After a three year hiatus, Hugh Jackman is back on Broadway — and he's brought his powerful fundraising machine with him.
The 46-year-old is starring in the eerie drama "The River," an enigmatic story of a man and a woman in a remote cabin. The dark production is in sharp contrast to Jackman's previous 2011 record-breaking Broadway run, "Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway," which featured him tirelessly singing and dancing his way through a revue of musical numbers. One thing that hasn't changed is his incredible ability to convince people to part with their money for charity — a skill that for "Back on Broadway" netted a staggering $1,789,580 for the non-profit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA).
Only a few weeks into "River's" limited run (the show was recently extended by two weeks to Feb. 8), it's clear that Jackman and his cast are once again a charity force to be reckoned with. As part of the "Gypsy of the Year" friendly fundraising competition between productions on Broadway, after each show the actors come out on stage to auction off everything from personal meet-and-greets backstage to items used during performances. Last year's involvement by more than 56 Broadway, Off-Broadway and national touring companies raised more than $4.3 million for BC/EFA.
Not surprisingly, the hottest item in "The River" is Jackman's own used T-shirt which, according to some sources, has gone for between $6,000 and $10,000 each night. While exact numbers aren't available, I've heard some evening totals are topping out at more than $20,000 for charity — an incredible amount from such a small production.
Broadway Cares wraps up it's fundraising campaign on Dec. 8, so we'll likely get a charity total from "The River" then. In the meantime, if you're interested in Jackman's T-shirt, I'd recommend taking out a loan.
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