The Fall of 2020 cannot get here fast enough, with the Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster led production of The Music Man promising to be a highlight of the 2020-2021 season. Jackman will play Harold Hill, a con-man of a traveling salesman who sets his mark on the small town of River City, Iowa, peddling the promise of a boys marching band. Foster will play Marian Paroo, the skeptical town librarian who vows to reveal him for the humbug that he is. Producers Scott Rudin, Barry Diller, and David Geffen announced the additional cast for the highly anticipated revival of Meredith Willson’s beloved classic.
Joining the aforementioned stars will be Tony Award winner Jayne Houdyshell (The Humans) as Mrs. Shinn, Tony Award winner Jefferson Mays (I Am My own Wife) as Mayor Shinn, Tony Award winner Marie Mullen (The Beauty Queen of Leenane) as Mrs. Paroo, and Tony Award winner Shuler Hensley (Oklahoma!) as Marcellus Washburn. Additional casting will be announced at a later date.
The Music Man will be directed by Tony-winning director Jerry Zaks (Guys & Dolls, Six Degrees of Separation) who helmed the acclaimed revival of Hello, Dolly! starring Bette Midler, collaborating with Tony-winning choreographer Warren Carlyle (After Midnight), also of the Hello, Dolly! revival. The Music Man reunites several “Dolly” alums including four-time Tony Award winner Santo Loquasto (Scenic & Costume Design), six-time Tony Award winner Natasha Katz (Lighting Design), Tony Award winner Scott Lehrer (Sound Design), and David Chase (Dance Arrangements). Tony Award winner Jonathan Tunick will create Orchestrations, and Patrick Vaccariello joins the team as The Music Man’s Musical Director.
The Music Man originally opened on Broadway in 1957, winning the Tony Award for Best Musical. The production starred Robert Preston and Barbara Cook who both won Tony Awards for their performances. The production ran for 1,375 performances and was turned into a highly successful film starring Preston and Shirley Jones. The show is remembered for its pastiche score of early 20th century American music styles, with songs such as “76 Trombones,” “Lida Rose,” “Trouble,” “Shipoopi,” “The Wells Fargo Wagon”, “Gary, Indiana,” and “Till There Was You” among the standards that it yielded.
Performances for The Musical Man revival will begin on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 and the production officially opens on Thursday, October 15, 2020 at a Shubert Theatre to be announced.
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. His forthcoming book, Sitcommentary: The Television Comedies That Changed America, will hit the shelves in October, 2019. He maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.