Wednesday, December 1

NSW coronavirus restrictions: Curtain finally rises again for Sydney actors in Come from Away musical, ‘It’s going to be emotional’


As many Sydney couples, Zoe Gertz and Phillip Lowe have just been released with their two jobs on hold for almost four months due to coronavirus.

However, returning to work will not be the same escape after weeks of being together at home, because they have the same job.

They are both actors in one of Sydney’s biggest musicals, Come from far away which reopens next week after missing around 120 shows.

Zoe Gertz and her husband Phillip Lowe appear on stage in the musical Come from Away. (Instagram)

“It has actually brought us a bit closer to be honest,” Gertz told 9News.com.au.

“I had times when I was feeling pretty depressed and Pip would say ‘let’s go for a run.’

“Likewise, if he had a dark day, my thing is more cooking and baking and I’d say, ‘okay, what do you want me to do?’

“We are a great source of comfort to each other.”

Thankfully, despite all that food, there hasn’t been too much pressure from the wardrobe managers on the show to make sure their suits stay tight.

“I remember seeing a message from the wardrobe manager,” Ms. Gertz said.

“They were like, ‘You know what, be nice to yourself during this time … we support you.”

The couple knows the running of the bulls well, it is the fourth time the show has been closed, twice in Melbourne and once in Brisbane, and the cast spent a year without permission across the country.

Fortunately, this time the couple was in their hometown with their dog, Banjo; other cast members have been stuck outside the home.

Zoe Gertz in Come from Away
Zoe Gertz in Come from Away, which has been shut down four times. (Supplied)

About 7,000 confused and scared airline passengers were stranded in Gander, Newfoundland, for nearly a week.

While the actors take on multiple roles, the main role of Mrs. Gertz is the captain of the airline Beverley, while Mr. Lowe plays a British businessman, Nick, who falls in love with a fellow traveler.

The couple was still paid during the lockdown, but said many of their friends who work in the arts have been “forgotten” when it comes to financial aid from governments.

Zoe Gertz and her husband Phillip Lowe appear on stage in the musical Come from Away.
Zoe Gertz and her husband Phillip Lowe appear on stage in the musical Come from Away. (Instagram)

“There are so many people in our industry that have escaped the cracks, and it is truly heartbreaking,” said Ms. Gertz.

Lowe admitted it would be a great moment when the curtain rises again on Wednesday, especially for some cast members who have just joined the company from Broadway and have not performed since that closing in March 2020.

“It’s going to be exciting,” he said.

The show’s producer, Rodney Rigby, said Sydney’s shutdown just weeks after the show’s opening was “devastating.”

“Our box office was starting to take off and they closed us down,” he told 9News.com.au.

Come From Away Producer, Rodney Rigby, at the Capitol Theater, Sydney
Come From Away Producer, Rodney Rigby, at the Capitol Theater, Sydney (Janie Barrett SMH)

However, he said he was grateful that the NSW government had provided them with some financial support.

The company was also the first to announce a vaccine mandate for the cast and crew, who, since rehearsals resumed, have also been tested for coronavirus three times a week and wear masks when off stage.

Like all shows in the city, the public must show that they are vaccinated and ‘register’.

Rigby said they are eager to start over.

“I think it’s going to be very exciting,” he said. “We need to tell stories on stage.”

Musical fans also have a lot to look forward to now that Sydney is reopening.

Big success Hamilton also returns to the stage next Tuesday while new musical Serrated pill, based on songs by Alanis Morrissette, will finally premiere in December at the renovated Theater Royal after the September release was canceled by lockdown.

Are scheduled Phantom of the opera – one of two versions of that soon-to-be Sydney musical – will finally premiere at the Opera House next year, with Dolly Parton’s from 9 to 5 also on the way to town.

Come From Away reopens at the Capital Theater in Sydney on October 20 and runs through December 12 before opening in Canberra on February 3, 2022.


www.9news.com.au

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