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Hugh Jackman Sings Praises for Broadway Understudies After Kathy Voytko Makes Marion Debut in 'The Music Man'

Hugh Jackman Sings Praises for Broadway Understudies After Kathy Voytko Makes Marion Debut in 'The Music Man'

Hugh Jackman is joining the chorus of support for the understudies and swings who have become the heroes of Broadway in recent weeks.

The 53-year-old actor brought understudy Kathy Voykto front and center after the performance of The Music Man on Thursday night (December 23) after she filled in for Sutton Foster at the last minute.

Kathy made her debut as Marion Paroo at 8pm after finding out she would be performing in the show just eight hours earlier.

The Broadway community has been very vocal about supporting understudies and swings after Broadway League president Charlotte St. Martin made very upsetting comments, suggesting that they do not give performances to the caliber of the main cast members. Understudies and swings have been saving shows from going dark amid many Broadway actors testing positive for COVID-19 during the surge of the Omicron variant.

Click inside to see what Hugh Jackman said in his speech…

Hugh told the audience, “Kathy, when she turned up at work 12 o’clock could have played any of eight roles. It happened to be the leading lady. She found out at 12 noon today and at 1 o’clock she had her very first rehearsal as Marion Paroo.”

“This is unprecedented. It’s not only happening here at the Winter Garden, but all over Broadway. This is a time we’ve never known. We’re in our fourth preview and we’re all still learning, so swings and understudies have not had a chance to learn. They’ve watched from the corner of the room while we rehearse, while we get to practice over and over again. They just get to watch and write notes and then five hours before a performance they’re told, you’re on,” Hugh said. “So, all of these people here. The swings, and I’m emotional because it humbles me. The courage, the brilliance, the dedication, the talent. The swings, the understudies, they are the bedrock of Broadway.”

Watch a video of the speech, captured by Katherine Winter, below.

Check out the first look photo of Hugh and Sutton in the musical!

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