly unsuitable to him. Perhaps they didn't understand or appreciate the comedy in this show at all, as they missed jokes right and left. Whether the lead performances measured up is a matter of personal taste. I think Matthew Broderick overall did his best, but he is the wrong type for Harold Hill, better for Marcellus. Harold isn't an aging boy. And Broderick tries so hard to act natural and unfettered that he seems to have no range, he never "goes for it." He was, overall, bland, and he didn't even look handsome or energized. Unfortunately, I think Broderick was the reason this got made at all (Eric McCormack is a much better choice for Hill, but probably doesn't have Broderick's clout at this time). So, I can say without quibbling, my favorite actor in this version was Kristen Chenowith, and her singing in two songs ("Goodnight, My Someone" and "My White Night") were the only saving graces in this show, for me, even though the numbers were awkwardly staged and she had to emote through those horrible bangs. "Till There Was You" was given too much pop stylization. Immediately following the show, we turned on the DVD of the original movie, directed by the original show's director, Morton DaCosta. The difference was startling, even remarkable, and not just in the casting. The staging, the costumes, the orchestrations, the color -- all were superior, without question. And Shirley Jones is one of the greatest beauties of the cinema, even when pregnant with Patrick Cassidy. If I were Kristen, I would have been mad at my costumes, maybe even refusing to wear them.