Vanity Fair: "[Meredith Willson's memoir] is my bible"

Chronicles the creation of Meredith Willson’s The Music Man—reprinted now as the Broadway EditionIn February 2020, Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster, a two-time Tony Award winner, began work on a splashy Broadway revival of The Music Man. Produced by Scott Rudin, then Broadway’s most powerful and prolific impresario, and directed by Jerry Zaks, the production was shaping up to be the event of the fall theater season. When tickets went on sale, the advance soared to $30 million.

By the end of four weeks, the chemistry was there. Confidence in the room was high. And then, early on the morning of February 28, Jackman woke up and could not breathe. It was, he remembered, the first time in his life that he thought, “If I wake up tomorrow morning and I’m sicker than this, I think I’m going to go to the hospital. I thought, Shit.”

Zaks was putting the finishing touches on the musical adaptation of Mrs. Doubtfire when the producer came to the theater on March 12 and told everyone that Broadway was shutting down. Zaks, “terrified” of COVID, he said, decamped to Bellport, New York, and read But He Doesn’t Know the Territory, Meredith Willson’s charming memoir of the making of The Music Man. Zaks read it five times. “It’s my bible,” he said.

Full article at Vanity Fair. 

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