Hugh Jackman was photographed shirtless and working out on a beach in Australia over the weekend. Why was he working out on the beach instead of in a gym? Seriously, who cares. It’s Wolverine! With no shirt on! Jackman appeared to be vacationing in St. Barth’s, taking in some swimming, boating and even some yoga.
In addition to rocking a pair of swimming trunks, Jackman just completed a very successful run on Broadway with “James Bond” star Daniel Craig in “A Steady Rain.” The play raked in more than $1.5 Million in charity donations for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, a non-profit organization dedicated to AIDS/HIV research and social services for those infected with the disease. Both Jackman and Craig were directly involved in the fundraising efforts, donating signed memorabilia for auction, including the clothing they wore on stage. Because there are plenty of theatergoers who’d pay top dollar for a Jackman-sweat-soaked T-shirt.
Never, never, never underestimate the power of a famous, well-sculpted and motivated actor, times two.
Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig have been combining their stage savvy, film star dossiers and sex appeal on Broadway in Keith Huff’s drama, “A Steady Rain,” playing a pair of Chicago cops who are lifelong friends and raking in box office grosses of more than $1 million a week.
Now they have broken the record in an annual friendly competition among Broadway casts, in which each tries to outdo the others in raising money for the theater world’s top AIDS charity, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Making appeals after each performance from Oct. 23 to Dec. 6, Jackman and Craig raked in $1,549,953, shattering the past record of $612,000 that Jackman helped set in 2003 when he was making his Broadway debut in “The Boy From Oz.”
The duo worked hard for the money, says Tom Viola, executive director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, which calls the competition “Gypsy of the Year” in honor of the unheralded chorus performers who make their living going from show to show.
Besides the customary curtain appeal to drop cash in collection buckets on people’s way out, Viola said, Jackman and Craig would sign and auction the T-shirts they’d worn under their costumes. That brought in $3,000 to $15,000 per night. As much as $20,000 per performance would come from playgoers who took up the stars’ offer to pose for photographs backstage with anyone willing to ante up $2,000.
“This is so huge, I can’t imagine how it could happen again,” Viola said. According to Playbill, at the Dec. 8 ceremonies for “Gypsy of the Year,” Jackman thanked all the donors who “we bullied, cajoled and slept with” to set the mark.
The Jackman-Craig tandem’s performance as super-schnorrers keyed a $4.6-million take overall that broke the old record of $3.9 million set in 2007.
The four runners-up, “Phantom of the Opera,” “Billy Elliot,” “Hair” and “Wicked,” raised $617,000 combined. On the road, where touring Broadway companies typically play in much larger houses, “Rent” led the way at $242,000 for the six weeks.
There’s probably something in it for Southern California: in 2009, according to the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS website, grants to AIDS charities in the region came to $245,000, led by $25,000 for Project Angel Food in L.A. and $20,000 each to L.A.’s Black AIDS Institute and Mama’s Kitchen in San Diego.
“Famous, well-sculpted and motivated.” Yup, those are three words that you could use to describe Mr. Jackman. The only thing that would make these photos better for me is if his stage co-star Daniel Craig decided to drop in for a workout as well. Enjoy!
Hugh Jackman working out on Shell Beach on St. Barth on December 12, 2009. Credit: TRB/Fame Pictures.