Ashford to Help Luhrmann Stage Oscar Number for Host Jackman

By Andrew Gans
02 Feb 2009

Rob Ashford
Rob Ashford
Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Rob Ashford, who won his Tony Award for his choreography of Thoroughly Modern Millie, will help "Moulin Rouge" director Baz Luhrmann stage a musical number for Hugh Jackman for the upcoming Academy Awards, according to The New York Times.

Fox News had previously reported that Jackman had asked Luhrmann (and Luhrmann's wife Catherine Martin), who directed Jackman in the recent film "Australia," to stage his opening number for the upcoming Oscar telecast. Jackman will be the host of the 81st Academy Awards.

The Feb. 22 ceremony — which will be produced by Laurence Mark and executive produced by Bill Condon — will feature set designs by Broadway designer David Rockwell. ABC will broadcast the ceremony live from the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center.

Rob Ashford won the Best Choreography Tony Award for Thoroughly Modern Millie, and was also Tony-nominated for his choreography for The Wedding Singer, Curtains and Cry-Baby.

Luhrmann's Broadway La Bohème in 2002-03 had the look of his richly romantic film "Moulin Rouge." Its two 2003 Tony Award wins were for Scenic Design (Catherine Martin) and Lighting Design (Nigel Levings). The production was also nominated for Direction (Luhrmann), Revival of a Musical, Costume Design (Martin) and Orchestrations (Nicholas Kitsopoulos).



Jackman, most recently seen on screen in "Australia," earned a Tony Award for his work in the Broadway musical The Boy From Oz. He is also known for his film roles in the "X-Men" trilogy, "Someone Like You," "Swordfish," "Kate and Leopold," "Van Helsing" and the recent "The Fountain" and "Happy Feet" (in voice). His stage credits also include Trevor Nunn's staging of Oklahoma! at Britian's National Theatre and award-winning work in productions of Sunset Boulevard and Beauty and the Beast in his homeland.

For more information visit www.oscars.org.