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Meredith Willson Documentary to Premiere in Mason City

Iowa-born composer and playwright Meredith Willson is the focus of a new documentary that will premiere next month. Caryline Clark, engagement manager for Iowa PBS, says “Meredith Willson: America’s Music Man” follows his long and accomplished career as well as his devotion to his home state.

The documentary will air statewide on Iowa PBS on February 28th at 6:30 PM, but there will also be two special early showings on the big screen, the first of which will be held in Willson’s hometown. That world premiere is scheduled for 1 PM on February 11th at Music Man Square in Mason City.

An Iowa City premiere of the documentary is scheduled for the following day, February 12th at 1 PM in the Voxman Music Building on the University of Iowa campus.

Clark says Iowans who’ve made the journey to New York City to see Willson’s most famous musical will recognize a familiar voice in the documentary.

First appearing on Broadway in 1957 and adapted for film twice, “The Music Man” took Willson eight years and 30 revisions to complete, and he wrote more than 40 songs for it. Seating is limited at the two free screenings so people who want to attend need to register in advance at: iowapbs.org/events.

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