After Hugh Jackman creates movie magic as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables, he'll perform spectacular illusions as Harry Houdini in a new Broadway musical about the famed magician. Directed by Tony winner Jack O’Brien, Houdini will feature a new score by Stephen Schwartz and is aiming to bow during the 2013-14 season.
“The two ballads Stephen has written, one that closes Act I and one that closes the show, are among the greatest things he’s ever written," O’Brien recently told Broadway.com. "Hugh just kills with them. It’s vintage Schwartz, it’s gorgeous,” O'Brien said of the Wicked composer's newest score, noting it echos music from the 1920s, when the story is set.
Oscar-winning Social Network scribe Aaron Sorkin is penning the musical's book and taking a different narrative route than that of a traditional biography. Instead, the musical tells the story of an epic battle between Houdini and a trio of women, known as 'Spiritualists', who convinced millions of people they could communicate with the dead.
Jackman and the show's creative team are “working our butts off,” according to O'Brien. A read-through of the show's first act is scheduled for January. Jackman will then take a break to film the police drama Prisoners with Jake Gyllenhaal, then reconvene on Houdini in March and April.
Need a Hugh fix until his Rialto return? Check out clips of Jackman crooning from last season's sell-out smash Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway below!