Houdini: Hugh Jackman withdraws from production

Hugh Jackman has withdrawn from the upcoming Broadway premiere of the musical Houdini due to scheduling demands.

Jackman said

I have greatly enjoyed the collaborative process on Houdini. Ultimately, though, I wasn't able to commit to the time this role will require. I have tremendous respect and admiration for the creative team and I wish everyone the best. I know they're well on their way to making something extraordinary.
Producer Scott Sanders said
Hugh has been terrific to have on this part of our journey. We will continue to move forward with our remarkable creative team as they craft this ambitious new musical.
Hughman is not the first person to withdraw from the project this year. Aaron Sorkin, who was writing the book for the musical, withdrew from the production team in January 2013.

The musical had been rumored to arrive on Broadway in 2014, but with Jackman's withdrawal, the show is now planning to finally arrive on the Great White Way in 2015/2016.

Houdini, with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and direction by Jack O'Brien, is an original and contemporary look at the life - and death - of Houdini, one of America's first superstars."

Producers Scott Sanders and David Rockwell first announced the new musical Houdini in April 2008. At that time Danny Elfman was on board to write the score, David Yazbek the lyrics and Kurt Andersen the book. Only director Jack O'Brien remains part of the originally announced creative team. Producer David Rockwell, who is a Tony- nominated architect/set designer (Hairspray), will also design the sets for the new musical.

Composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz is currently represented on Broadway with the musical 'Wicked,' and the revival of 'Pippin,' for which he wrote the music and lyrics and for which he was nominated for Tony Awards. His other works include 'Rags,' (lyrics - Tony-nomination), 'Working' (book, music and lyrics - Tony-nomination) and 'Godspell' (music and Lyrics - Tony-nomination).

Multiple Tony Award-winning director Jack O'Brien is currently represented on Broadway with his helming of Macbeth, starring Ethan Hawke and Anne-Marie Duff. His Tony Award-winning credits include Tom Stoppard's 'The Coast of Utopia' trilogy, 'Henry IV' and 'Hairspray.' He has been nominated for Tony Awards for 'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,' 'The Full Monty,' 'The Invention of Love,' 'Two Shakespearean Actors' and 'Porgy and Bess.'

Hugh Jackman

Originally published on

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