Hugh Jackman Is All That…


I saw the Broadway play, The River, starring Hugh Jackman last week.

I went to theater the day after I landed. Our plane was delayed for hours on the Charles de Gaulle runway because the French Aviation Agency found two burned out lightbulbs in the cargo area after the airplane had commenced boarding. As the pilot explained, it is the equivalent of having the light out in the trunk of the car.

We finally landed in NY and headed home, unpacked and fell asleep until 3 am. I worked all morning and since it was Wednesday, I checked my Broadway TKTS app. The River was listed…that has never happened.

I ran down to Times Square in the pouring rain and only had a brief wait at the TKTS window. I asked the woman for 1 ticket to, The River. She looked at me as if I was crazy. “We had maybe 2 tickets and they are both gone.”

Running on jet fumes, I decided to hit up the box office. No one was in line and I inquired about availability.

The nice box office rep asked if I minded standing…hell no. I love the Circle In The Square theatre because it is small and intimate. The play is 85 minutes without intermission…no problem.

I headed in and there was a beehive of sexually frustrated middle-aged ushers. Boy, were they domineering and do they take their jobs seriously. Since they made me stand in a particular spot next to them, I just watched and listened.

Precisely at 2 pm, the queen bee buzzed down, hysterical. She noticed some open seats in the first row orchestra next to the stage. She was frantic to get patrons to move, but many were senior citizens and just couldn’t move quickly enough. Stoked on 3 cappuccino’s and 2 espressos I interjected.

She told me to scamper on down…$30 for a seat looking directly at Hugh Jackman’s body for 85 minutes.

Hugh Jackman photo/
Hugh Jackman photo/

I have never gone to a Broadway show and lusted after anyone on stage. When he was alone on stage for 5 minutes, gutting a fish with those long, tapered fingers and then slicing leeks, lemons, fresh herbs and stuffing the fish, I was hot and for once it wasn’t due to menopause.

The actors listed as The Man (Hugh Jackman), The Woman (Cush Jumbo), and The Other Woman (Laura Donnelly) were excellent, although I found Laura Donnelly, the other woman, more compelling. Jackman shines no matter the role.

The play is written by Jez Butterworth who wrote, Jerusalem, which Mark Rylance won the Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play in 2011. He also wrote the screenplay for the James Brown bio pic, Get On Up and is presently writing the screenplay for the next James Bond movie.

Jez Butterworth, Cush Jumbo, Hugh Jackman, Laura Donnelly, Director Ian Rickson photo/
Jez Butterworth, Cush Jumbo, Hugh Jackman, Laura Donnelly, Director Ian Rickson photo/

The only comment I have about the play is this. I have no fucking idea what was the essence of the play. While exiting, everyone was mouthing the same thing.

I checked all the reviews online and it was not evident to anyone.

A highlight was Jackman’s narrative after the play concluded regarding donating to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids. He revved up the audience to a fevered pitch and was able to sell his t-shirt for $2000.

The buyer, an older woman who had just hit the Jackpot, was invited backstage for the reveal. He is a funny, talented, engaging man.

Apparently, women have been very disruptive during the show…taking photos, randomly screaming heartfelt sentiments to Jackman and being overly enthusiastic.

If you want to see a competent cast, watch Jackman methodically cut and stuff a fish and want to fantasize about taking a bite out of Hugh Jackman’s divine ass, then go see, The River, but only if you can buy $30 tickets. The going price is $185.

The River, Circle In The Square 50th Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue. Absolutely no late seating and you are directed by a cast member to turn your cellphones completely off. Tuesday-Thursday 7pm, Friday-Saturday 8pm, Wednesday & Saturday matinee at 2pm, Sunday matinee 3pm.

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