You might know Hugh Jackman as The Greatest Showman, or as Wolverine, but fans should get ready to see him on stage in a brand new project: The Music Man. On Wednesday, March 13, it was announced that Hugh Jackman will star in the revival of The Music Man, which is set to open on Broadway in 2020, marking his first time on the Broadway stage since 2014’s The River.
Jackman will portray the leading role of Harold Hill, a conman who moves to a small Iowa town and decides to pretend that he is an organizer of a boys’ marching band in order to solicit money from citizens, under the guise of raising necessary funds for instruments and uniforms. But the town’s librarian, Marian, is not convinced by Hill’s act and conjures up a plan to expose his scamming ways.
The actor took to social media to confirm the exciting news, posting a photo of a trombone and a suitcase with his character’s vintage luggage tag. In a tweet accompanying the photo, Jackman announced that the musical will officially open on October 22, 2020.
Jackman expressed his excitement about taking on the role in a statement announcing the news, as reported by Entertainment Weekly, saying that The Music Man was the first musical he ever took part in, sparking a life long love. He said:
“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. When Scott Rudin called me with that very idea, I was floored. To finally be doing this is a huge thrill.”
The Music Man is the newest project in Jackman’s growing number of musical endeavors. Alongside his role as Wolverine in the X-Men series, the actor is perhaps best known for his memorable performances in movie musicals Les Misérables, as Jean Valjean, and The Greatest Showman as, well, the greatest showman, P.T. Barnum. And, while some might only know him from the big screen, the actor is also far from a Broadway newbie. Jackman won a Tony Award for his performance in The Boy From Oz in 2003 and appeared in the plays A Steady Rain and The River in the years following.
The revival of composer Meredith Wilson’s classic musical is spear-headed by veteran Broadway producer Scott Rudin, and will be directed by Jerry Saks with choreography by Warren Carlyle, per EW. And The Music Man will reportedly begin previews on Sept. 15, 2020. More details, including the casting of Marian, will also be announced at a later date.
If you can’t wait until 2020 to see the actor live on stage, he's already provided the perfect solution. Jackman is turning his musical success into a world tour this year, appropriately titled The Man. The Music. The Show. The arena tour, which kicks off in May with shows across Europe, North America, and his native Australia, will feature a live orchestra and, likely, a lot of charming song and dance. Jackman, after all, is nothing if not a dazzling performer.