Australia is a huge continent and a country filled with giant spiders, kangaroos and several distinct species of wildlife. The place is several times highlighted in the news for its scary and intimidating wildlife, however, it has once again caught the attention of the world but for an entirely different reason.
Nicole Kidman contributed $100,000 to Broadway Cares at a curtain call for The Music Man at the Winter Garden Theatre, per The Vulture.
She surprised the entire audience and Hugh Jackman, who plays Harold Hill, by making this donation. She bid $100,000 for a hat signed by Jackman after seeing a performance of his musical The Music Man. During an after-show auction for the charity Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS on Saturday, Kidman made her presence known by yelling her $100,000 bid for the hat, prompting gasps and shouts from the audience, per The Guardian. The charity helps “people across the country and across the street receive lifesaving medications, health care, nutritious meals, counseling and emergency financial assistance.”
It is typical for participating Broadway musicals to spend six weeks during the holidays soliciting donations from their audiences, but it is less customary for a Hollywood celebrity to put up $100,000. Kidman said in the mic after approaching the stage, “I just want to be clear, this is not Australian dollars. I love you. I love Broadway. And I love what they do, Broadway Cares, but I also want to say this show is extraordinary.”
Jackman said of his former co-star, “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. You’re a beautiful person. I love you. Thank you for your generosity.” In a video released on social media by Jackman, the cast of The Music Man can be seen in full showman mode, asking for tiny sums of $19,000, before an Australian accent can be heard from the back of the auditorium. “A hundred,” says a voice that is obviously Nicole Kidman’s.
The Music Man has been a big success on Broadway, with ticket sales averaging $2-3 million each week. She walked away from the stage wearing Jackman’s stage. Despite being two of Australia’s most well-known actors, Jackman and Kidman have only worked together a few times, directing Baz Luhrmann’s 2008 feature Australia and delivering the voices of penguin parents in both of George Miller’s animated Happy Feet movies. Kidman said, “She was one of my best friends. [I slept on the couch] in the house that Deborra-Lee was renting, and she gave me the chance to stay there and we could go and audition.”
This donation follows the announcement that Kidman would receive a Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute next year. She will be the first Australian to receive the honor. Previous honorees include iconic international film legends such as Jane Fonda, George Clooney, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Meryl Streep.