Harry Connick Jr has been set to star in The Sting, a new musical in the works that will have its world premiere next month at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse, with the producers eyeing a Broadway transfer. The musical, based on the 1973 Oscar-winning Universal film, is set for a limited run March 29-April 29.
Connick will play Henry Gondorff, portrayed by Paul Newman in the feature film, which was set in 1930s Chicago and centers on a pair of con men — small-town grifter Johnny Hooker (played in the film by Robert Redford) and hustler Gondorff — who plot to bring down the city’s most corrupt racketeer. Directed by George Roy Hill, the movie won Oscars for Best Film along with director, screenplay (David S. Ward), costumes (Edith Head), editing (William Reynolds) and the ragtime-y score by Marvin Hamlisch.
As first revealed back in 2014, the musical’s book is by Bob Martin, with music and lyrics by Mark Hollmann & Greg Kotis with Connick. The producers also said the score will contain music by Scott Joplin including “The Entertainer.” Warren Carlyle is the choreographer and John Rando is directing. The rest of the musical’s cast is still to be announced.
Connick has Tony Award nominations for 2006’s musical The Pajama Game (as an actor) and 2001’s Thou Shalt Not (for original score). He also starred in 2011’s On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.
The eventual Broadway transfer will be produced by The Araca Group, Matthew Gross Entertainment, and by special arrangement with Universal Theatrical Group.