Hugh Jackman has left viewers of the Tony Awards 2014 scratching their heads with his bizarre opening number. The Australian superstar hopped his way to the Radio City Music Hall stage in New York on Sunday for nearly five minutes, which viewers thought was neither entertaining nor thoroughly thought of.
The four-time host started bouncing outside the theatre, and then made his way from the backstage to the stage hopping continuously. His feet only stayed firmly on the ground while he was waiting in the elevator with Neil Patrick Harris.
Apart from the intentional awkward run-in with Harris, perhaps the only highlight of his bouncing act was his encounter with Sting and the uninterested and grumpy Clint Eastwood.
It was a peculiar opening act, which kept the viewers hoping that his hopping will lead to a real live sing-and-dance number that Jackman performs too well.
No such thing, though.
His bouncing/hopping ended just when he reached the stage.
While his bouncing was certainly chirpy, it was met with confusion on social media.
That was the opening? Did they not have a budget? "Hugh, just hop a bunch for us okay?" #TonyAwards
— Zoë Gulliksen (@bookishbelle) June 9, 2014
“I was expecting something massive like NPH does but this, regardless if it is a tribute or not, sucks, it is nothing compared to NPH’s and next year I want Neil back!” one YouTube user wrote.
“I’m sorry but that was just plain bad. You go from a huge opening number from NPH the last couple of years to this? Hugh has a lot more talent than that and could’ve done a lot better job. Disappointed,” another one added.
NPH is of course Neil Patrick Harris, who, like Jackman, has hosted the prestigious awards show four times.
For reference, this was how NPH did it in 2013:
Speaking of Harris, he won the Best Actor in a Musical for his title role in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” on Sunday. Film-savvy viewers recognised that Jackman’s curious hopping was homage to Bobby Van’s bouncing routine in the 1953 musical “Small Town Girl,” in which he was seen jumping endlessly to the song “Take Me to Broadway.”
Jackman also rapped with LL Cool J and T.I. during the show. Fortunately, their “The Music Man” hip-hop rendition was met with more positive responses from audiences.