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Hugh Jackman to Play 'Houdini' on Broadway

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Hugh Jackman’s record-breaking one man show concluded late last week – but it appears that he’s already planning on making a “magical” return.

The 42-year-old star of the “X-Men” films has signed on for a musical about Harry Houdini, with Hugh slated to play the famed illusionist.

“Academy Award and six-time Emmy Award winner Aaron Sorkin of “West Wing” fame will write the story,” the WSJ reports, “and three-time Academy Award and four-time Grammy Award winner Stephen Schwartz of “Wicked” fame will write music and lyrics.”

Interestingly, it was film composer Danny Elfman and not Schwartz who initially was writing the music for the project. “I’ve written music on and off for two years already,” Elfman told EW in 2010. “It’s such a different process [from my film scoring work]. For me, it’s taking forever. But other people say, ‘Oh, no, you’ve only been on that a couple of years, that’s nothing!’”

Broadway World reports that the story will focus on “the human yearning for astonishment and miracles-both manmade and supernatural-and the quest to defy death.”

“I have been deeply fascinated by the life of Harry Houdini since I was young, and in many ways I’ve been preparing for this role my whole life,” said Hugh Jackman. “I am thrilled to be collaborating with this collection of artists who are all at the top of their game.”

Jackman’s return to Broadway means another potential boon for charity. During the 10-week run of his recent show, nearly $1.8 million was raised for the charity Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. After each performance, Jackman would return to the stage to auction off everything from his sweaty T-shirts to meet-and-greets backstage. Some of the items went for as much as $30,000 each.

“You have no idea how much sex I’ve been having,” he joked while accepting an award for his accomplishment.

Producer Robert Fox told the AP that Jackman’s numbers “not only confirm him as one of the most bankable stars in Broadway’s history but also as a fundraiser.”

The actor is scheduled to begin rehearsals for a big-screen adaptation of the classic musical “Les Misérables” at the end of this month. The film, which also stars Anne Hathaway and Russell Crowe, is expected to be released Dec. 7, 2012.

Look for “Houdini” to bow sometime in 2013.

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