We can totally see this. Cameron Mackintosh thinks Tony winner Neil Patrick Harris is perfect to play the titular role in Barnum “if his schedule ever opens up.” The mega-producer revealed this thoughts to the Boston Globe as he prepares to launch his latest incarnation of the classic tuner in the U.K. this fall, starring Brian Conley.
Barnum enjoyed a two-year run on Broadway led by Jim Dale’s Tony-winning performance as sideshow/circus entrepreneur P.T. Barnum. (A newcomer named Glenn Close played his wife, Chairy). Michael Crawford won an Olivier Award for the original London production and starred in a film version of the show.
Harris won the Tony for his performance in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Best known to audiences for his starring role as Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother, Harris is a three-time Emmy Award winner and host of the 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013 Tony Awards. He has also appeared on Broadway in Proof, Cabaret and Assassins and starred as Bobby in the New York Philharmonic’s staging of Company. Harris has directed several stage productions in Los Angeles, including Rent at the Hollywood Bowl.
Mackintosh’s work as a producer includes the original production and current West End revival of Miss Saigon and the Tony-winning productions of The Phantom of the Opera, Cats and Les Miserables (as well as the current Les Miz Broadway revival). His many additional producing credits include Putting It Together, Mary Poppins, Swan Lake, Carousel and Five Guys Named Mo. The producer will soon own nine London theaters.