Houdini: new musical to star Hugh Jackman

Producers Scott Sanders and David Rockwell have announced that Hugh Jackman will star in the musical Houdini, written by Aaron Sorkin and Stephen Schwartz, arriving on the Great White Way during the 2013/2014 Broadway season.

Academy Award and six-time Emmy Award winner Aaron Sorkin ("The Social Network," "The West Wing" ) is making his Broadway debut as a librettist, he is collaborating with ten-time Tony nominee Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell).

Aaron Sorkin said, "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. The chance to collaborate with Stephen Schwartz, Jack O'Brien and Hugh Jackman on a new Broadway musical is a huge gift."

The presss notes for the show reads, "One of the world's most fascinating figures takes center stage in Houdini, an original and contemporary look at the life--and death--of America's first superstar."

Hugh Jackman, who recently starred in his concert show 'Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway,' said, "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."

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.

Additional Houdini casting, creative team and design team to be announced at a later date.


Hugh Jackman (Harry Houdini) won a Tony Award for his Broadway debut in The Boy From Oz,' he next starred on Broadway alongside Daniel Craig in 'A Steady Rain,' and his Broadway concert show "Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway," recently closed after a sold out run. Jackman is known to action/fantasy film buffs for his portrayal of "The Wolverine" in the X-Men film franchise.'

Aaron Sorkin (Librettist) is most probably best know as the creator of the Emmy award winning TV political drama 'The West Wing'. He made his Broadway debut with his play 'A Few Good Men' (1989 original), which was later made into a film starring Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson. His play 'The Farnsworth Invention' premiered on Broadway in 2007.

Stepjen Schwartz (Music & Lyrics) is currently represented on Broadway by 'Wicked' and 'Godspell.' He has contributed music and/or lyrics to 'Godspell,' 'Pippin,' 'The Magic Show,' 'The Baker's Wife,' 'Working,' 'Rags,' 'Children of Eden,' 'My Fairytale' and 'Wicked.' He has also collaborated with composer Alan Menken on the songs for Disney's "Enchanted," "Pocahontas" and "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" and wrote the songs for DreamWorks' "The Prince of Egypt."

Jack O'Brien (Director) as received Tony Awards for his direction of 'The Coast of Utopia - trilogy,' 'Henry IV' and 'Hairspray.' And nominated for Tony's for his helming of 'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,' 'The Full Monty,' 'The Invention of Love,' 'Two Shakespearean Actors' and 'Porgy and Bess.' O'Brien was Artistic Director of the Old Globe Theatre, San Diego, from 1981-2007.

Hugh Jackman

Originally published on

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