Jack O’Brien, a Broadway polymath as comfortable directing Tom Stoppard chin-strokers as he is developing big Broadway musicals, has signed with CAA. O’Brien, who led San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre from the early 1980s through 2007, helping turn the regional nonprofit into a sometime Broadway tributary. O’Brien, 74, has been nominated for 10 Tony Awards, winning three for his stagings of Stoppard’s sprawling three-part triptych The Coast Of Utopia (2007), Shakespeare’s Henry IV (2004) and the blockbuster musical adaptation of Hairspray (2003). For Lincoln Center Theatre, he made brilliant sense of Stoppard’s nigh incomprehensible Hapgood in 1995. He staged the London bow of Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber’s unfortunate Phantom sequel, Love Never Dies and is currently attached to a long-aborning Stephen Schwartz (Wicked) musical about escape-artist Harry Houdini.
Other notable directing assignments include the musical versions of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and The Full Monty. A writer, lyricist and producer, he added opera to his portfolio, staging Puccini’s Il trittico for the Metropolitan Opera, among other productions. Accolades include the 2002 Mr. Abbott Award from the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation. He was a 2008 inductee into the American Theatre Hall of Fame.