From Australia to the Tonys: Moulin Rouge! The musical about to make history | Tony awards
Mthis morning, Australian time, we will know if Moulin Rouge! The Musical became the first Australian-produced show to win a Tony for Best Musical – just days after the acclaimed Broadway production reopened.
The 74th Tony Awards ceremony, initially scheduled for last June, finally takes place this Sunday in New York.
Red Mill! is nominated for 14 awards, two short of Hamilton’s 2016 record of 16. It is the first Australian-produced show to originate on Broadway.
Producer Carmen Pavlovic, CEO of Sydney-based company Global Creatures, will be in attendance. She is “optimistic” but optimistic. “Everything is in the hands of the gods,” she said Wednesday, as she packed her bags for her flight to New York.
“I’m excited, but the industry is still surrounded by so much uncertainty. I think this year’s Tonys won’t be about individual shows but the industry as a whole; a celebration and recognition of what everyone has experienced over the past 18 months.
Based on Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 film, Moulin Rouge! The musical opened on Broadway in July 2019 and was enjoying positive reviews and good box office returns. “We were riding a nice wave,” Pavlovic said. “We produced the casting album, we had been nominated for a Grammy and we were preparing for the next few months. I was going to move to New York for a while to oversee five productions of the series that aired around the world.
Then, on March 12, 2020, Moulin Rouge! canceled his morning show after an actor said he was not feeling well. Later that day, then New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that all Broadway shows were to close immediately.
“We made a conservative plan, counting that we would be closed until June 30 Pavlovic recalls. “I remember people thinking it might even be in September. We couldn’t believe it.
In the first weeks of the pandemic, Moulin Rouge! was the hardest-hit show on Broadway, with at least 25 infections among the company. Two people were hospitalized but all recovered.
“Endurance and endurance”
It is only now that the Great White Way is coming back to something of itself. Red Mill! reopened at the Al Hirschfeld theater on Friday evening.
“We have been rehearsing since August,” Pavlovic said. “It takes a long time for everyone to regain the level of stamina and endurance they need to put on a show.”
The show also lost some of its original cast, including its Tony-nominated star Karen Olivo, who resigned in April to protest the entertainment industry’s silence on workplace harassment and behavior. allegedly from theater producer Scott Rudin.
Australian artist Natalie Mendoza now stars as Satine on Broadway, facing nominees for Tony Aaron Tveit, Danny Burstein, Sahr Ngaujah and Robyn Hurder.
Red Mill! The musical’s 14 nominations also include Best Direction, Best Book and Best Choreography.
But the competition is tough. Tina: The musical Tina Turner has 12 nominations. Alanis Morrisette’s musical Jagged Little Pill has 15.
Must we Moulin Rouge! win, Pavlovic’s company will join a short but illustrious list of prestigious Australian winners, including Brian Thomson and Roger Kirk for their sets and costumes for The King and Me (1996), Hugh Jackman (2004) for his lead performance in The Boy From Oz, and Lizzy Gardiner and Tim Chappel (2011), for their costume designs for Priscilla Queen of the Desert.
Sonny Tilders, designer of animatronic star King Kong (2019), and Barry Humphries (2000) also won Special Tony Awards in non-competitive categories.
Seven years in the making
If Global Creatures triumphs at the Tonys, it will be recognition of 15 years of hard work, Pavlovic said. What started in 2009 with “a delicious lunch at Baz Luhrmann’s in Darlinghurst” has turned into an epic saga of rights negotiations.
“It took seven years to make a deal with Fox Studios and with the Moulin Rouge in Paris because they still control the name,” Pavlovic said. “And before Broadway, the show had 75 songs, which meant 150 composers and about 30 music publishers. The rights negotiations have been intense and since Covid we have never been able to step back and relax at all. “
Pavlovic has attended the Tony Awards once before, for King Kong, produced by Global Creatures. She is preparing for a different atmosphere this time.
“It’ll be fun, but fun for me isn’t a 10 out of 10 thing anymore. It’s more of a seven or eight. There is heaviness; there have been so many illnesses and deaths. I don’t think there is anyone in New York society who doesn’t know someone who has died from Covid. “
The Tonys will celebrate the resilience and reopening of the theater district, but Pavlovic believes it will also be “a call to arms”.
“After the death of George Floyd, with the #MeToo and BLM movements, there was a lot of soul-searching about what Broadway needs to become and do differently. It is therefore a serious and hopeful period.
Red Mill! The musical is set to perform in London’s West End from November 12. Plans for Melbourne’s production at the Regent Theater are still unknown, due to ongoing Covid restrictions, but producers are hoping for an opening in November.
The 74th The Tony Awards will be broadcast live in Australia on 10 Peach from 9am AEST on Monday, September 27.