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A supporting cast of seasoned theater pros is coming together for the splashy Broadway revival of Meredith Willson’s classic The Music Man, with four Tony Award winners signing on to join stars Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster in the fall 2020 production.
Jefferson Mays will play the pompous mayor of River City, Iowa, with Jayne Houdyshell as his overbearing wife Mrs. Shinn. Marie Mullen will appear as Mrs. Paroo, the Irish mother of Foster’s character, town librarian and part-time piano teacher Marian, and Shuler Hensley will play Marcellus Washburn, an old friend and former shill of “Professor” Harold Hill, the con man posing as a traveling salesman, to be played by Jackman.
Produced by Scott Rudin, Barry Diller and David Geffen, the revival reunites the key creative team behind the blockbuster 2017 Broadway revival of Hello, Dolly!, led by director Jerry Zaks and choreographer Warren Carlyle. It begins previews Sept. 9, 2020, with an official opening set for Oct. 15 at a Shubert theater to be announced. Single tickets go on sale next week on Sept. 14, a full year ahead of the first performance.
Houdyshell has been a frequent presence in Rudin’s productions, appearing in Larry David’s Fish in the Dark; Stephen Karam’s The Humans, for which she won a Tony for best featured actress in a play; Lucas Hnath’s A Doll’s House, Part 2, opposite Laurie Metcalf; and last season’s King Lear, with Glenda Jackson and Ruth Wilson.
Mays appeared in Rudin’s all-star 2016 revival of The Front Page, with Nathan Lane and John Slattery. He won a Tony for lead actor in a play in 2004 for the solo drama I Am My Own Wife and was nominated again in 2014 for A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder and in 2017 for Oslo.
Distinguished Irish stage veteran Mullen returns to Broadway more than 20 years after winning a 1998 Tony for best actress in a play for her debut in Martin McDonagh’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane.
Hensley won a Tony for best featured actor in a musical in the 2002 revival of Oklahoma! with Patrick Wilson. More recently, he appeared in the double bill of Waiting for Godot and No Man’s Land with Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, and in this year’s Tony winner for best play, The Ferryman.
The first production from the newly formed triumvirate of Rudin, Diller and Geffen will be director Ivo van Hove’s upcoming reimagining of West Side Story, which begins previews Dec. 10 at the Broadway Theatre, with an official opening set for Feb. 6, 2020.
While the two classic shows will be competing in different Tony seasons this time around, they share a history in the awards race given that The Music Man beat out West Side Story for the best musical Tony in their original 1957 productions.
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