Master magician and escape artist Harry Houdini was no stranger to Broadway. Between 1917 and 1926, the year of his death, the Budapest-born wunderkind made four separate appearances on the Great White Way. Though he has yet to return from the beyond, by magic or any other means, his persona did reach Broadway once again as a minor character in the 1988 musical, Ragtime. But who can blame producers for thinking an outsize personality like Houdini deserves a show all his own? Especially when one of those producers is an architect who'll get to design the sets and devise the stunts?
Scott Sanders and architect David Rockwell are hoping to bring Houdini to Broadway in Spring 2010, with Sanders noting in a statement, Houdini is an amazing, iconic figure who continues to captivate our imagination more than 80 years after his death."
Speaking of magicians, Jack O'Brien, the guy who helmed such Tom Stoppard mind-bogglers as The Coast of Utopia and The Invention of Love, will direct Houdini, which will be scripted by novelist and Spy magazine founder, Kurt Anderson. Danny Elfman, best known for scoring such Tim Burton films as Pee Wee's Big Adventure and Beetlejuice, will compose the show's songs with lyricist David Yasbek, whose The Full Monty and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels were both staged on Broadway by O'Brien.