Thursday, July 7, 2011

Hugh Jackman in Concert

Yesterday I flew to Toronto and saw Hugh Jackman in Concert at the Princess of Wales Theatre.

To preface this post, I have a few things to share. Firstly, I worked at Mirvish Productions when the Princess of Wales was being built in 1993. It was an incredible experience at the time, and a thrill to come back to it last night as an patron. Secondly, my husband has had the pleasure of working with Hugh on Broadway, so we know him - they're "mates".

For any of you who saw Jackman on Broadway in The Boy from Oz or in the West End in Oklahoma! you know his passion for musical theatre. Last night the audience learned that this love was started by his father who bought him a VHS of Singing in the Rain for a Christmas present when he was in his teens. Unsure of the gift, he "gave it a go" and wound up watching it non-stop for the following 6 months. It obviously made a profound impression!

Jackman's concert was a long awaited realization of a dream to have a one-man show, the incarnation of which started this spring in San Francisco and will be playing in Toronto through to July 17th.  The show, about 100 minutes without an intermission, is a collection of some of the best show tunes ever written including Top Hat, Singing in the Rain, Soliloquy from Carousel as well as a selection of Peter Allen songs, supported by a 17-piece band.  Jackman doesn't just stand and deliver the songs, he performs them, acting his way through the emotions of each piece showing us the beaming wattage of his star power. Added to that, Jackman's endearing personality is on full display as he interacts with the audience including some into the act as well as sharing personal stories and pictures of his family. At the end of this event, this huge film star has made you feel like you are one of his "mates".

I look forward to it's Broadway run, hopefully sometime early next year.

Hugh Jackman in Concert at the Princess of Wales Theatre. Tara Walton/Toronto Star

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