Hugh Jackman to Lead Broadway Revival of ‘The Music Man’

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One of essentially the most bankable of up to date stage stars, the Tony-, Grammy- and Emmy-winning actor will play Harold Hill in a significant 2020 manufacturing of the 1957 Meredith Willson traditional.

Get prepared for 76 trombones and a field workplace stampede. Hugh Jackman will tackle his first Broadway musical function in 16 years when he heads the solid of a significant 2020 revival of The Music Man, producer Scott Rudin confirmed at this time (March 13). Jackman teased the announcement on Tuesday with a promotional picture from the manufacturing on his Twitter feed, sparking vast hypothesis throughout theater websites.

The actor will play "Professor" Harold Hill, the charismatic con man who involves the small Iowa city of River City posing as a boys’ marching band organizer and intends to abscond with the money he collects for musical devices and uniforms. Prim librarian Marian sees by way of his rip-off and plans to show him, however romantic problems ensue.

 
 
 
 
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The Music Man. Broadway. October 22, 2020.

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"The first musical I used to be ever a part of was the exceptional The Music Man," mentioned Jackman in a press release. "The 12 months was 1983, and I used to be at Knox Grammar School in Sydney, Australia. I used to be one of many touring salesmen, and I feel I can truly (nearly) keep in mind that unforgettable opening quantity! That was most likely the second when the magic of theater was born in me."

"The concept of bringing The Music Man again to Broadway has been lurking at the back of my mind for a very long time, perhaps even for 35 years," continued Jackman. "When Scott Rudin referred to as me with that very concept, I used to be floored. To lastly be doing this can be a big thrill."

"There is simply no strategy to precisely describe the extent of pleasure I really feel concerning the alternative to current Hugh in what I feel is one of the best function ever written for an actor in all of Broadway musical theater," added Rudin.

Unique amongst 21st century marquee names in his skill to straddle big-screen motion franchises and old style song-and-dance roles onstage, Jackman has proved himself to be among the many most dependable ensures of blockbuster ticket gross sales since his Tony-winning 2003 Broadway debut within the Peter Allen bio-musical, The Boy From Oz

The actor has appeared thrice since on Broadway in restricted engagements within the performs A Steady Rain (2009) and The River (2014) and the live performance showcase Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway (2011), producing mixed grosses of $83.four million. 

With premium pricing having considerably pumped field workplace incomes potential within the 5 years since the latest of these productions, a Jackman-led revival of a canonical property just like the 1957 Meredith Willson musical guarantees to be large, notably provided that the actor has signed on for a full 12 months.

A number one New York stage star who has been absent from Broadway for the previous few years is believed to be on board to play Marian and shall be confirmed within the coming weeks.

Adding additional luster to the manufacturing is the reassembly of the core artistic workforce from Rudin's lavish 2017 revival of Hello, Dolly! That smash hit starred Bette Midler and earned a whopping $128.2 million in New York, earlier than heading out on a nationwide tour that's proving widespread throughout the nation.

Director Jerry Zaks will once more deal with the reins, with Warren Carlyle on board as choreographer, Santo Loquasto designing units and costumes, Natasha Katz on lighting, Scott Lehrer on sound and David Chase on dance preparations. Joining the workforce shall be distinguished music veterans Jonathan Tunick, doing orchestrations, and Patrick Vaccariello as music director, a job he stuffed on each The Boy From Oz and Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway

"These are nice American artistic endeavors that need to be placed on stage with as a lot love as you can provide them," Rudin informed The Hollywood Reporter. "What I realized on Dolly was that there's an infinite starvation for them from the theatergoing viewers. But the starvation I feel is to see these Golden Age musicals achieved in a Golden Age means."

"When you tackle one of many 10 or so nice, beloved titles, you're making an attempt to do the urtext model of it," he continued. "That's what I feel we did with Dolly and what we're going to do right here. We're going to do it in a means that nobody has ever seen it earlier than. It's going to be massive and exquisite and super-luxe and lovely and extremely romantic, and really a lot on the earth of why the present has lasted for 60 years."

Jackman's footprint in musicals goes far past his Broadway appearances. In his early profession days in Australia, he starred on stage in Sunset Boulevard and Beauty and the Beast, earlier than touchdown the a part of Curly in an acclaimed 1998 National Theatre revival of Oklahoma! in London. He headlined a 2002 Carnegie Hall live performance staging of Carousel, reverse Audra McDonald, and starred within the big-screen musicals Les Miserables and The Greatest Showman. He has hosted the Tony Awards 4 occasions, profitable an Emmy in 2005 for a type of emcee turns.

In May this 12 months, Jackman will kick off a world enviornment tour titled The Man. The Music. The Show., backed by a reside orchestra and performing songs from throughout his profession. On the large display screen, he'll subsequent be seen in Bad Education, with Allison Janney and Ray Romano. 

Rudin mentioned Jackman thought lengthy and onerous on the suitable musical-theater challenge to convey him again to Broadway, and the dialog that led to this challenge has been occurring for about three years. 

The Music Man is usually ranked among the many biggest Broadway musicals of all time. In his first try to put in writing for the stage, Willson penned the e book, music and lyrics for the present, which was six years in improvement. It premiered on Broadway on the Majestic Theatre in 1957, profitable six Tony Awards, together with finest musical, and operating for greater than three years.

"When we did Dolly, my want was to place 1964 onstage," mentioned Rudin. "That's what we need to do right here. We need principally to place onstage an expertise that's our model of what we imagine individuals felt after they walked in to the Majestic to see The Music Man in 1957, which is that blow-the-roof-off-the-theater, blow-the-doors-off-their-hinges musical-theater hysteria that solely a handful of reveals have ever generated. That's the job."

Robert Preston originated the a part of Harold Hill, starring reverse Barbara Cook, and went on to reprise the function within the 1962 film model with Shirley Jones. Matthew Broderick performed Hill in a 2003 TV remake, whereas different notable performers who've tackled the function on stage through the years embody Forrest Tucker, Van Johnson, Bert Parks, Dick Van Dyke, Bob Gunton and, in the latest Broadway revival that ran from April 2000 to Dec. 2001, Craig Bierko, Robert Sean Leonard and Eric McCormack.

Like Jackman, Rudin additionally has connections to the present that go means again. The Broadway premiere was an enormous hit for influential producer Kermit Bloomgarden, in whose places of work Rudin received his begin within the theater enterprise at age 14. 

"I used to be obsessive about The Music Man after I was a child," mentioned Rudin. "I might ask him infinite questions on it and spend months and months poring by way of his information for each single doc I might discover that associated to The Music Man. A ton of what I realized about being a producer I realized from Kermit, and in a means, for me personally, that is sort of a valentine to him."

The revival will start previews Sept. 9, 2020, forward of an Oct. 22 official opening at a Shubert theatre to be introduced, together with extra casting. Group ticket gross sales start on June 9 this 12 months, with single tickets accessible beginning Sept. 15.

This article initially appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.