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Our favourite Cate Blanchett and Hugh Jackman stage performances

15 September 2020 by Michael Rowshan
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Is there anything Cate Blanchett and Hugh Jackman can’t do? The celebrated Australian actors recently earned Emmy nominations for their performances in Mrs America and Bad Education, and whether they’re onstage or onscreen, these performers are mesmerising to watch.

Let’s celebrate our favourite Aussie thespians and their onstage triumphs! The Emmy Awards aired on 21 September.

Cate Blanchett in The Present

Let us kick off this list with the formidable Cate Blanchett and her Broadway debut in The Present. Based on Anton Chekhov’s first play,  the Sydney Theatre Company production went on to the glittering heights of Broadway to rave reviews.

Set in an old country house in the mid 1990’s, The Present tells the story of unfinished business, frayed relationships, and decades of denial and regret through the eyes of Anna Petrovna (Blanchett). This dizzying production concluded its run at the Barrymore Theatre in 2017.

Hugh Jackman in The Boy from Oz

Speaking of Broadway debuts, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the glorious Hugh Jackman and his Broadway debut in The Boy from Oz. The show, which earned Jackman his first Tony Award, tells the story of the legendary Peter Allen, a performer grappling with his homosexuality and his rocky marriage with none other than Liza Minelli. The ups and downs and twists and turns make for some truly compelling and highly emotive theatre. 

Cate Blanchett in A Streetcar Named Desire

Cate is a familiar face at Sydney Theatre Company — she served as artistic director alongside Andrew Upton from 2008-13. One her most groundbreaking performances came in her portrayal of the Southern belle turned social denigrate Blanche Dubois in Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire.

This wildly popular classic set in New Orleans, tells the story of Blanche and her desire to bury her secrets and leave her past behind as she moves in with her sister Stella, and brother-in-law Stanley, played by Joel Edgerton in this production. This groundbreaking play travelled from the shores of Australia all the way to the stages of New York at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, where it received critical acclaim. 

Hugh Jackman in The Man. The Music. The Show.

This extraordinarily meta arena concert detailing the illustrious career of the one and only Hugh Jackman debuted in Europe in 2019 and went on to tour the globe. The show was inspired by classic Hollywood and the 2017 film The Greatest Showman (and we all know Hugh is the greatest showman).

Dressed by Tom Ford, Hugh strutted around his runway shaped stage and performed over 20 songs, all of which were highlights from his long and successful career. The Arena Tour completely sold out, and was met with high praise due to Jackman’s high energy, uniqueness, nerve, and talent. 

Jackman also brought his one-man song-and-dance act to Broadway in 2011 with Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway, which had a limited, acclaimed run.

Cate Blanchett in Uncle Vanya

Poise. Glamour. Grace. Cate Blanchett epitomises each and every one of these qualities in her portrayal of Yelena in the 2011 Sydney Theatre Company rendition of Uncle Vanya.

Exploring in rich detail the themes of the inherent mundanity of life, impossible love, and reckless abandonment, Uncle Vanya went on to grace the Off Broadway stage and cemented Blanchett as a versatile performer. 

Hugh Jackman in Oklahoma!

Let us conclude this recap by highlighting arguably the most wholesome performance in this humble list: Hugh Jackman’s West End debut in the one and the only Oklahoma! at the National Theatre.

1998 was a long time ago, but those who forget history are destined to repeat it (aka can we please have a revival starring Hugh as we seem to have forgotten the majesty that was). Playing the wily cowboy Curly, Hugh dazzled the crowds and brought the audience to their feet each and every night with uproarious applause. Lest we forget. 

Next up, Jackman will be taking on another big musical revival with The Music Man, which is set to open on Broadway in Spring 2021. Jackman will star as the titular con man Harold Hill, alongside Sutton Foster as Marian the Librarian, and we can’t wait to welcome him back to Broadway.