Nicole Kidman received a warm welcome on Broadway Saturday evening when she made an appearance at a performance of Hugh Jackman’s “The Music Man” revival. During an auction for the charity Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Kidman made her presence known when she bid a hefty sum of $100,000 for a hat signed by Jackman.
Jackman shared a video of the meeting on Twitter, thanking his fellow Australian thespian for her support.
“I love you. I love Broadway. And I love what they do, Broadway Cares, but I also want to say this show is extraordinary,” Kidman said, taking the microphone after approaching the stage at the Winter Garden Theatre.
“I’ve known Nic for almost 30 years. I’ve worked with her. I can tell you this is not a surprise to me. She is one of the most generous souls I know,” Jackman followed. “You’re a beautiful person. I love you. Thank you.”
Kidman’s shouted bid of $100,000 drew an enthused response from the crowd, leading Jackman to joke “I just want to be clear, this is not Australian dollars.” (Under current conversion rates, Kidman’s bid amounts to $148,744 Australian dollars.) The “Music Man” cast had been raising funds for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS at the conclusion of recent performances.
“Ms. Kidman’s remarkable support of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS on Saturday night was wonderful to see and her extraordinary generosity will be deeply appreciated by the entire Broadway community,” Kate Horton, producer on “The Music Man,” shared in a statement.
“Broadway Cares is blessed with friends across Broadway. But we have no greater champion than Hugh Jackman. This extraordinary gift from his pal Nicole Kidman is by far the largest donation for any one auction item ever. That’s 20,000 meals and 2,000 doctor visits this holiday season for those living with HIV/AIDS, struggling with COVID-19 or facing other life-threatening challenges,” Broadway Cares executive director Tom Viola said. “Donations made at The Music Man, all across Broadway, Off-Broadway and at national touring productions will provide meals and medication, health care and hope this holiday season.”
Nicole Kidman’s appearance comes days after being named as the recipient of the American Film Institute’s life achievement award. A gala tribute will take place on June 10 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
While Jackman and Kidman are two of Hollywood’s most prominent Australian actors, the two friends have only collaborated a handful of times. The pair led Baz Luhrmann’s 2008 adventure epic “Australia” and provided the voices of the penguin parents to the tap-dancing pariah Mumble in the 2006 animated feature “Happy Feet.”
“The Music Man” has been the biggest hit of the year on Broadway, generating $2 to $3 million a week in ticket sales. The show is set to close on Jan. 15, 2023.