The producers also decided to remove the standard opening night from the red carpet for celebrities, VIPs and influencers. They want to honor, as much as possible, the tickets of the patient audience who flocked to reserve seats in record numbers in February, for performances that have been postponed or canceled.
In September, the original Broadway production won 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical: a historic moment for Australian production company Global Creatures.
Set designer Derek McLane was one of those who received an award. He says that, if New York is a guide, there will be added energy to the first performances in Melbourne.
“The excitement in the [Broadway] the theater is visible and palpable ”, he declared, on Zoom from London where the company is preparing to open the show on the same date as Melbourne. “Our first return performance [from the pandemic shutdown] was unlike anything I have ever seen before. He was stopped by something like 10 or 11 standing ovations – I think the opening number had four standing ovations on its own.
“It was such a crazy and euphoric celebration … the triumph of seeing a theater full of people and seeing the show again was absolutely thrilling.”
There have been strict controls on access to the Regent Theater so set builders and rehearsals can maintain a COVID-safe ‘bubble’ – few have been inside to see the finished product.
McLane said he was taller than the New York and London stages, although the difference was not huge. What was “cooler” about the Regent, he said, was the beauty of the theater, the design of which better matches the period of the film.
“It lends itself to becoming the Moulin Rouge, it feels more European, the architecture feels closer to 1899 and there is a lot of opulence, which is really helpful.
He had less work to do to get clients in the mood for the show – despite having installed an impressive number of chandeliers.
“The idea is that when you walk in, it’s not just a landscape. There is music and there are artists in the auditorium. We have the impression that we have just entered this crazy and decadent club that is the Moulin Rouge. And we wanted to create that experience as much as possible as they walked through the doors. “
The set is flanked by two enormous decorators, a large red windmill and a large blue elephant (cut from styrofoam with a chainsaw and shipped from New York). But the most difficult part of his job, says McLane, was to be confronted with a staging saying that after Satine and Christian fell in love, “they fly off to the streets of Paris” and finish the first one. act.
“I spent a lot of time scratching my head on this. I mean, how do you do that, in a way that seems magical and surprising? “
He won’t say.
Tickets for Red Mill! Musical comedy are on sale until April 7, 2022
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