While East Hamptonite Hugh Jackman made for an incredible action hero in the Wolverine movies, it’s clear that his true calling lies in musical theater. His upcoming world tour, “The Man. The Music. The Show.,” isn’t set to debut until May 2019, but he’s already announced his follow-up project: a Broadway revival of The Music Man.
“The first musical I was ever a part of was the phenomenal The Music Man,” Jackman said in a statement. “The year was 1983, and I was at Knox Grammar School in Sydney, Australia. I was one of the traveling salesmen, and I think I can actually, almost remember that unforgettable opening number! That was probably the moment when the magic of theater was born in me.” He added, “The idea of bringing The Music Man back to Broadway has been lurking in the back of my brain for a long time, maybe even for 35 years, and when Scott Rudin called me with that very idea, I was floored. To finally be doing this is a huge thrill.”
Jackman will debut in the role of Professor Harold Hill, his first Broadway musical role in 17 years, on September 9, 2020, for the show’s first preview performance. The show’s run officially begins on October 22 at one of The Schubert Organization’s 18 Broadway theaters (yet unannounced at the time of writing). The production is directed by four-time Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks and choreographed by Tony Award winner Warren Carlyle.
“There is just no way to accurately describe the level of excitement I feel about the opportunity to present Hugh in what I think is the best role ever written for an actor in all of Broadway musical theater,” Producer Scott Rudin stated. “Although I have spent a lot of time and energy wishing there was a way to stop the passage of time, this is the one moment when I wish it would just move faster. I can’t wait for us to begin working on this together in earnest.”
A much beloved American musical by Meredith Willson, The Music Man debuted on Broadway in 1957 and won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical, during its 1,375-performance run. The original cast recording reached the number one spot on the Billboard album charts and didn’t fall off the charts for 245 weeks. It received the Grammy Award for Best Original Cast Album in 1959.