A word in praise of Hugh Jackman
Last Edit: lordofspeech 02:01 pm EST 01/16/23
Posted by: lordofspeech 02:01 pm EST 01/16/23

Although I respect the MUSIC MAN connoiseurs who found Hugh Jackman’s personal high spirits imperfectly suited to the arc of Harold Hill, and although I admit I so enjoyed the show, especially the dance ensemble, Sutton Foster’s quirkily bitter take on the heroine, and Jackman/Hill’s indefatiguable way of flirting/seducing/charming everyone of the River City townspeople (shades of the vain “Curly” in his definitive Oklahoma performance), I think attention must be paid for what he took on as a leader of the Broadway community. Sutton Foster’s curtain-call tribute to him at the final show, for his kindness, is no small acknowledgement. It’s big. And I think he was determined that his good will would triumph, despite that he did not get the critical reception Midler did.

I have a friend who ushers at the WinterGarden. She posted a facebook photo of Jackman in the aisle with her, their arms around each other. A good guy. The genuine article. And, given his interpretation, I think the idea that his Hill would leap aboard the Wells Fargo wagon to personally deliver the packages was apt. Perhaps he was more Saint Nick than the business-minded Hill is meant to be, but his brazen love for people, and for River City in particular, was a warm tonic for these troubled times.

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