Hugh Jackman Prepares For His Greatest Show - Seven Things We Learned About the Triple Threat's Upcoming Tour!
Hugh Jackman is gearing up for a worldwide tour, fresh off the heels of the hugely successful film, The Greatest Showman. A true triple threat, he'll be singing, dancing and acting his way through many arenas around the world.
The tour will kick off with 12 shows across Europe and the UK beginning Monday, May 13th in Hamburg, Germany at Barclaycard Arena, with stops in Amsterdam, Paris, Manchester, Dublin, and London, with two shows at The O2 Arena. The 22-city North American leg will begin Tuesday, June 18th at Toyota Center in Houston, TX, with stops in Chicago, Toronto, Boston, Las Vegas, and New York, with two shows at Madison Square Garden, as well as two performances at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.
Jackman sat down with BroadwayWorld after his performance on The Today Show to discuss what he has up his sleeve for his world tour The Man. The Music. The Show.
On the new audiences he has reached through The Greatest Showman:
"My very unscientific way of measuring success of films is being stopped on the street and I can tell you I've been stopped on the street so many more times for The Greatest Showman and young kids with their parents than any other thing I've ever done. My daughter has done dance for the last five years, and I go and watch her like any other parent and I just stand there... class finishes and we leave. Literally after The Greatest Showman I walked in class and hear these [whispers]. 60 young girls in their tutus going like "Oh P.T. Barnum, P.T. Barnum!" My daughter was like, "You are not coming to dance again!" It's completely changed and it excites me. I love the idea that we're going to have a family audience. I love the idea these kids are going to hear songs from The Greatest Showman. They're also going to hear stuff from Les Mis. They might hear the great standards from Irving Berlin or Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly. There'll be no swearing, I tell you that."
How the soundtrack fueled the film:
"My agent taught me something I never heard before: Musicals work because of the book. People love them because of the music, so certainly the music was a really big key. The story had a lot of heart, it's a very earnest story about being yourself, following your dreams, not letting anyone else get in your way and being proud of that. Being proud of the quirky part of you. Don't spend all your energy trying to be like everybody else. That just seemed to come also at a time where collectively, people needed positivity and optimistic messages. It just seemed to come at a time where the world wanted to hear that, hear everything is going to be okay, hear that I can be me. The music was the key. And look, that album... someone told me it 21 weeks at number one in the UK, we just equaled to Adele I think... who could've ever expected that?"
On being the first live performance many people will see:
"I remember going to see my first thing live and it was at a high school. Little did I know that the lead part, the Man of La Mancha, was played by Hugo Weaving, who of course you all know, he went to my high school. I was not at the high school yet. My dad wanted to take me to see the school I was going to the next year, so I went along and I can replay it like a film in my head. I was mesmerized by it, I bought the album and I'll never forget it. That's probably where the spark came from for me to do it for the rest of my life. I never take it lightly. If it's your first time, or if it's your hundredth time, there's something sacred to me about live theatre, and I want people to feel when they come that something happened that night that only happened that night. It's a like a little secret we have... something between the thirty odd thousand of us... something's happening between us that you can only experience tonight."
On balancing the stage and film set:
"Being on stage or in arenas weirdly makes me sharper on a set and movie sets kind of equally help me onstage. They're different muscles. It's all still acting. It's still truth. We're all telling stories, but there is different things in the work. People ask me how I do it and it actually works for me to bounce around. That's where I feel happiest. For me, I'm better when I'm bouncing around."
On the different mindsets he'll inhabit while performing his concert:
"So I go up as Hugh and then I'll switch in, I'll act. When I perform Les Mis, I'll be Jean Valjean. Gaston, yeah it'd be really bad as Hugh to play Gaston. [Laughs] When Sinatra used to go for his sound checks, they were very long apparently and he would sit in the stool at the piano and he'd have the music out and someone said to him that he knew the songs by now and Frank responded saying he was reading the lyrics. Every time he sang, he had to get into the character of that song, so that's what I do."
The greatest showmen (or women) he's been inspired by:
"I'm going to say Hugo Weaving because he was the first. Michael Jackson, probably the greatest concert. [Justin] Timberlake does a similar thing. Eminem, Jay Z, Janelle Monáe, Chance The Rapper, Pink. Pink's connection to the audience made me cry. Colin Hay, Kristin Chenoweth, so many."
On coming back to Broadway:
"Oh yeah, I'm actively thinking about it right now. It's been so great having something like a one man show to dip in and out in between movies because it's a really difficult thing to find 18 months of your life to go to Broadway, but I'm ready, I'll be going back."
For more information and tickets, visit HughJackmanTheShow.com.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos