This was Jackman’s first time performing the show in Los Angeles, and MPTF’s first public event! The One Night Only event was co-chaired by Jim Gianopulos, Chairman and CEO, 20th Century Fox, and his wife Ann, longtime supporters of MPTF. The evening had many surprise guests and events that even Jackman was surprised by!
The evening began with Jackman performing his critically acclaimed one-man show for the packed 3,200-seat house. Using song and dance, Jackman shared with the audience stories about his life, and expressed the things most important to him. He dedicated “The Way You Look Tonight,” to wife, Deborra-Lee, while a slide show of personal photos of the family played for the audience. Jackman sang a duet with friend Richard Marx, of Marx’s famous “Right Here Waiting,” and performed Chicago’s “Fever” while weaving through the theater to grab a hug from Cybill Shepherd and dance with audience members. Hugh’s passion for Broadway shone through during his numerous performances from shows like “Les Miserables,” “Carousel,” “The Boy From Oz” and “Guys and Dolls.” The stories Jackman told in between performances shed a glimpse into the life of the actor, father, husband, friend, and philanthropist. He shared a story of a late night phone call from Steven Spielberg, while on tour promoting the film “Australia,” asking Hugh to host the Academy Awards. Jackman also spoke about his time spent with the aboriginal tribes of Australia and sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” with Olive Knight, from Wangkatjungka, Australia. He spoke about the organization Nomad Two Worlds, and their efforts to collaborate with Indigenous artists in order to raise awareness of the rich culture and history of these peoples, worldwide. The show ended with a performance of “Mack the Knife.” Upon curtains, Jackman’s wife, Deborra-Lee wheeled out a birthday cake, as the audience joined in singing as the orchestra played a rendition of “Happy Birthday” to celebrate the performer’s 45th year. Audience members also enjoyed birthday cupcakes by Wolfgang Puck, under each one of their seats. 3,200 cupcakes in total!
Guests in the audience included Maria Bello, Darren Criss, Tom Cruise, Kristin Davis, Barry Diller, Baby Face, FOX Filmed Entertainment CEO and Co-Chair of the evening Jim Gionopulos, Terrence Howard, Dreamworks Animation CEO and MPTF Foundation Committee Chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg, Michael Kors, Universal Chairman Donna Langley, Steve Levitan, Richard Marx, Olivia Munn, Carole Bayer Sager, Cybill Shepard, Octavia Spencer and Diane von Furstenberg.
After the surprise birthday celebration, the audience participated in a live auction to benefit MPTF with Wolverine claw auction paddles. Auction items included: a Panerai watch (which went for $10,000), originally one Delta Air Lines and FOX “X Men: Days of Future Past” Premiere package was to be sold, but due to popularity two were eventually sold ($13,000 each), three Dolby screening experiences, and since this was another popular auction item FOX Filmed Entertainment CEO Jim Gionopulos threw in two more screening on the FOX lot ($13,000 each), a jacket signed and worn by Jackman during the filming of “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” ($15,000), two shirts, literally, off of Jackman’s back that night and signed ($11,000 each), two sets of Wolverine claws Jackman wore during filming ($9,000 each), and a Fiat 500e vehicle, individually personalized by Jackman ($50,000 purchase by Bob Daly). Darren Criss was one of the live auction winners as well. The FIAT brand donated ten of its all-new, all-electric Fiat 500e vehicles in support of the event. Each have been individually personalized by some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, including Ron Howard, Kate Hudson, Clint Eastwood, Barbra Streisand, Hans Zimmer, Anne Hathaway, Snoop Lion, Jennifer Lawrence and will.i.am and Ryan Friedlinghaus. All except for Jackman’s Fiat 500e will be auctioned off on eBay at www.ebay.com/MPTF and will also benefit MPTF. The auction items in total raised almost $170,000 for the MPTF.
VIP guests were then treated to an after-party at The Annex. The evening raised $1.85 million for the MPTF in ticket sales and through the live auction. People can still donate to the MPTF through Causes.com’s MPTF site, at www.Causes.com/MPTF. The evening’s presenting sponsors included Delta Air Lines, Dolby, American Express, and FIAT.
Hugh Jackman’s involvement with MPTF, a 92-year-old charity that provides essential health care, wellness, social services, child care and retirement services to the entertainment community, began in 2007 when he first performed and co-hosted the organization’s “A Fine Romance” – an event celebrating the love affair between Broadway and Hollywood.
All of the evening’s proceeds benefited the MPTF.