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Hugh Jackman to star in Broadway revival of ‘The Music Man’

Hugh Jackman to star in Broadway revival of ‘The Music Man’
Hugh Jackman will star in the Broadway revival of "The Music Man." (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Get those “Seventy-Six Trombones” ready, because Hugh Jackman is starring in a Broadway revival of “The Music Man,” producer Scott Rudin announced on Wednesday.

Though the two-time Tony Award winner has returned to Broadway three times since — in two plays and in a solo concert event — “The Music Man” will be his first role in a Broadway musical since his debut more than 16 years ago in “The Boy From Oz.”

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And he’s kept his singing voice in shape in the meantime by starring in movie musicals such as “Les Misérables” and “The Greatest Showman,” hosting the Tony Awards four times and globe-trotting with his arena tour (which comes to L.A.’s Hollywood Bowl on July 19-20).

The new staging of Meredith Willson’s beloved classic will begin performances on Sept. 9, 2020, and officially open on Oct, 22, 2020, at a Shubert theater to be announced later. It will be directed by Jerry Zaks, with choreography by Warren Carlyle. Rudin, Zaks and Carlyle recently collaborated on the hit Broadway revival of “Hello, Dolly!” starring Bette Midler.

Jackman will play "Professor" Harold Hill, the charismatic con man who heads to River City for his latest scheme: posing as a boys’ marching-band organizer, and running with the money he collects for musical instruments and uniforms. The Iowa town’s librarian, Marian, attempts to expose his plans, despite their romantic complications.

The original 1957 production of “The Music Man” ran for 1,375 performances and won five Tony Awards, including best musical. Its cast album also won the first-ever Grammy Award for that category, and stayed on the Billboard album charts for 245 weeks. In 1962, the musical was adapted into a movie starring Robert Preston and Shirley Jones.

And in 1983, a school production of “The Music Man” featured Jackman in the ensemble. “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!” said the actor in a statement. “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,” Jackman added, “and when Scott Rudin called me with that very idea, I was floored. To finally be doing this is a huge thrill.”

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