Hugh Jackman is set to make his return to Broadway with a revival of the classic The Music Man, according to a report in Variety. The show will be the Logan actor’s first return to a live stage musical production in over a decade, so it’s guaranteed to be a hard-to-get ticket. And it could also mark a boon to Jackman’s trophy shelf if all goes as before. The last time Jackman did a stage musical was The Boy From Oz, which resulted in him taking home a Tony Award for best actor in 2004.
Jackman is fresh off the surprise blockbuster success of The Greatest Showman, and tweeted that his return to Broadway is official, with performances of The Music Man scheduled to go up on September 9, 2020, and an opening date of October 22.
Scott Rudin is set to produce the show, coming off the successful run of another star-studded revival with Bette Midler headlining a production of Hello Dolly.
The Music Man will feature Jackman in the lead role of Harold Hill, con artist extraordinaire, a role made famous by Robert Preston who first brought it to the stage in 1957, then reprised the role for the 1962 film version. Some of the songs featured in the show include “(Ya Got) Trouble,” “Seventy-Six Trombones,” and “Gary, Indiana.”
The story is set in River City, Iowa, where “Professor” Harold Hill comes to town and sets in motion his usual scheme of pretending to set up a marching band for the town’s children, only to make off with money unsuspecting parents give him to pay for instruments and uniforms they never receive. One parody of the show that became an instant classic in its own right is The Simpsons “Marge vs. Monorail” episode, featuring the voice of the late Phil Hartman as the traveling con man modeled on Harold Hill.
Jackman dropped the news as he is making final preparations for a world tour on which he is set to play rock-star sized arenas, titled The Man. The Music. The Show. That tour will include a 26-piece orchestra and around 30 backup singers and dancers, which should help him prep for his return to Broadway.
“I am doing a big arena tour,” Jackman announced last November. “This is a dream come true for me. I’ve done it in Australia but now I’m going around the world. I’m going to cities all over America, we’re going to Europe, we’re going to to the U.K., we’re going back to Australia and New Zealand. I’m singing, I’m dancing, I’m telling stories.”
The man perhaps best-known by many as Wolverine also said he hopes a live version of The Greatest Showman can be developed at some point.