Shirley Jones is so wonderful in “The Music Man” (1962) as Marion the Librarian that I wondered who played the character in the Broadway show. Barbara Cook played the role of Marion Paroo alongside Robert Preston, who also starred in the movie. In the movie, some wonderful character actors — Paul Ford, Hermione Gingold, Buddy Hackett — played secondary roles. Of course, the broadway shows don’t spend big money on secondary characters, but both the show and the movie featured Pert Kelton as Marion’s Irish mother.
The director, Morton DaCosta, produced a masterpiece. Even though he uses stagy devices, such as spotlighting characters and even the pool hall during the “(Ya Got) Trouble” song, the movie pops out of the frame with exuberant interest. For a man who only directed 2 other films, including “Auntie Mame” in 1958, he did a wonderful job.