I am not a gorpy fan girl.
First, I’m way too old to be called “girl” except by my best wine-and-lunch buddies. Second, I’m not gorpy. Oh, I may occasionally get tongue-tied by someone whose work I really admire, but I rarely drool on anyone important, and I never forget my manners.
However, I will admit that sometimes I can be a fan, occasionally a very big fan. Some of the people I admire most are people I enjoying following on Twitter, although I also “follow” them in real life – through their books and movies and plays and quilts. And there are some people I just like to follow on Twitter, knowing that they will never follow me, which is fine of course. I mean, @VP is never going to follow me but I still like to read what he has to say.
There are some people with whom I’m becoming sort of friends (Twitteriends??), @janetsomerville (& her wonderful teen lit students) and @mrtylermartins and @ninatypewriter and @shksprn. And I recognize that I’m very lucky that there are a few people of whom I think great deal, people who follow me on Twitter (like @OneBigTable and @EMILIOTHEWAY and @QuiltingMuriel and @simonwinchester and @reallylittle, amongst many others) and that always makes me smile.
But being a fan on Twitter is nothing compared to be a fan in the second row of the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto watching @RealHughJackman sing and dance and story-tell his way deeper into my heart.
Okay… for this performer, I get a little gorpy.
First, he’s gorgeous. I know, I know. Looks aren’t everything. But there’s this lithe, dark man in a formal suit, no tie, moving around the stage like there’s rubber in his knees and tungsten in his thighs and he’s got a few wrinkles enough to be wisely experienced and a smile big enough to be forever fresh, and the fact that he just forgot to shave that day (this was not a three day growth, this was “I lost my razor and don’t give a damn”) only made the whole package more than just hot. It was very…. manly, kind of like Cary Grant meets Gene Kelly.
Second, he loves what he does. And if he doesn’t love being up on that stage singing and dancing, he’s the best damn actor ever. That show was two hours long, no intermission, and I was completely, totally entertained. Except by the women singers, who were mic’d too hot, thus rendering them nearly useless in terms of understanding the words they were singing.
Third, he loves his father and he loves his son, and he absolutely has no problems telling you that, just as I’m sure he tells them. Hugh told a wonderful story about his dad coming to see him on a (literally) flying trip from Australia to NYC to see him perform at Carnegie Hall, and of the 1785 women and 214 gay men in the audience that afternoon, all but three of us were in tears when he told it. And then his son, Oscar, came out on stage near the end playing a didgeridoo, and the hug and top of the head kiss…. again with the tears.
Fourth, he’s not the world’s best singer. Actually, he’s about 37th on my list of favourite singers, and I cannot believe I would ever buy an album of his (although if he should record Peter Allen’s ‘Tenterfield Saddler’, I would download that on my iPhone – it’s a wonderful song, very Australian, made me feel I needed a XXXX, and he did a superior job on it). BUT he sells the songs so well that he doesn’t need to be a great singer.
And, for what it’s worth, I believe the world needs a re-mounting of “Carousel” starring Hugh Jackman. That would be his great live musical theatre role. Forget the movie version “Les Mis”, Hugh. The best Thenardier ever died 20-plus years ago, back when “they” first talked about making a movie out of this play, and without my dear Graeme Campbell, the movie just won’t be the same. Even with you.
Fifth, and I cannot stress this enough, Hugh Jackman is this giant movie star and Tony winning musical theatre star who is drop dead gorgeous, wickedly funny, wildly entertaining, but he is also a completely ordinary bloke. Really. And maybe that’s a trick. Maybe the best of our “stars” are those who make us believe that they are just like us, only with bigger bank balances. Only what I believe about Hugh Jackman is that, before he is anything else, he’s a romantic husband, an engaged father, and a terrific son and brother. The rest of it is just… tinsel and make-believe.
I’m really glad I got to see all those things – the ordinary bloke, the father, the son, the guy who’s having too much fun with Dave the would-be screenwriter and tea drinker, even the glimpses of tinsel. Thanks for a brilliant afternoon, Hugh Jackman. You’re still making me smile.
PS: @RSantiagoHudson – thanks for looking me up. I wish you followed me, but I know you’re not a Twitter freak – yet! I’ll be watching for you… on Twitter and on tv!