Hugh Jackman, the Wolverine of the “X-Men” franchise, turns out to have real-life superpowers: In “Back on Broadway,” which opened last night, he turns his entire audience into a bunch of 12-year-olds at a Justin Bieber concert.
No matter your age, gender or sexual orientation, the Australian star will melt you into a puddle of blissed-out goo. It's called mega-wattage charisma, and they don't teach it in school.
Watching him run through some of his favorite numbers, backed by an 18-piece orchestra and six chorus girls, you realize how impressive Jackman's feat is — because if you take them apart, the parts are less than the whole.
As a singer, he's good but not fantastic. When he dances, he won't make you forget Astaire or Kelly. And when he acts, it's usually his chest that makes the biggest impression.
But something magical happens when he does all three: Suddenly a charming, spirited, skillful, loving showman is sweeping us off our feet. And he knows exactly how to calibrate his revue's two main food groups: beefcake and cheese.
Photo: Hugh Jackman with Emily Tyra, Lara Seibert and Kearran Giovanni – by Joan Marcus
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.