He’s billed as “The Greatest Showman.” Connecticut native P.T. Barnum created the “American Circus,” and now Hollywood is releasing a musical movie on his life starring Hugh Jackman.
The Greatest Showman is about Barnum, who was a former mayor in Bridgeport, but another Connecticut native is in the movie as well.
The movie features Jackman’s carriage driver in the movie, John Allegra, who is a Bridgeport native and owner of Allegra Farms in East Haddam.
John supplied 20 antique 19th century carriages, along with the horses for the feature length flick.
“This very vehicle is Hugh Jackman’s coach. You’ll see him in here,” Allegra said.
The movie’s art director wanted the carriage to fit Hugh Jackman’s image.
“They added the curtains to it. They did the upholstery. They do amazing work what Hollywood can do was pretty amazing,” Allegra said.
One of the most dramatic scenes in the movie was recreated and shot in the Brooklyn Navy yard.
John captured the burning of Barnum’s much heralded New York City museum.
Another carriage from Allegra Farm helped create the real scene of the late 1800s.
“There were thousands of these in the cities just like our buses today to move people from one block to the next block,” Allegra said.
John’s dog Petey also made a cameo appearance.
“He rode in that Studebaker, the governor’s car. He had two girls walking in front of the camera and they also green screened him,” Allegra said.
The Greatest Showman debuts in theaters nationwide on Wednesday, including Gallery Cinema in Colchester, and at the 7:10 p.m. showing, John Allegra and his friends, and little Petey, will be there.
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