Hugh Jackman will return to Broadway for his first musical role in more than 15 years in the revival of The Music Man.
The Hollywood star, who last starred in a Broadway musical in The Boy From Oz in 2003, will play con man “Professor” Harold Hill in the production next year, produced by Oscar-winning director Scott Rudin.
Jackman revealed his part in the production by sharing a promotional picture from the musical on Instagram, along with the caption: “The Music Man. Broadway. October 22, 2020.”
A post on the musical’s official Instagram page said: “1 Giant star. 76 Trombones. And only 18 months until Hugh Jackman returns to Broadway as Professor Harold Hill. October 2020. #TheMusicMan.”
The Music Man tells the tale of Harold Hill, who cons the naive residents in a town in Iowa into believing he is a boys’ band organiser and leader, selling band instruments and uniforms to them and promising to train members of a new band.
He is not a musician and intends to leave town with their money and he later risks being caught out by a local librarian called Marian who intends to expose him, but she falls for him instead.
The Tony Award-winning musical by Meredith Willson first appeared on Broadway in 1957 and in London’s West End in 1961, and was revived in New York in 2000.
Jackman, best known for his long-running role as Wolverine in the X-Men films, was nominated for an Oscar for his part in 2013 musical film Les Miserables, and he has recently won critical acclaim for musical film The Greatest Showman.
In recent years, he has appeared on Broadway in plays A Steady Rain (2009) and The River (2014), and for a concert residency called Hugh Jackman: Back On Broadway in 2011.
Jackman said that The Music Man was the first musical he was ever part of back in the early 1980s at school in Australia.
He told The Hollywood Reporter magazine: “The year was 1983, and I was at Knox Grammar School in Sydney, Australia. I was one of the travelling salesmen, and I think I can actually (almost) remember that unforgettable opening number! That was probably the moment when the magic of theatre 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.”