With Hugh Jackman returning to Broadway in the highly-anticipated revival of The Music Man in the fall of 2020, audiences have been speculating as to who would star opposite him in the role of Marian (The Librarian) Paroo. The wait is over. Two-time Tony-winning actress Sutton Foster (Thoroughly Modern Millie) will play the hard-nosed librarian who ultimately reveals a heart of gold.
Ms. Foster shared her enthusiasm for joining the production, “There were bells on a hill but I never heard them ringing. No, I never heard them at all. Till there was Hugh.”
Sutton Foster became the darling of Broadway, escalating to stardom in the role of Millie Dillmount in the 2002 production of Thoroughly Modern Millie, winning a Tony Award for her triple-threat performance. A second Tony came for her portrayal of the evangelist-turned-nightclub singer Reno Sweeney in the 2011 revival of Anything Goes. Other Broadway credits include Les Miserables, Little Women, The Drowsy Chaperone, Shrek: The Musical, and Violet. More recently, Foster player Charity Hope Valentine in the critically lauded off-Broadway production of Sweet Charity.
The Broadway revival of The Music Man is slated to open October 22, 2020, with Jerry Zaks at the helm and Warren Carlyle providing the choreography. Further details about the production, including venue and additional casting, will be provided at a later date.
With a score by Meredith Willson, and a book by Willson and Franklin Lacey, The Music Man originally opened on Broadway on December 19, 1957. It went on to win five Tony Awards, including the prize for Best Musical, and ran for 1,375 performances. It made a star of Robert Preston in the title role and the cast also included Barbara Cook as Marian Paroo.
Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals, The Disney Song Encyclopedia, and The Encyclopedia of Television Theme Songs. He maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.