Hoffman will play the role of the Stage Manager in the classic Thornton Wilder play, sources close to the production say.
The production will be Hoffman’s first Broadway role since his Tony Award-nominated performance of Shylock in 1989’s The Merchant of Venice. He played Willy Loman in an acclaimed 1984 revival of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, and appeared in several productions during the 1960s, including Jimmy Shine, The Subject Was Roses and A Cook for Mr. General.
Hoffman, most recently seen on screen in Noah Baumbach’s Netflix 2017 film The Meyerowitz Stories, won an Emmy Award for Volker Schlöndorff’s 1985 television adaptation of Death of a Salesman, costarring his Broadway revival castmates Kate Reid, John Malkovich and Stephen Lang.
Sher was Tony-nominated for his most recent Broadway production, To Kill A Mockingbird (also produced by Rudin). Among his many other stage credits are 2018’s My Fair Lady, as well as Fiddler on the Roof, The King and I, The Bridges of Madison County, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone and his Tony-winning South Pacific in 2008. In all, he’s been nominated for nine Tony Awards.
The news comes as Broadway is desperate for signs of a post-shutdown resurrection. The Broadway League announced this week that theaters are officially closed until January 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and few insiders believe any productions will return before Spring 2021 at earliest.
Last week, a slew of planned productions announced target opening dates of Spring 2021, including the Tony Kushner-Jeanine Tesori musical Caroline, or Change, the Rudin-produced The Music Man starring Hugh Jackman, Flying Over Sunset, American Buffalo and The Minutes. Birthday Candles, starring Debra Messing, will open in Fall 2021.
Our Town was last produced on Broadway at the Booth Theatre in 2002, with Paul Newman as The Stage Manager. Spalding Gray played the role on Broadway in a 1988 Lincoln Center Theater production.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning play’s first Broadway production opened in 1938, a staging that was revived in New York in 1944 with Montgomery Clift as the young George.
One of the greatest and most beloved examples of theatrical Americana, Our Town follows the lives, loves and losses contained within the small town of Grover’s Corners between 1901 and 1913. The Stage Manager serves as the narrator and guide through the stories of the fictional town.