FROM ROOTY HILL TO BROADWAY: AUSTRALIAN PRODUCTION'S DIRECT ROUTE TO THE BIG TIME!
By Nick Galvin, Sydney Morning Herald
The producers of The Little Prince have announced the hit show will transfer directly to Broadway after its season at Rooty Hill’s Coliseum Theatre in January.
The show will be the latest part of an Australian invasion of Broadway, joining Moulin Rouge! The Musical, produced by Australian company Global Creatures, and Eddie Perfect’s Beetlejuice, which opens in New York in April.
Tamworth-born Liz Koops is the chief executive of Broadway Entertainment Group, the producers of The Little Prince, which is based on the hugely popular 1943 novella of the same name by French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
“It is very special to have the opportunity to be able to bring this stunning first-class theatre production to even more Australian arts lovers and families before the bright lights of Broadway,” said Koops, who has toured productions in 40 countries.
Earlier this year, the show played at Sydney Opera House, receiving a warm reception from critics, including this masthead’s reviewer Jill Sykes who awarded it four-and-a-half stars.
Koops said the production’s success in Sydney earned their spot on New York’s esteemed theatre strip. “We’re very lucky to have gone into Broadway at this stage,” she said.
The Little Prince will open on January 1 at the 2000-seat Coliseum Theatre, adjacent to Rooty Hill RSL. After a three-week run the production heads to Manhattan where it will open at the Broadway Theatre on Broadway on March 4.
De Saint-Exupery’s book tells the story of an aviator who becomes lost in the desert where he meets the fantastical Little Prince. The stage version brings the tale to life with dance, physical theatre and the lavish use of video technology.
Koops was full of praise for the new Coliseum Theatre, which opened in December 2019.
“We love giving this opportunity to Western Sydney HQ because it’s a great theatre and deserves amazing content,” she said. “It’s as world-class a venue as Dubai Opera or anywhere else I’ve played.”
The Little Prince will be Koops’ third Broadway show. She said Australian producers were commanding more respect than ever in the famously tough US market.
“I do think Broadway respects Australian producers. If it’s a great story and it’s well produced it’s got a chance there,” she said. “Australia certainly punches above its weight. The content is good so why shouldn’t it be there.”
Referring to her friend and Global Creatures chief executive Carmen Pavlovic, Koops said: “Not only are two Aussie women producing work on Broadway, but ironically it’s with two French titles.”