Two-time Tony nominee Harry Connick Jr. will star as Henry Gondorff in the world premiere of The Sting at Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey this spring. The new musical is based on the 1973 Oscar-winning film, with a book by Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone), music and lyrics by Urinetown songwriting team Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis, with Connick Jr.
Directed by John Rando (On the Town), and choreographed by Warren Carlyle (Hello, Dolly!), the Broadway-aimed engagement of The Sting will begin March 29 and is scheduled to play through April 29.
Set in Chicago in the 1930's, The Sting invites audiences into a smoke-filled world of cons and capers. The story follows small town grifter Johnny Hooker and big-time hustler Henry Gondorff, who plot to bring down the city’s most corrupt racketeer.
Hooker and Gondordff were played by screen legends Robert Redford and Paul Newman in the original film. The Universal Pictures movie, which featured a screenplay by David S. Ward and direction by George Roy Hill, was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, winning seven—including Best Direction, Best Screenplay, and Best Picture.
The film is also remembered for its Oscar-winning score, which composer Marvin Hamlisch fashioned from the songs of ragtime composer Scott Joplin. Hamlisch’s version of “The Entertainer” from the film's soundtrack reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1974, and created a nationwide resurgence in Joplin’s work.
The stage adaptation of The Sting will also incorporate Joplin's music into its score, including “The Entertainer.”
Further casting and additional creative team members will be announced in the near future.
The Sting will be produced on Broadway by The Araca Group, Matthew Gross Entertainment, and by Special Arrangement with Universal Theatrical Group. Broadway dates have not yet been announced.
Connick Jr. made his Broadway acting debut in The Pajama Game in 2006, for which he earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical. His other Broadway credits include On A Clear Day You Can See Forever, and extended concert engagements. He is also a Tony nominee for Thou Shalt Not, for which he wrote the music and lyrics.