Review: Hugh Jackman

Actor, musician, dancer and so much more, Hugh Jackman performed onstage at the AT&T Center in San Antonio on Tuesday, October 15, 2019.

Unable to miss the opportunity, the singer opened with The Greatest Show, a hit song from the 2017 award-winning musical film, The Greatest Showman. The next song was set to pump up the audience, to make them “Come Alive” for the show.

During his first talk with the audience, Jackman spoke about numbers. From a record in the Guinness Book of World Records to his old phone number as a kid, the 51-year-old expressed his love of figures and how they helped him realize his place in the world.

Swerving away from the famous Wolverine role, Jackman performed Gaston from his role as the character in the Broadway musical. The performance included the same dance routine from the play, with all the dancers lined up and clinking cups with each other in rhythm.

After sharing a little bit about himself and his wife, he dedicated a song to her – the very song that they first danced with each other at their wedding too. Photos of the two of them together, or of just his wife, flashed on screen while he sang All the Way by Frank Sinatra.

“To me, that’s love, someone who believes in you during those dark times when you don’t really believe in yourself,” Jackman said, after sharing the comfort he received when going under the pressures of his role as Wolverine.

In between songs he shared more about himself, how he grew up in Sydney, his four older siblings, and the three years of piano lessons he took in high school. He described a story when he was eight about his first cricket game before starting You Will Be Found from the musical Dear Evan Hansen.

“What will define you,” Jackman said during the song, after sharing that he ended up missing the game, “is how many people will be there to pick you up when you fall.” As a surprise to the audience, the Lake Houston Chamber Singers joined the artist onstage to perform the song together.

The man of the hour went on to share the two places in the world he had wanted to visit: London’s West End and Broadway in New York, which led to the start of a mash-up of New York, New York and Empire State of Mind by Frank Sinatra and Alicia Keys.

The show could not go on without another mention of the popular film, The Greatest Showman. But instead of performing another song himself, Jackman brought out his fellow artist, Keala Settle, to give justice to This is Me. 

The crowd cheered in response and gave Settle passion, most especially at the end of the song when the beat dropped and the audience sang the song back to her. Settle’s moment in the spotlight wasn’t over, however, until after she performed a song of her own titled Harder, which will appear on her new album.

As Settle left the stage, a scene from Les Misérables played on screen, leading to What Have I Done, which was performed with such emotion that the man of the night started to cry. I Dreamed a Dream and One Day More were performed in succession, the latter receiving the added voices of the Lake Houston choir.

After a short intermission, theater-style, Jackman came out on stage to imitate Peter Allen, “an Australian icon,” according to him. Entering the crowd, Jackman met an audience member named Ron and brought him onstage. After chatting and making friends, the flamboyant artist launched into Best That You Can Do, Honestly I Love You, Quiet Please There’s a Lady Onstage and, with maracas, I Go to Rio.

Switching out of the role of Peter Allen, Jackman began to sing his personal favorite melody, Tenterfield Saddler. Once the tune had finished, Jackman talked about his life and told the audience “Honestly, at times, it is difficult to tell if you are still awake, or if you have already started to dream.” On the screens, stars shone bright and the band struck up A Million Dreams.

What made this piece of harmony different from the rest were the dancers on stage. As the lyrics were sung, sign language was given in translation. The Lake Houston choir adjoined one last time and the very last line of the song was demonstrated solely by Jackman.

As the night came to an end, the actor performed several more songs, including Luck Be a Lady, Singing in The Rain, I Got Rhythm, Stepping Out With My Baby, From Now On and an Australian tribute with other members of Nomad Two Worlds.

The last song of the night was one written by the man himself, titled Once Before I Go. As a way to say goodbye for the night, he walked to the edge of the stage and held hands with as many fans as he could.

Starting in May and ending in this month, Jackman will have performed 90 shows with various celebrities accompanying him. Collectively, the music, the man, and the show represented all the poise and praise Hugh Jackman has and receives. It truly was the greatest show.