Hugh Jackman hosted the Tony Awards last night, and entertained audiences from start to finish.
In the middle, he started talking about how, in middle school, he was in The Music Man, and how he remembers every word to the opening number, “Rock Island.”
Note: Former theatre kids at home wanted you to know that they also know the words to “Rock Island.”
He began to sing it solo (though the actual number involves about eight men) for a whooping, cheering audience.
“If you think about it, this might be the first rap song, written in 1957,” Jackman says.
Then, Jackman announces CBS awards show favourite LL Cool J and rapper T.I. (really?) would be joining him on stage to sing “Rock Island.”
The audience, full of theatre people, loved it.
The audience at home, full of theatre people, were warming up to it.
You could tell T.I. just learned the song recently. He was a beat early on his lyric “the piper pays him” every time. You wouldn’t have noticed if you didn’t know the song, but Jackman, also singing, came in on the right beat, and so each delivery of the line sounded like an echo. But it was funny.
And, really, the audience was into it.
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