Hugh Jackman (Photo: Ben Watts)
“Ya got trouble,” sang Robert Preston in the original Broadway production (and later the film version) of Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man. It’s doubtful that he could have imagined the trouble from allegations against powerhouse producer Scott Rudin. The dust barely settled before Rudin distanced himself from his Broadway ventures, including this starry revival featuring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster.
British producer Kate Horton is taking the reigns and will oversee “all aspects of the production,” according to Broadway Briefing. Horton heads Fictionhouse, an independent production company making work in television, film, and theatre, alongside screen and stage director Dominic Cooke. They previously ran the Royal Court Theatre in London, UK, as Artistic Director and Executive Director and have produced Tony, Olivier, and Pulitzer Prize-winning work.
“The Music Man is a joyous love letter to the United States and a celebration of what we can achieve when we come together,” said Horton. “We will ensure our team enjoys the right conditions for creating their most brilliant work and sharing it with the widest possible audience.”
Fellow producers Barry Diller and David Geffen announced that tickets for the highly-anticipated revival of Meredith Willson’s The Music Man are now on sale with preview performances beginning Monday, December 20, 2021, with opening night scheduled for Thursday, February 10, 2022, at the Winter Garden Theatre.
The production, directed by four-time Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks, with choreography by Tony Award winner Warren Carlyle, will also star Tony Award winner Jayne Houdyshell as Mrs. Shinn, Tony Award winner Jefferson Mays as Mayor Shinn, Tony Award winner Marie Mullen as Mrs. Paroo, and Tony Award winner Shuler Hensley as Marcellus Washburn. The principal cast will also include Remy Auberjonois as Charlie Cowell, Gino Cosculluela as Tommy Djilas, and Emma Crow as Zaneeta Shinn.
One of the most universally cherished treasures of the American musical theater, The Music Man was an instant hit when it premiered on Broadway on December 19, 1957. It went on to win five Tony Awards (snuffing out West Side Story), including the prize for Best Musical and ran for 1,375 performances. The original cast album held the number one position on the Billboard charts and stayed on the album charts for 245 weeks. The recording won the first-ever Grammy Award for Best Original Cast Album. The Smithsonian Institution ranks The Music Man as one of the “great glories of American popular culture.”
The Music Man reunites the creative team of the Tony Award-winning and record-breaking revival of Hello, Dolly! starring Bette Midler, including (in addition to Zaks and Carlyle), four-time Tony Award winner Santo Loquasto (Scenic & Costume Design), Tony Award winner Scott Lehrer (Sound Design), and David Chase (Vocal and Dance Arrangements). Tony Award winner Jonathan Tunick will create Orchestrations. Patrick Vaccariello and five-time Tony Award winner Brian MacDevitt join the team as The Music Man’s Musical Director and Lighting Designer, respectively.