Nicole Kidman surprises Broadway with $100,000 bid for Hugh Jackman’s hat

<span>Photograph: Isaac Esquivel/EPA</span>
Photograph: Isaac Esquivel/EPA

Nicole Kidman has surprised both Broadway audiences and Hugh Jackman by bidding US$100,000 (A$150,000, £83,000) for a hat signed by Jackman after a performance of her former co-star’s musical The Music Man.

During an auction for the charity Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids after the performance on Saturday, Kidman made her presence known by shouting her bid of $100,000 for the hat, which led to gasps and cheers in the crowd, then a standing ovation.

“I just want to be clear, this is not Australian dollars,” Jackman joked.

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“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 into the microphone, having approached the stage at the Winter Garden Theatre and hugging Jackman.

“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 said on stage. “You’re a beautiful person. I love you. Thank you for your generosity.”

The Music Man cast has been raising funds for the charity at recent performances.

Though they are among Australia’s most famous actors, Jackman and Kidman have only collaborated a couple of times, leading Baz Luhrmann’s 2008 film Australia and providing the voices of penguin parents in both of George Miller’s animated Happy Feet films.

The Music Man has been a huge hit on Broadway, generating $2-3m a week in ticket sales. The show will close in January.