By Laurie Scarborough
One of the perks of being in Australia tonight was that I could attend with enthusiasm, Hugh Jackman’s one-man show: Broadway to Oz.
The Oscar-nominated, Grammy-nominated, Laurence Olivier Award-nominted, Tony-winning, Emmy-winning, and Golden Globe-winning (phew that was a mouthful!) Aussie actor has been touring the country with his first (I’m sure of many) one-man show and it was a blast!
From his first leap onto the stage, the high-energy performance left you humming and clapping along to a range of musical theatre classics and pop tunes.
As a musical theatre fan-girl, those were my favourite moments; from his Boy from Oz tribute (the Peter Allen musical for which he won a Tony) complete with metallic silver pants and a human disco ball-esque jacket, to a show stopping Les Mis medley with the backing of a large chorus and choir, he left little to be wanted. He even dropped a line from his West End musical Oklahoma! which got me quite excited since I was a cast member of the musical just last year.
He also included “Luck be a Lady” from Guys and Dolls, and a crowd favourite, “Singin’ in the Rain”, along with a charming (and impressive…he dances too?!) tap number.
The show was accompanied by a live Western Australian orchestra and chorus of dancers, many of which hailed from Jackman’s alma mater, WAAPA (Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts).
I think I should also mention that Jackman released tickets for the concert at a low price because he says he remembers being a student at WAAPA and not being able to afford to see shows.
Jackman’s stage presence was phenomenal; while narrating his journey through the entertainment industry he interacted with the audience candidly, singing happy birthday to an audience member he named Sue because he couldn’t hear what her name was, and bringing a fan on stage and dancing with him while in character as Peter Allen, which was hilarious.
The show ended with a very patriotic aboriginal tribal song and dance, followed by “I Still Call Australia Home”, during which an enormous Australian flag was stretched over the golden circle audience members.
If the show ever tours to South Africa, I would gladly see it again (and loudly recommend it to anyone who will listen). It was definitely a show worth seeing.