This is as close as I came to having dinner with Hugh Jackman!
I caught a preview performance of Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway last week. He is sensational. He sang songs from some of his other stage outings, including The Boy from Oz from 2003, for which he won a Tony. And Oklahoma! which he did on London's West End in 1999. He opened the show singing Oh, What a Beautiful Morning and it was thrilling.
Hugh Jackman in The Boy From Oz
Half way through the first act HJ donned his gold lame pants from Oz and sang a few songs from that show, including Not the Boy Next Door. He later sang I Happen to Like New York like he really meant it! That seems to be the song du jour as Audra McDonald also sang it in her recent concert at Carnegie Hall. Both renditions were spot on.
Hugh Jackman is a star
A large screen is at the back of the stage and highlights of his career are played. He has backup singer/dancers and brings up people from the audience. He pays homage to his native Australia throughout the show, including clips from the movie Australia co-starring fellow Aussie Nicole Kidman. He also recounts his experience of living in the outback for a stretch when he was a teenager. He said he wanted to live there forever, but his father forbid it. He has brought Aborigines to New York for the run of his show and introduces them late in the evening. They perform a number and share some of their culture with the audience. It's a moving part of the show.
Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway is like a vintage Las Vegas show from a member of the rat pack - the only thing missing is a cigarette and glass of scotch. I don't say that as a dig - he is masterful in bringing that ring-a-ding-ding, cool swagger to the stage like no one else does these days. At the same time, he seems so genuinely nice - like he is the boy next door.
After theater snack
When I go to the theater during the week, dinner is a bit of a problem. I don't end up eating lunch most days until about 4 PM, and work until 7 PM. So, there's not much time for dinner and I'm not particularly hungry anyway. So, as I posted last week, I met a friend at Angus McIndoe restaurant across the street from the Broadhurst Theater which Hugh Jackman is playing before the show. I had a half dozen oysters. When I got home I had a small bowl of turkey chili. I don't want anything heavy before bed, but I do want something. I buy prepared chili at Citarella. I get two dinners out of one - not bad @ $4.99 for a container. It's just enough.