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Last week, Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh made it through a blizzard to Sardi’s – a restaurant in the heart of New York’s theatre district renowned for the hundreds of caricatures of showbiz celebrities that line its walls.
Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh at Sardi's
The two Australian actors were there to celebrate the unveiling of drawings of themselves. Making it onto the walls of Sardi’s is a classic Broadway tradition and a real feather in anyone's showbiz cap. Australian performer Tony Sheldon was similarly honoured in 2012 while performing in the Broadway production of Priscilla Queen of the Desert.
Blanchett and Roxburgh were in New York co-starring in the Broadway transfer of Sydney Theatre Company’s production of The Present – Andrew Upton’s adaptation of Chekhov’s first, sprawling, untitled play often known as Platonov – which closed on Sunday at the end of a 10-week season, following three weeks of previews.
"STC's The Present on Broadway has been a landmark moment in the Company's history," STC Artistic Director Kip Williams tells Limelight. "It represents the culmination of the extraordinary work of Andrew Upton and Cate Blanchett during their time running the Company, of showcasing Australian artistic achievement internationally. We are thrilled the New York audience has responded so enthusiastically to the show, and are delighted to have presented this all-Australian cast – along with a team of Australian designers, and an Australian playwright – to one of the world's most revered and respected theatrical communities."
Although Blanchett and Roxburgh have previously appeared together in New York in Upton’s STC adaptation of Uncle Vanya, and Blanchett has also trod the boards there in STC productions of Hedda Gabler, A Streetcar Named Desire and The Maids, the new Chekhov adaptation marked the Broadway debut of both performers, along with the other 11 Australian actors in the cast.