Broadway’s starry revival of “The Music Man” has a new boss.
Veteran theater producer Kate Horton has been named executive producer of the musical, taking over day-to-day duties from Scott Rudin. Rudin departed that position earlier this year, saying he planned to “step back” from his theater and film productions following allegations of abusive and bullying workplace behavior.
“The Music Man,” starring Hugh Jackman as Professor Harold Hill and Sutton Foster as Marian Paroo, is scheduled to begin performances on Dec. 20 and to open on Feb. 10 at the Winter Garden Theatre. The upcoming reimagining of Meredith Willson’s classic about a con man’s attempt to pull a fast one on a naive midwestern town has been delayed twice due to COVID-19.
Horton was appointed by the show’s producers Barry Diller and David Geffen. In her new role, effective immediately, she will oversee all aspects of the production. Horton, with her longtime collaborator Dominic Cooke, currently runs the independent production company Fictionhouse. She previously ran the Royal Court Theatre in London, working as the artistic director and executive director. Over her extensive career in theater, Horton has also held top roles at the Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre.
“We are beyond glad that ‘The Music Man’ is finally able to again offer tickets to the public — the wait has been too long,” Diller and Geffen said in a statement. “We are also beyond glad that Kate Horton has agreed to join us as executive producer — her experience and her sheer zest for great work will be invaluable as she supervises all aspects of our production.”
Jerry Zaks, whose credits include “Guys and Dolls,” will be directing the production, with choreography by Warren Carlyle. “The Music Man” will also star Jayne Houdyshell, Jefferson Mays, Marie Mullen and Shuler Hensley.
Horton called it a “privilege” to join the upcoming iteration of “The Music Man.”
“‘The Music Man’ is a joyous love-letter to the United States and a celebration of what we can achieve when we come together,” she said in a statement. “We will ensure our team enjoy the right conditions for creating their most brilliant work and sharing it with the widest possible audience.”