Commentary: ‘The Music Man’ is the wrong Broadway revival for this crucial moment

Days after Scott Rudin announced he was “stepping back” from his various projects after allegations of abusive behavior toward his staff, Hugh Jackman assured media that the team behind his Broadway production of “The Music Man” was “rebuilding” without the producer. The starry revival — also with Tony winners Sutton Foster, Jefferson Mays and Jayne Houdyshell — is now set to begin performances in December, more than a year later than initially planned.

“‘The Music Man’ is a joyous love letter to the United States and a celebration of what we can achieve when we come together,” said Kate Horton, the executive producer replacing Rudin. “We will ensure our team enjoy the right conditions for creating their most brilliant work and sharing it with the widest possible audience.”

As Broadway celebrates its return after a historic pandemic closure, offerings like this one beg the question: What exactly are we welcoming back? Why make such great attempts to salvage this particular project in the first place? Upon further analysis, it seems quite a choice to prioritize “The Music Man” in 2021.