Friday, April 19, 2024

Broadway: Hugh Jackman’s “Music Man” Replaces Scott Rudin with Female Producer, Readies for Ticket Onslaught


Check your clocks at 10am. That’s when “The Music Man” should send Telecharge into a frenzy. The Hugh Jackman musical revival is putting “regular priced” tickets on sale at that time. Tickets are already selling on secondary sites for thousands of dollars. Telecharge should be broken within minutes.

At the same time, producers Barry Diller and David Geffen today announced the person who would replace Scott Rudin as lead producer of the show. They’ve chosen a woman, which is was the smart movie after the ousting of Rudin– not because he was a sexual harasser of women, but because it’s a new, fresh look for the company.

The new lead producer is Kate Horton, and according to a release, she heads Fictionhouse, an independent production company making work in television, film, and theatre, alongside screen and stage director Dominic Cooke. Ms. Horton is said to be responsible for numerous commercial transfers between London and New York, including “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.” I don’t know why that’s important since “The Music Man” is a New York show, but I guess it’s to say she’s very accomplished.

Replacing Rudin should be a challenging task. For a while, at least, no one will believe he’s not somehow pulling strings, if not throwing the potatoes.

“The Music Man” also announced some five star casting: Tony Award winner Jayne Houdyshell as Mrs. Shinn, Tony Award winner Jefferson Mays as Mayor Shinn, Tony Award winner Marie Mullen as Mrs. Paroo, and Tony Award winner Shuler Hensley as Marcellus Washburn. The principal cast will also include Remy Auberjonois as Charlie Cowell, Gino Cosculluela as Tommy Djilas, and Emma Crow as Zaneeta Shinn.

But with tickets selling for upwards of $5,000 a pair, will anyone get to see this show? Stay tuned…

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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