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re: Why does anyone want to see "The Music Man"?
Posted by: portenopete 08:22 am EDT 10/08/20
In reply to: Why does anyone want to see "The Music Man"? - Singapore/Fling 01:01 am EDT 10/08/20

Comparing Mike Pence and Harold Hill is a bit of a stretch.

Where on the tape was Mike Pence "charming"? He is as diametrically opposite a personality from Harold Hill as you can get. He's far more like the average River City resident: dour, humourless, anhedonistic and judgemental.

I agree that Harold is an anti-hero whose casting needs to be well-considered to fully make the piece work. It's shallow, but I think he needs to be handsome (I often wonder what Forrest Tucker was like: he played Harold Hill more than anyone and he was a pretty homely guy). And he needs to be smart. Intelligence doesn't radiate out of the vice-president. And he's got to enjoy his con, which makes the audience want to be complicit in the crime.

Whether it's healthy or not, we excuse charismatic psychopaths all the time. If ANYONE fits the Harold Hill bill, it's DJT himself who is more than capable of charming a crowd. I think many of his most vociferous haters were, at some point, charmed by him before the full extent of his grossness, lecherousness and sociopathy was revealed.

You can twist a lot of beloved musical comedy leading roles into something perverted and dark if you choose to. I think the pieces are strong enough that they can handle the wild interpretation but to dismiss them out of hand is a pointless exercise. If The Music Man's all-white, midwestern setting represents the banality of evil for you, then that's your baggage to deal with. I don't think it's a particularly trenchant comparison.
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