Hugh Jack­man read­ies world tour

The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY) - - Local News - By Mes­fin Fekadu

Jack­man is set to launch a pop star-like tour next year, but he’s done his re­search: He’s been to a Bey­once con­cert. A Justin Tim­ber­lake con­cert. AND A MICHAEL JACK­SON CON­CERT.

NEW YORK (AP) >> Hugh Jack­man is set to launch a pop star-like tour next year, but he’s done his re­search: He’s been to a Bey­once con­cert. A Justin Tim­ber­lake con­cert. AND A MICHAEL JACK­SON CON­CERT.

“I’ve seen some of the greats,” Jack­man said in an in­ter­view with The As­so­ci­ated Press on Tues­day. “And the great per­form­ers for me are the ones who can con­nect with the per­son in the back and in the front. And I’ll some­times sit in the back ‘cause I wanna know am I feel­ing it back here? ‘ Cause I’m from the the­ater, (so) for me ev­ery­thing I do has to con­nect to ev­ery sin­gle per­son.”

The reg­u­lar con­cert at­tendee is hop­ing to make some strong con­nec­tions with fans when he launches his first world tour — dubbed “The Man. The Mu­sic. The Show.”— next year. Ac­com­pa­nied by a live orches­tra, he will per­form songs from “The Great­est Show­man,” ‘’Les Mis­er­ables” and Broad­way mu­si­cals, among other se­lec­tions.

“I’ve al­ways felt strangely at home on a stage, no mat­ter how big the stage is — some­times even more than in life,” said the ac­tor, known for roles like Wolver­ine. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think when I turned 50 I would be play­ing Madison Square Gar­den or the Hol­ly­wood Bowl.”

Jack­man, who was born in Aus­tralia, did an arena tour there three years ago, but he didn’t think he could repli­cate the suc­cess out­side his na­tive home.

“I had no idea re­ally what the de­mand is for me. It’s not like I mea­sure it or I ask. I al­ways un­der­play it,” he said. “At that time three years ago I re­mem­ber think­ing, ‘I’d re­ally love to do this around the world.’ And my agent in L.A. goes, ‘I’d leave it in Aus­tralia, dude.’”

But then came “The Great­est Show­man” — a game changer for Jack­man’s mu­sic ca­reer. The 2017 film was a box- of­fice pow­er­house, but so was — and still is — its sound­track: The al­bumhas reached multi-plat­inum sta­tus and is one of the year’s top al­bums, match­ing the suc­cess of any ma­jor rap, pop or rock al­bum. It came in fourth on Bill­board’s list of top al­bums for the year and also made Ap­pleMu­sic’s year-end Top 10 list.

“The op­por­tu­nity to go around the world ... I prob­a­bly wouldn’t have had it if it wasn’t for ‘The Great­est Show­man.’ That tipped me over,” Jack­man said.

“The Great­est Show­man” has come a long way: Jack­man re­mem­bers how the movie only earned $8.6 mil­lion in its first week around the time the sound­track de­buted at No. 71 on the Bill­board charts.

“Whenwe opened, when I saw I didn’t get an email, nor­mally you’ll get a con­so­la­tion email from your friends, the stu­dios; it was like crick­ets, like noth­ing. That’s how bad it was,” he said. “We worked eight years on it ... and I al­ways want to re­mind peo­ple the stu­dio took a big risk on it. It wasn’t cheap.”

Jack­man will kick off his tour in Ham­burg, Ger­many, on May 13. He will play two shows at The O2 Arena in Lon­don, where the al­bum has had even more suc­cess than Amer­ica: The al­bum has spent 48 of 49 weeks in the Top 10 on the U.K. charts, in­clud­ing 21 weeks at No. 1. And it’s cur­rently No. 4 on the charts, a year af­ter its re­lease.

The North Amer­i­can leg be­gins June 18 in Hous­ton. Most tick­ets go on sale Fri­day; tick­ets for the MSG shows go on sale Dec. 10.

Jack­man hopes to also per­form orig­i­nal mu­sic on the tour, and he re­calls work­ing on an al­bumwhen he was signed to a record la­bel over a decade ago when he starred in Broad­way’s “The Boy from Oz,” for which he won a Tony in 2004.

“I had a deal at the time and I hated what I did. It had noth­ing to do with any­one in­volved, I had amaz­ing peo­ple in­volved, but at that point I didn’t know what I wanted to say,” he said. “Whether you’re a record­ing artist or a writer or ac­tor, you’ve got to feel like you have some­thing to say.” Now, he’s ready. “I would love to do a cou­ple of orig­i­nal songs. I do have some things I want to say,” he said. On­line: http://www.hugh­jack­man­theshow.com/

Hugh Jack­man

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