Hugh Jackman will star as Harold Hill in “The Music Man.” Directed by Jerry Zaks, with choreography by Warren Carlyle, the fourth Broadway production of Meredith Wilson’s musical about a traveling con-man derailed by River City’s Marian the librarian will begin performances on Wednesday, September 9, 2020, and officially open on Thursday, October 22, 2020,
A cast and a theater has not been announced, but Santo Loquasto will be designing the sets, Natasha Katz lighting, Scott Lehrer sound, David Chase dance arrangements, Jonathan Tunick, orchestrations. Patrick Vaccariello will be the music director.
This is be the fifth Broadway production for Jackman, 51, who came to fame as Wolverine in the X-Men film series. He won a Tony for his role in “The Boy from Oz,” and an Emmy for one of the four times he’s served as host of the Tony Awards.
“The first musical I was ever a part of was the phenomenal The Music Man. 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. 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.”
Robert Preston was the original Harold Hill, which opened on Broadway on December 19, 1957 and ran for 1375 performances. He also starred in the 1962 film.
Subsequent Harold Hills on Broadway:Eddie Albert, Jack Irwin, Bert Parks, Norwood Smith (all in that first Broadway run); Dick van Dyke (1980) Craig Bierko, Robert Sean Leonard and Eric McCormack (in the 2000-2001 revival.) Matthew Broderick performed as Harold Hill opposite Kristin Chenoweth in a version for television in 2003.
With his fast-talking style, “Professor” Harold Hill convinces the parents of River City to buy instruments and uniforms for their youngsters in order to save them, but chaos ensues as Hill’s credentials are questioned and he is called upon to prove himself to the citizens of River City.
Songs include: Ya Got) Trouble, 76 Trombones, Til There WAs You, and the infamous Shipoopi.