He hopped into the theatre like a kangaroo, and now Hugh Jackman has left Tony Awards viewers scratching their heads by rapping a popular show tune.
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Hugh Jackman hops into Tony Awards
Australian actor and singer Hugh Jackman confused many when he kangaroo hopped into the 68th annual Tony Awards celebrating the best of musical theatre.
In his fourth outing as Tony Awards host, Jackman tried his hand at staging a one-man version of classic musical, The Music Man. But as he spun the quick-paced lyrics to one of the show’s popular tunes, the X-Men star decided to enlist the help of rappers LL Cool J and TI to rap the rest.
Wrapping the segment, Jackman even joked about his new rapping moniker: Biggie Tap Shoes.
"I think Wolverine is having a breakdown," viewer Andi McLellan tweeted. Another quipped that Jackman should leave the rapping to the professionals because he was Les Miserables at it.
Meanwhile, celebrity blogger Perez Hilton seemed sum up what many fans were feeling with: "What am I watching right now?"
But others seemed to appreciate the silliness of the rap spoof. "This is theatre blasphemy but I can’t stop laughing. Mostly because rap with an Australian accent is funny," said Brittany Berger.
Jackman’s hosting performance appears to be dividing viewers on Twitter, with his opening dance routine also leaving some cold.
The energetic host opened the show by jumping through New York's Radio City Music Hall foyer, down the stairs and into the auditorium, high-fiving audience members on the way to the stage.
He then bounced backstage to greet guests including Sting, Neil Patrick Harris and the casts of Aladdin, Cabaret, A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder and the stage musical revival of Les Miserables.
The cast of After Midnight followed with a rendition of jazz standard Sunny Side of the Street.
Jackman had been teasing fans in the lead up to the ceremony, posting videos of himself "bouncing" through his daily routine.
Explaining the sequence, choreographer Warren Carlyle said it was a homage to Bobby Van's bopping routine from 1953 musical, Small Town Girl.
"One of the things I love about Hugh is how physical he is," Carlyle said. "He loves to dance."
Fans on Twitter welcomed the high energy routine as they watched the awards show kick off.
"I don't care if #HughJackman is clawing mutants, raising orphans, arm wrestling or dancing, he can do no wrong," viewer Toby Williams quipped.
Another seemed impressed by the Wolverine star's "strong legs", given the strenuous nature of the opening routine.
But not everyone was impressed.
"Jumping does not an opening make," Blake Erickson tweeted.
Earlier in the day, Jackman had posted a shot of his pre-show sushi to Instagram, including an a sneaky Wolverine comic cameo in the background.
He even received well-wishes from another Australian in showbiz, television host Rove McManus.
"All the best to @RealHughJackman for tonight's #TonyAwards," McManus tweeted.
"Don't let your immense talent, popularity & extreme good looks make you nervous."
This is the fourth time Jackman has hosted the Tony Awards.
The opening number was literally just Hugh Jackman hopping around like a rabbit dang Tonys you're slackin this year— Kirstyn Hippe (@kirstynhippe) June 9, 2014
Hugh Jackman you just ruined the Tonys COOL— Taylor Patullo (@taylorr_marie11) June 9, 2014
Also, can Hugh Jackman host ALL THE TONYS...when he's not playing Wolverine, of course.— Tiffani (@TiffaniAlia) June 9, 2014
The Easter Bunny (aka Hugh Jackman) just arrived at the Tonys.— Savannah Belle M. (@savannahbelleXO) June 9, 2014
Hugh Jackman will bounce, Tigger-like, into Tonys, and into our DAMN HEARTS. #tonys— Megan Castellan (@revlucymeg) June 9, 2014