Tony Award winner Hugh Jackman will return to Broadway during the 2013-14 season to star in an original musical "Houdini," Broadway.com announced today. Stephen Schwartz ("Wicked," "The Magic Show") will compose the score and and book will be by Emmy and Oscar-winning writer Aaron Sorkin. ("The Social Network," "The West Wing"). Jack O'Brien will direct.
But this is not the first time the great magician is fodder for escapist musical entertainment on stage.
Timothy Gulan, played the magician. the cast also featured Lewis Cleale, Barbara Walsh and PJ Benjamin . William Scott Duffield composed the music and co-wrote the lyrics of the show, which centers on Houdini's relationships with his mother, wife and brother as he rises from a poor immigrant to one of the great celebrities of his era. James Racheff wrote the book to the show and co-wrote the lyrics. Gabriel Barre directed and choreographed. Peter Samuelson was magic consultant.
Most people's information about Houdini came from the 1953 film biography ``Houdini,'' starring Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, which is filled with inaccuracies.
Since then, Kenneth Silverman has tried to straighten the Holllywood misinformation with his biography, ``Houdini!!!'' (HarperCollins).
Houdini was also a supporting character in the musical ``Ragtime."
Also, Harvey Keitel played the magician in a supporting role in the film, ``Fairy Tale: A True Story'' (which also features Peter O'Toole as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle).
Paul Verhoeven (``Starship Troopers'')was once interested in directing a biography of Houdini, with Tom Cruise mentioned as a possible lead.
Photos by Diane Sobolewski