BY BILLY SUTER
THE movie that led to The Entertainer, Marvin Hamlisch’s hit of the Scott Joplin ragtime instrumental, reaching No 3 on the US Billboard charts in 1974, is headed for Broadway as a stage musical starring crooner-actor Harry Connick jnr.
It is, of course, The Sting, the film of which teamed Robert Redford and Paul Newman under the direction of George Roy Hill, who had previously directed the two heart-throbs in the western Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
The Sting is set in Chicago in the 1930s and tells of two professional grifters and their attempts to con a mob boss, played in the movie by Robert Shaw.
The stage musical is scheduled for its world premiere in March at Paper Mill Playhouse on New Jersey in the US, where it will run from March 29 to April 29, reports Playbill.
The site adds that Broadway dates are on the cards, but no further details have been announced yet.
Two-time Tony nominee Harry Connick Jnr will star as Henry Gondorff in the world premiere of the new musical, which Playbill states features a book by Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone), and music and lyrics by Urinetown songwriting team Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis, with Connick jnr.
Fifty-year-old Connick jnr, a singer-pianist who has sold 28 million records, is no newcomer to The Great White Way. He made his Broadway acting debut in The Pyjama Game in 2006, for which he earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical.
He was also seen on Broadway in 2011, in On A Clear Day You Can See Forever, and he also featured in extended concert engagements. He is also a Tony nominee for Thou Shalt Not, for which he wrote the music and lyrics, reports Playbill.
Wikipedia reports that Connick Jnr is ranked, by the Recording Industry Association of America, among the top 60 best-selling male artists in the US. He has had seven Top 20 US albums, and 10 No 1 US jazz albums, earning more number-one albums than any other artist in American jazz chart history.
The Sting musical will be directed by John Rando, whose credits include On the Town, while choreography will be by Warren Carlyle, whose credits include Hello Dolly!.
The Sting movie was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, winning seven – including statuettes for direction, screenplay and Best Picture.
Playbill has said that the stage adaptation will contain Joplin’s music in its score, including The Entertainer.
No other casting and has been announced yet.