The Sting Is Back — Now As a Musical With Harry Connick, Jr. at Paper Mill Playhouse
By Helaine Feldman, Contributing Writer, March 30, 2018
If you remember the 1973 Academy Award-winning film, The Sting; if you loved seeing Paul Newman and Robert Redford together on screen as two lovable con men; if you still tap your toes to the ragtime tunes of Scott Joplin—then you’re in for a treat.
A musicalized stage version of The Sting is now playing just across the Hudson River at the famed Paper Mill Playhouse, running through April 29 (official opening on April 8). This world-premiere production features singer, songwriter, musician and current talk show host Harry Connick, Jr. in the Paul Newman role of hustler Henry Gondorff. Another plus is that the score of the new production will incorporate some of Scott Joplin’s music, including “The Entertainer.” Music and lyrics for this stage adaptation are by Mark Hollmann (Tony Award, National Broadway Theatre Award and the Obie Award for Urinetown: The Musical) and Greg Kotis (two Tony Awards and an Obie for Urinetown: The Musical), with Connick, Jr.
The film version of The Sting received rave reviews and was nominated for ten Oscars, winning seven, including Best Picture, Best Director (George Roy Hill, who had previously directed Newman and Redford in the blockbuster western, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid), Best original Screenplay and Best Music, Scoring Original Song Score and/or Adaptation for Marvin Hamlisch. It is listed in the American Film Institute’s 100 Years…100 Movies.
Harry Connick, Jr., is a multiple Grammy and Emmy winner. He received Tony nominations for his performance as Sid Sorokin in The Pajama Game and for his score to Thou Shalt Not. He also has appeared in 19 films and in 2016 launched “Harry,” a national syndicated daytime television show which earned five Daytime Emmy nominations in its first season.
Paper Mill Playhouse, winner of the 2016 Tony Regional Theatre Award is the “State Theatre of New Jersey” and is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year.
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Cover: Harry Connick, Jr.; courtesy of production.