Hugh Jackman heaps praise on ‘hero’ swing actor in ‘The Music Man’


Broadway’s “The Music Man” swung into excessive gear final Thursday thanks to 1 “swing actor.”

Two-time Tony Award winner Hugh Jackson took just a few moments out of Thursday’s preview to thank his costar for the night, and acquired a bit of “emotional” whereas doing so.

Jackman, 53, performs charming con artist Harold Hill in Meredith Wilson’s ragtime musical, reverse Sutton Foster, 46, as do-gooder piano trainer Marian.

But when Foster, 46, turned all of the sudden unavailable for the present’s fourth preview, understudy Kathy Voytko stepped up with fewer than eight hours discover, Jackman revealed throughout a post-show speech in which he thanked most of the present’s swing actors.

Swing actors could be taught half-a-dozen or extra roles in order that they will substitute at a second’s discover. Jackman defined that Voytko was informed at midday on Thursday that she’d be masking for Foster, and by 1 p.m. was rehearsing for her star flip as Marian.

“It’s not only happening here … but all over Broadway,” Jackman defined, in footage captured by actress Katharine Winter and shared on Facebook. “This is a time we’ve never known. We’re in our fourth preview, we’re all just sort of learning so swings and understudies have not had a chance to learn.”

Amid the present coronavirus outbreak on the East coast, which hit New York City laborious this week, a number of Broadway exhibits have shut down manufacturing in the absence of wholesome crew, together with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton,” Disney’s “Aladdin” and Alanis Morissette’s “Jagged Little Pill.” However, there was no mandate to halt performances as Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, mentioned on Monday that they “have the correct information that says it is safe to open for the cast, the crew and the audience.”

She added, “If we don’t feel it’s safe, we don’t perform that day.”

With a number of “The Music Man” swings by his aspect, the “X-Men” star continued, “They watch from the corner of a room while we rehearse, while we get to practice over and over again. They just get to watch and write notes and then five hours before performance they’re told, ‘You’re on by the way, you’ve got a wig fitting, go!’ ”

“I’m emotional because it humbles me — their courage, their brilliance, their dedication, their talent. The swings, the understudies, they are the bedrock of Broadway,” he concluded as the gang whooped and cheered.

Voytko had tears in her eyes as her as she and her fellow swings reaped the applause. “Take it from me,” Jackman quipped. “Real superheroes do not wear capes.”


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