Live Event: Hugh Jackman, Birmingham Resorts World Arena, May 27th, 2019
I’ve always had a bit of a ‘thing’ for Hugh Jackman.
You see dear reader, to me, Hugh is the perfect man. Handsome, manly, WOLVERINE, sensitive, can sing, can DANCE, a bit camp, funny, seems sincere, talented, charismatic, a complete package in more ways than one.
The perfect man, because he could tap dance up to you while singing ‘I honestly love you’ then impale you on his adamantium claws, all while looking really REALLY cross. PHWOAR.
Then there are the films, The Prestige (wow), The Fountain (WOW), Logan (see how I started with the good ones?), X Men etc…Then there was this film, The Greatest Showman. PAH! I was NOT going to lower myself to watch it… and although it’s as cheesy as gorgonzola, mmm well Hugh is rather good in it. The songs are memorable and…rousing, life affirming, positive. Yes, Hugh. A Renaissance entertainer, a man for all seasons.
Seeing he was on tour was a no brainer, it seemed like a once-in-a-lifetime thing, to see a favourite movie star perform live, so I got tickets. UGH I though, how do I tell Dave? Worrying somewhat that he would be mightily bored. But…nevertheless, off we trekked last night to the Resorts World Arena in Birmingham (quite a way for us) to see ‘The Man’ (phwoar), the music (Dave yawns), the show…
I am so glad I didn’t watch bits online before going, it would have spoiled the surprise of this truly epic spectacle. In all my years of concert going I have never experienced anything like this show. If you hate Hugh, can’t bear ‘show tunes/musicals’ and loathe dancing, you would STILL have a wonderful time.
Hugh can certainly belt out a tune, he’s not a brilliant singer but he does have a massive mojo, the sense of emotion he gives is palpable when he sings. He is a really wonderful mover, and dances like a dream. But the main thing about this show is – it’s not all about HIM.
Raising the roof with any song from The Greatest Showman, he would leave the stage allowing others to shine. A rousing ‘This is Me’ begins and from nowhere appears Keala Settle (in the best sparkles ever), Hugh is nowhere to be seen, this isn’t the Hugh Jackman show, this is the Hugh Jackman where he lets others take the limelight show, and that makes it really special.
I have never seen an audience reaction like it. Woahhh hold on – before you think it’s all women, you couldn’t be more wrong, there were a lot of fellas there too, kids, little kids, old people, the full range, all of them having the best time.
There was a smattering of songs from all eras of his career, from a rousing Gaston, to The Greatest Showman, with a middle section of Les Mis which was basically – watching a full production of Les Mis.
After a short interval Hugh took on the persona of Peter Allen, the Australian songwriter the show Hugh won a Tony for – The Boy Next Door – was based on, including a hesitant male member of the audience, which was pretty hilarious.
Morphing into some real old time Hollywood musical numbers, which was nothing short of thrilling for me, seeing him sing Luck Be A Lady was a dream come true, if only he’d thrown in one West Side Story.
Part of the whole experience includes participation from a local choir of 50 (I tried to find out who they were but haven’t been able to. In Manchester it was a choir from the local community). He also brought on a group of Indigenous Australian performers, among them Olive Knight singing of reconciliation in her language, Walmajarri, to the sound of Didgeridoos.
So, dear reader. Let me introduce you to a real star, the sort of star that doesn’t really exist anymore. One that sings, dances and acts well. The man who has everything, the man who can entertain Dave with show tunes, the man who can make me swoon, the man who shares the stage, and really is the perfect showman.
Review by Tina.