Hard to believe it's already been 18 long years since "Strictly Ballroom" -- the first film from director Baz Luhrmann's "Red Curtain Trilogy" -- initially took the world by storm.
Yesterday came news that the stylishly inventive Australian auteur has his eyes set on bringing that cult film to the stage via a new musical. Through "Strictly Ballroom," Luhrmann may have singlehandedly reinvigorated a flagging dance genre, well over a decade before the likes of "Dancing With The Stars" and Broadway's Burn The Floor.
Luhrmann is certainly no novice to the Great White Way, having produced and directed the magnificent La Bohème, which earned both him and the show Tony nods back in 2003. For me, having been a fan of his visionary work on the silver screen, his reimagined Puccini opera was the single best show I had seen that entire season. And I'm still been raving about the beautiful, if unsung, design elements offered by Luhrmann's wife, Catherine Martin to this day. I once wrote rather wistfully:
Credit Baz Luhrmann with the spellbinding genius for making one of the most enduring of operas into an accessible and excellent theatrical event. Not since Dorothy landed in Oz have I witnessed as glorious a transformation from black and white to full blown color as I did during this amazing production. In this case, it occurred when love was in full bloom. I only hope that Luhrmann won’t stay away from Broadway too much longer.According to The New York Times' Patrick Healy:
Mr. Luhrman said that while the plot, central characters, and some of the music from the movie would be transposed to the musical, he was approaching the design, atmospherics, and some elements of the score and lyrics with “an open mind and excited imagination.”Since the creative workshops set for Sydney are still a few months away, audiences won't see Strictly Ballroom - The Musical anytime soon. And as shows like Priscilla Queen Of The Desert have demontrated, it can take years for a show to wind its way from Australia to Broadway.
But strictly between you and me, with Luhrmann at the helm, I have little doubt that it will be worth the wait.
This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).
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