Hugh Jackman is still coming back to The Great White Way — just a little later than planned.
His starring role in the new revival of the Broadway classic “The Music Man,” which was affected by the COVID-19 shutdown of the theater industry in March, will begin performances April 7, 2021, at the Winter Garden theater in New York City.
For the Scott Rudin, Barry Diller and David Geffen-produced musical, Jackman will team up with stage veteran Sutton Foster, who was to play his co-star before the show was delayed.
“We’re obviously profoundly disappointed to be unable to start rehearsals for ‘The Music Man’ as scheduled,” Rudin said. “But safety is safety, and it has to take precedence over every other consideration — for both our audience and for our company.”
The production, directed by four-time Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks, with choreography by Tony Award winner Warren Carlyle, will also star Tony Award winners Jayne Houdyshell, Jefferson Mays, Marie Mullen and Shuler Hensley.
“Despite the postponement, we are sticking together as a company, and we are grateful to be able to do so,” he added.
Although she previously said that Broadway’s 41 theaters would get back into the swing of things after Labor Day, Broadway League president Charlotte St. Martin said January 2021 is more realistic for the opening.
St. Martin presides over the powerful trade organization, whose 700-plus membership consists of theater owners and producers in North American cities.
The Tony, Emmy and Grammy Award-winning “Wolverine” star, who also starred in “The Boy from Oz,” “A Steady Rain” and “The River” and appeared in a 1983 high school production of “The Music Man,” is happy to be back on the boards.
“Performing on Broadway is a great honor for an actor; in fact, one of the greatest,” Jackman said in a statement. “ No two shows are exactly alike, in large part due to the audience. Show One is filled with anticipation, fear and excitement. It’s like an opening night 8 times a week; the energy in the theater is palpable. It is those same feelings that happen every show thereafter – and you and I are going through it together. The change of dates will not take any of that away. What it will do, however, is help to ensure that ‘The Music Man’ audiences, and our company, are in a completely safe environment. Can’t wait for that day!”