Hugh Jackman has spoken about the importance of swings and understudies following The Music Man’s latest performance.
Hugh is currently starring in a new Broadway revival of the musical alongside Sutton Foster.
But when Sutton was forced to call out of the show’s fourth preview last night, it was up to swing Kathy Voytko to go on with only a few hours of notice.
Speaking at the curtain call, Hugh shared with the audience: “Kathy when she turned up at work at 12’o’clock could have played any of eight roles and it happened to be the leading lady. She found at 12 noon today and at 1PM she had her first rehearsal.”
He went on to welcome the company’s other swings to the front of the stage.
“It’s not only happening here at the Winter Garden theatre but all over Broadway,” Hugh said of swings and understudies being called up to keep shows open during the pandemic. “It humbles me, the courage, the brilliance, the dedication, the talent, the swings, the understudies they are the bedrock of Broadway.”
Hugh’s passionate speech follows Broadway League president Charlotte St. Martin making an apology statement to Broadway understudies and swings over comments she made about shows closing during the pandemic.
Meanwhile it’s not just the talented understudies and swings that are helping the show go on.
Here in the West End this week former Les Misérables cast members Charlotte Kennedy and John Owen-Jones both returned to the show to perform with only hours’ notice.