After just ending a record-breaking run of his one-man show this past Sunday, Tony award winner Hugh Jackman has signed on to star in the title role of “Houdini!” The Stephen Schwartz-Aaron Sorkin musical will run during the 2013-2014 Broadway season, and Jack O’Brien will direct.
Sorkin, who wrote the book while Schwartz – known for his work on “Wicked” – wrote the music and lyrics, described the musical in a statement:
Rather than being a biography, “Houdini” – told in a contemporary tone – tells the story of an epic battle that took place between the world’s greatest illusionist and a trio of women, known as ‘Spiritualists,’ who convinced millions of people, including the editors of Scientific American and The New York Times, that they could communicate with the dead.
Jackman explained what drew him to the role in a statement:
I have been deeply fascinated by the life of Harry Houdini since I was young, and in many ways I’ve been preparing for this role my whole life. I am thrilled to be collaborating with this collection of artists who are all at the top of their game.
“Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway” – the aforementioned one-man show – had the honor of having the highest grossing week of any production by the Shubert Organization, the company that owns 16 Broadway theaters, including the Broadhurst Theatre where the show was performed. Jackman also set a record for the Broadway Cares charity by raising $1.8 million to fight AIDS. Overall, the show grossed $14.6 million over its 10-week run.
Assuming the busy actor doesn’t turn up on the Great White Way between now and when the show debuts, “Houdini” will be the actor’s third appearance on Broadway. Other than his one-man show, he also has appeared in “The Boy From Oz” and “A Steady Rain.” He also will star in an upcoming adaptation of Les Misérables, which will begin filming soon and has a tentative release date in December of this year.