Monday, December 5, 2011

Hugh, Hugh, Hugh

Thanks to a dear friend, I had the opportunity to see one of my all time favorites in his one man show.  Hugh Jackman.  He has to be one of the most talented and versatile actors in show business.  He seamlessly goes from Peter Allen to Wolverine to Leopold to Robert Angier to....You get the picture.  He goes from Wolverine to Curly to Billy Bigelow to Jean Valjean.  I don't know if there is another actor with the range and depth of talent.  His voice soars above all, cuts straight to the core of your soul. No really. His encore of Once Before I Go by Peter Allen left few dry eyes in the house.  His humor and charm make you feel like he is ad libbing the entire show, as if it is the first time, the first audience, the first run through.  That is a gift. Being in the moment.  I am sure that every member of the Broadway audience felt that special connection.  It isn't like a Justin Bieber kind of love that the teenage girls have, it is a palpable love and respect.  

Hugh Jackman honors his entire life throughout the show.  He tells wonderful stories about his Dad, his wife, his kids.  The love he has for his homeland is quite admirable.  Clearly, he understands the deep and painful history that is Australia.  He honors the Aborigines by bringing their story to the stage and having four of them perform. The drop down screen shows different photos of life in the outback.  Gorgeous. He understands the throughline from where he comes from, not just his own personal history, but performance history, too.  He knows that he didn't just show up, spit out from a black hole.  He honors the great movie stars of yesteryear that he watched on television in Australia.  He gives the spotlight to each of the people in his cast and orchestra. He and his team put together a wonderful show. 

If that's not enough, Hugh Jackman does an exemplary job raising money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids.  He auctions off his sweaty undershirt to the highest bidder.  At our performance, he raised $7000.00 for two.  He then offered to take photos with anyone who would spend $2000.00 to BC/EFA.  The line was very long.  He must have spent a half an hour after the matinee taking photos with another show in three hours .  He must have raised upwards of $40,000.00.  That's amazing!  Within the Broadway community, they have a friendly rivalry to see who raises the most during the fundraising campaign.  With a largely one man show, I can't imagine anyone raising more.  

My friend who arranged the afternoon, surprised us and arranged for us to go backstage and meet him briefly.  We didn't have to pay the $2000.00.  He hugged and kissed us all.  Gracious. Not rushing.  We were keenly aware of his time and took our leave.  We walked out the stage door and as soon as we got through the barricades, the door opened again, there was a roar from the crowd, flashbulbs went off, people from all over 44th street swarmed the streets to see what they could see.  It was an incredible feeling.  I wonder how long he stayed.  He had to rest before the evening show and doing it all over again, the whole thing.  What a phenomenal man.

Sidebars:  Went to Leopard at Cafe Des Artistes for our anniversary dinner.  The whole experience didn't disappoint.  The new owners respected the history of the restaurant, cleaned up the murals, spiffed it up a bit, and turned it into a must.  The food and service were wonderful, but above all, it was the perfect capper to a very special day commemorating a life changing day.

Feel free to re-post or forward to friends.


  1. Funny coincidence - I have a review up today too! I've always loved Hugh Jackman. He has "it" You lucky girl, you!

  2. I can feel your exuberance in your words - sound like an amazing experience! I'm so glad you had that opportunity! Congratulations again on that Blind Date. xoxox

  3. Thanks for sharing; I feel like I was there too! Love him!