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Watch Hugh Jackman’s Long Standing Ovation Upon Returning To Broadway In The Music Man

Hugh Jackman in The Greatest Showman
(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

One of the best things about being a theatre actor? The in-person applause, of course. While every performance is usually concluded with a round of clapping, bonafide stage legends are often greeted with extensive bouts of adulation as soon as the lights go up. You may want to hold onto your playbills, because that’s exactly what happened when Hugh Jackman took his first bow as Harold Hill in the latest Broadway revival of The Music Man

The storied musical officially began Broadway preview performances last Monday. The instant the spotlights hit Hugh Jackman, the audience erupted into a lengthy standing ovation. Take a peek at the moment via the show's YouTube channel below: 

I counted so you don’t have to - the applause goes on for exactly 44 seconds (give or take a nanosecond). The camera shot doesn’t include the audience, but several viewers confirmed that everyone was on their feet for the entire duration. Some Broadway heavyweights may be able to snag a cheer or two when they step on stage, but few performers are welcomed with a standing ovation that lasts for nearly a minute. 

But then again, Hugh Jackman isn’t just any song and dance man. The Australian actor has won numerous awards throughout his lengthy career, including two Tony Awards, an Emmy, and a Golden Globe. He got his start in the theatre, but quickly rose to fame after being cast as the ripped Wolverine in the original X-Men movie. Since then, Jackman has starred in several of the biggest musical films of the last decade, including Les Miserables and The Greatest Showman. His extensive resume was surely a deciding factor for the casting directors of The Music Man, as the role of Harold Hill requires a solid triple threat that can also charm the pants off of just about anyone. And he's been rehearsing hard in order to prepare for his on-stage stint.

The actor's latest performance has been a long time coming, and many have been showing support ahead of the show. His casting was initially announced in March of 2019 (which feels like a century ago), and the show was supposed to open on Broadway in 2020. Obviously, there were some extenuating circumstances that dictated that the show could not go on, and the first preview performance was pushed back to late 2021. 

In addition to Hugh Jackman’s star power, this delay (and society’s collective hiatus from live theatre) could explain the unadulterated enthusiasm the audience expressed - many of whom had probably not seen a live show since the advent of the pandemic. Either way, it’s good to see Wolverine back where he belongs: tap dancing on the Great White Way. 

The Music Man is currently in previews at the Winter Garden Theatre in New York City. The production will officially open on February 10, 2022. Tickets are now available for performances through November 2022. 

Rachel Romean

Actor, singer, and occasional dancer. Likes: fashion, books, old buildings. Dislikes: cilantro, the NJ Turnpike, sneaker wedges.