Friday, December 28, 2012

But He Doesn't Know the Territory

But He Doesn't Know the Territory. Meredith Willson. 1959. 190 pages.

I REALLY enjoyed this biography of Meredith Willson that chronicles the writing and performing of The Music Man. (The broadway show, The Music Man, not the movie, the book was released several years before the show was adapted to film.) The book provides a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the writing and rewriting of the musical--the lyrics to the songs, the music, the dialogue, etc. There were around 40 drafts of this musical before he got it just right! There is quite a bit of difference between how he first envisioned the show--its focus--and the end result! He shares a bit of his process with readers, going into some detail about the writing of certain songs within the show itself. He talks about his inspiration, his intent, etc. The book also shares the production details, how the show came to be produced. Readers see Willson and his wife trying to "sell" the idea of the show to people, etc. I also loved the chapters spent discussing the rehearsal and rehearsal schedule. I found it interesting how the show stayed a work in progress through its first few weeks before it opened on Broadway.

Read But He Doesn't Know the Territory
  • If you love The Music Man
  • If you love musicals, musical theatre, 
  • If you are interested in writing, composing, producing

© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


CharmedLassie 12:07 PM  

Ooh, this sounds right up my street and I'd never heard of it! Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

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