Broadway to Oz: Ten reasons to love Hugh Jackman (even more)
Hugh Jackman sashayed onto the Rod Laver Arena stage for the world premiere of his show Broadway to Oz, which according to the singer/dancer/actor is a dream come true.
The concert is a mish-mash of memories, flashbacks and nostalgia with insightful stories and a thoughtfully-crafted set list.
The man is universally revered as a Mr Nice Guy and after the first of many sold-out shows on his national tour, there are now 10 more reasons to love HJ.
- He serenades his wife of nearly 20 years Deborra-Lee Furness, professes his love and is generally a hopeless romantic before a crowd of about 12,000 adoring fans.
- He plucks a woman from the crowd: an older woman who is visibly chuffed to have been hand-picked to not only get a peck on the cheek from the man but after hobbling on stage also manages a hilarious, hip-thrusting dance on stage with him.
- He is not afraid to pop on an enormous video screen a grainy photo of a pre-teen Hugh at a sports day, with the skinniest of skinny legs and something (I assume a piece of cloth?) hanging from one of the short legs.
- He has memorised hordes of obscure country town names for a brilliant rendition of ‘I’ve been everywhere’ and loves a sing-a-long.
- He still looks hot in a cherry red, sequinned shirt with bright pineapple-shaped motifs. Yes, a tribute to Peter Allan is a highlight.
- He admits that he was close to settling in the outback at the age of 19 after working with Aboriginal communities before his dad begged him to come home.
- He cries on stage during an emotional song from Les Mis then manages to have everyone in stitches with his comedic flair.
- He declares the mantra, ‘The thing that makes you different in life isn’t something to be ashamed of, it’s something to be proud of’.
- He says an almost inaudible but awfully sweet hi to his daughter Ava while waving to the frenzied crowd during the finale.
- He can tap dance. ‘There’s no Milli Vanilli tonight’ as he changes into tap shoes in front of everyone
The world premiere was the first of four shows at Rod Laver Arena before Hugh sets off interstate to entertain Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide.