Will's 76 Trombones

04/15/1998 at 12:00 AM EDT

When word spread along Broadway on Thursday that the star of NBC's "Will & Grace" would be stepping into the leading role in the hit revival of "The Music Man," some wags said, "You mean, Jack?" Somehow, however, it didn't seem likely that the Sean Hayes character would be entrusted with a boys' band. But, according to the show's producers, come May 8, Eric McCormack (Will himself) will replace Tony nominee Craig Bierko as Prof. Harold Hill, who leads River City, Iowa, into a frenzy of "76 Trombones" in the period musical. Before starring in the hit sitcom, McCormack, 37, had a rich dramatic stage career. As for Bierko, 35, whom PEOPLE named the Sexiest Star on Broadway last November, he's weighing several options, reports this week's New Yorker magazine, which highlights the actor's witty musings (Steve Martin, move over). "Is it just me, or am I an egomaniac?" is one Bierko epigram. Another: "George Harrison was the 'Ringo' of the Beatles." Although he's working on a screenplay, Bierko is also being wooed to star in and co-create his own sitcom, though as he says in the magazine, "At times, I see myself just dropping everything and moving to France to write."

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