Monday, August 21, 2006

Jackman Receives Hero's Welcome Home

Jackman Receives Hero's Welcome Home

Now that Hugh Jackman has returned home to his Aussie roots with his arena-style performance as Peter Allen in The Boy From Oz, what have the critics said?

Sandra McLean of The Courier Mail effuses that this was: "[A] virtuoso performance that ended in a standing ovation and confirmed that this guy is disgustingly talented."

Martin Ball of The Age gushes: "[W]hat a wizard of a show it is. What began life eight years ago as a musical has now become an arena spectacular, and while Allen and his songs are the ostensible reason, this is really The Hugh Jackman Show."

In the North Shore Times, critic Catherine Zuill states: "A powerful presence on stage, Jackman was clearly very much in command and confident that this dazzling musical production originally written by Nick Enright for a much smaller stage, could work on a larger scale."

The Sydney Star Observer's Martin Portus notes: "Tickets aren't cheap but, in short, Jackman delivers in spades and so does the show....If Peter Allen would have had any complaints, it might have been that Jackman gets more billing than his story. It's really Jackman's own cabaret show, resting on his effortless charisma, engagement and skills. He holds every minute of our attention."

Who can blame the Australian media for getting caught up in the frenzied celebration of one of their country's best-loved current stars? Perhaps the most unbiased point of view came from the outside looking in -- from Variety's David Rooney, who, instead of fawning all over Jackman's Australian homecoming, delivers a fair perspective: "It's as much a concert platform for a returning local boy made good in Hollywood as it is a life story of Peter Allen. And that's no bad thing....While Jackman is clearly playing a part, mincing and cavorting and flirting up a storm, there are equal parts of his own persona at play with Allen's. The strong sense of an international star acknowledging his roots, eager to give something back to the country he came from will ensure this show an enthusiastic welcome across Australia."

While The Boy From Oz was not, in and of itself, a great show on Broadway, and while the gay subtext has been dumbed-down for the supposedly open-minded Australian masses, there's no mistaking the brilliant performance by its Tony-winning star, Hugh Jackman. And that alone would be worth the price of admission back home Down Under.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Click here for tickets.
Related Stories:
The Boy From Oz Goes Home Tonight (August 2, 2006)
He's Back! The Boy from Oz Returns Down Under (July 5, 2006)

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