Hugh Jackman on Broadway translates into cold cash

2012-01-02 10:27

Hugh Jackman has left Broadway with a lot of broken hearts – and records.

The hunky Australian actor’s one-man Broadway concert show closed yesterday afternoon at the Broadhurst Theatre after having earned close to $2.1 million (about R17 million) in its final week, the highest weekly gross recorded by the Shubert Organisation, which owns the Broadhurst and 16 other Broadway theatres.

Over its 10-week run, Jackman earned a whopping $14.6 million, producers said. He now owns 10 of the 11 top grossing weeks at the Broadhurst.

Jackman, best known for being the hairy Wolverine in The X-Men franchise, routinely sold out the 1 176-seat theatre and usually posted weekly grosses of $1.5 million, often higher than rival musicals such as Jersey Boys, Mama Mia! How to Succeed in Business, Anything Goes and Follies.

Only Wicked and The Lion King, produced by other organisations, consistently outdid Jackman. But those shows also had much higher overhead costs.

Backed by an 18-piece orchestra and six leggy dancers, a charming Jackman belted out about two dozen musical theatre songs in Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway. It was his third time on the Great White Way, following The Boy From Oz in 2003 and the play A Steady Rain with Daniel Craig in 2009.

The show featured his interpretations of songs ranging from the sexy R&B tune Fever to Rock Island, from The Music Man to a medley of classic movie songs such as Singin’ in the Rain and Luck Be a Lady.
Next year, he plans to star in a version of the musical Les Miserables.

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