Hugh Jackman will return as Tonys host. He's already a Tony front-runner for his starring role in ''The Boy From Oz''

By Gary Susman
Updated March 05, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST

Hugh Jackman’s next sequel will not be ”X-Men 3”; it’ll be this year’s Tony Awards. The Artist Occasionally Known as Wolverine has been tapped to host the Broadway awards show for the second straight year. ”I’m honored to be invited to host the Tonys for a second time,” the actor said in a statement. ”This, on top of the incredible reception I’ve received from the Broadway community, caps a thrilling year being the new kid on the block.”

That year began with his emcee gig at last June’s Tony’s, where he wowed the audience with his musical comedy chops. Since October, he’s been starring on Broadway in ”The Boy From Oz,” the musical about fellow Aussie entertainer Peter Allen, and the universal praise for his show-stopping performance (despite mixed reviews for the play itself) has made the musical a hit. The performance has also made him the front-runner for Best Actor in a Musical when the Tony nominations are announced on May 10. And when the awards ceremony rolls around on June 6 (it’ll be held at Radio City Music Hall and broadcast on CBS), he may have to add an acceptance speech to his emcee patter.