Sunday we attended the Hugh Jackson: The Man, The Music, The Show here in Glendale, AZ!
I have been waiting 7 months to see this show and find out if the show is everything I hoped it would be. The tickets cost as much as a mortgage payment and I was hoping it was money well spent. There are few people or events that I would shell out that kind of money for, and Hugh Jackman is one of them. If you want to hear about our experience, then read on. I will be sharing my photos and videos as well.
We wanted seats close to the stage, of course.
Why bother going if you aren’t close enough to see his face, right? We were on line the first day the tickets went on sale, and the front row seats around the stage were already taken, but we were able to get seats at the end of the catwalk. We were about 12 seats away from it, so they were pretty decent ones.
We were told we weren’t allowed to bring in our good camera with the zoom lens. (Booo!) So that’s why the pictures and video aren’t that great because they were taken on our Androids. Sorry! But hey, it was better than nothing.
We took our seats and waited for the show to start at 7:00. We weren’t allowed to bring in any water bottles inside, so Brian went to go get some overpriced bottles of water-$7 each! It was 110 degrees outside while we waited in line to get in, we were already overheated so skipping water wouldn’t be an option. That’s a complaint for the venue Gila River Arena for sure. At least provide some mista coolers while waiting in line!
I looked at the t-shirt line and it was around the block so we decided to get t-shirts afterwards. $35 for a t-shirt was what I expected. The show didn’t start until 7:15, but there was a pretty good DJ playing some tunes for us while waiting.
Finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for: Hugh Jackman!
The show opened up with videos of all his movies and musicals he’s been on multiple screens, including a very impressive scene of Wolverine coming out of the tank with his new claws. It was a reminder to rewatch some movies I had seen a while back.
The first song was the opening song from The Greatest Showman.
There were multiple acrobatic dancers, a 22 piece orchestra, and flashy costumes-especially Hugh’s over the top sparkly silver jacket and tuxedo pants.
Whoa! Stomp…. Stomp, Stomp. Whoa! Ladies and Gentleman this is the moment you’ve been waiting for….
Now, I’m just a regular, ordinary gal, not a professional critic. I am a musician-and a very critical one at that, especially of myself. Most musicians are critical by nature, which comes with the territory. So, with that being said, I am hard to impress. As much as I already admire Hugh Jackman and his talent, I went into the show ready to enjoy myself, but expecting something about the show not meeting up with my expectations.
I’m always thrilled when I am wrong.
Everything was so spectacular. What I really enjoyed about the show was his story telling. We got to know him a bit more as he told us about his childhood and how he got into show business. He worked very hard, just like everyone else. One of the first things he did was to talk about his wife and how they met. He dedicated a song to his wife of 22 years, Deb, which was really wonderful. He really loves his Deb!
The song lineup had a lot of variety and something for everyone.
Some of this night’s highlights were from The Greatest Showman, Les Miserables, Beauty and the Beast, Sinatra, Boy from Oz, Gershwin, and Mr. Jackman playing piano at the start of “You Will Be Found.”
Jenna Lee James sang a very moving “I Dreamed A Dream” from Les Mis. I’m sorry I didn’t get video of that.
Hugh Jackman’s rendition of this song from Les Mis carries a lot of emotion. There are tears and everything. I marvel at anyone who can sing while crying at the same time(Like Ann Hathaway did), because it is a skill I don’t have. It’s all over once I start choking up during a song. Maybe there is training for that lol. But anyway, this is a great song!
He brought his aboriginal friends onstage to join him on the song Over The Rainbow accompanied by a didjeridu, (an Australian instrument) and various scenes of Australia up on the screens. I really enjoyed that and I was too mesmerized by the song to get pictures or video.
I knew that Hugh Jackman could dance, but I didn’t know he could tap dance.
He started with 42nd street and then morphed into Van Halen and some other tunes while throwing in some drums. The dance troupe was the cream of the crop for sure. (Sorry about the camera phone turns.)
The costumes were very bright and colorful.
The dancers had some pretty skimpy costumes and some costumes which were white and almost see through. But I guess if you weren’t close to the stage, you couldn’t see as much of that. I think Hugh changed costumes every other song. He was like a quick change artist!
Hugh is a very funny guy and knows how to play that up really well.
We laughed pretty hard at his jokes. The humor is relatively family friendly in most parts of the show, except for the couple of moments with some sexy hip thrusts and twerking. As expected, he showcased his sexy moves for the ladies. There were a variety of ages at the event, including a few children. There seemed to be something for everyone at the show.
He was a real pro with the crowd interaction.
He had this sequin silver jacket and there was a girl with a tank top that matched, so he pointed her out in the audience. There was a gal who was from Japan in the front, and he said a greeting to her in Japanese. Probably, “Thank you for coming to the show.” One gal in the front called him out on the teleprompter when doing the train scene from Music Man. He said he wasn’t looking at it. It was just a safety net, really!
I was in the line for the downstairs ladies’ room during intermission and the lady in front of me got a picture from her daughter standing in line at the concession stands upstairs. The picture was of her daughter and Hugh Jackman. We were all so upset we missed that opportunity!
Hugh Jackman did mention that Kurt Warner was in the audience somewhere, but didn’t point out where he was sitting. Then Hugh went into all these non football stats about Kurt Warner, such as, he and his wife have 7 children. Apparently, Hugh Jackman loves numbers and stats. He memorizes stats from every state he visits. For Arizona, he named the hottest day on record, which was 122 degrees June 26th, 1990. I vividly remember that statistic myself. I was walking a mile to work that day and worked the drive-thru at Taco Bell!
I heard that he picks an older lady in the audience to dance with in every town. Tonight was no exception. He wooed a senior lady in a wheelchair. He said she was adorable. Her name is Pat, and he kept talking about her throughout the show. Then there was a little girl in a ringleader outfit, complete with the top hat. Hugh was picking her up and talking to her and asking her questions about her life. She was super cute. I think we were all wishing that he had picked one of us!
The orchestra was not huge, but it was obvious they were the best of the best.
Hugh was really great giving them a chance to show their stuff with some solos. We got to hear a cellist and the trumpet player show off a bit, which were excellent. He gave lots of kudos to the pianist and the conductor too.
I did read some of the critics’ posts about the show, which kind of irritated me.
They are saying things like Hugh didn’t have the best voice in the room or the best dance steps. Well, believe me, the dancers and other singers were spectacular too, but saying that Jackman wasn’t the best performer wasn’t a true or fair statement. Sure the singer (I couldn’t find her name anywhere online) that sang “This Is Me” from the Greatest Showman had the awesome screaming high notes, but not everyone likes that style. (BTW, It wasn’t the magnificent Keala Settle tonight.) That doesn’t mean Hugh wasn’t fabulous. It’s like comparing Karen Carpenter vs Barbara Streisand. Carpenter never sang a high note in her life, but she was one of the best singers that ever lived.
Hugh can sing, dance, act- and does them all very well. Those 20 year old dancers and soloists on the stage do one thing very well. The 20 year old singer soloists sang two songs at the most tonight. Hugh Jackman sang during every song and was non stop all night. We all know what terrific shape he is in. If the others were very good at all three, then they’d have their own show, right? Give me a break. Hugh Jackman at 50 years old has the extraordinary talent and charm to have his own show and sell out venues.
There were also critics mentioning that he was more concerned about getting the best camera angles and didn’t really connect with the audience. That might have been an issue in the beginning of his tour, I don’t know. I’m sure it takes some time to adjust to touring with a new cast on a new show. I’m sure at first he wanted plenty of camera shots for the critics to comment on. But at our show in Glendale, as I mentioned, he was great with crowd interaction and connecting with stories. I didn’t notice any preoccupation with cameras during our show.
He is a 50 year old man keeping up with 20 year old kids, and he’s able to bottle it and sell it with a big red bow on top.
He ended the show with thanking everyone for supporting him all these years, for buying tickets, getting a babysitter, paying for parking, and braving the heat. They saved the best for last with a finale “From Now On” from The Greatest Showman.
I hoped you enjoyed my review of the show!
If you get a chance to go see the show, then go for it! It was worth every penny-and then some. Hugh Jackman’s show has got it all!