Barnum Back in the Headlines

August, 2009 by Ray Bendici
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barnumProving you can't keep a great showman down -- even if he's been dead for over a century -- Bethel's (and Bridgeport's) P.T. Barnum has recently been back in the limelight. Of course, we here at Damned Connecticut embrace Barnum for his great efforts in collecting and exhibiting the exotic and strange, from Tom Thumb to Jumbo, to trying to purchase the Cardiff Giant (and NOT saying, "There's a sucker born every minute.") And don't forget the Barnum Museum! But ol' P.T. has been in the headlines lately. The first thing is the recent announcement that star of stage and screen Hugh Jackman will be starring in a new musical based on the life of Barnum, The Greatest Showman on Earth, which Jackman will also be producing. That's right, Wolverine is sheathing his claws for a top hat and a spot in the center ring! (And with Jackman as Barnum in a musical, it won't be so hard to convince my wife to go a "damned" film with me!) From the article --
"The Greatest Showman on Earth" will be produced by Jackman, Laurence Mark and Jackman's Seed partner John Palermo. Jennifer Bicks ("Sex and the City") will write the script. Contemporary British pop singer and composer Mika ("Grace Kelly") is reportedly in talks to write the tunes and score the film. Anne Hathaway, with whom Jackman shared a duet with at the Oscars, will play Jamed soprano Jenny Lind. Bicks co-wrote the Oscar telecast and Mark executive produced the telecast as well as the film "Dreamgirls."
Sounds like it should be a lot of fun -- we're really looking forward to it! And okay, for the wife ...


The second item was the announcement that in honor of the 200th anniversary of Barnum's birth in 2010, a full-sized sculpture of the legendary showman and humbug has been commissioned. The figure, to be sculpted by Bethel native David Gesualdi, will be unveiled next September during a two-day celebration of Barnum's birthday. Hopefully, all the events will be larger-than-life spectacles that Barnum himself would've appreciated. We'll keep you posted as we get more details!

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