An actress who was 37 weeks pregnant when she auditioned for a role in the theatrical production of Moulin Rouge is now preparing to play the lead.
Alinta Chidzey, 37, was the casting directors’ pick from more than 2,000 applications and 479 auditions to play the musical’s tragic heroine, ‘sparkling diamond’ Satine, in Melbourne for the first time ever.
The multitalented performer was on the verge of delivering her first child when she attended her first in-person audition in February after months of sending tapes to showcase her vocal, dancing and acting abilities due to the city’s strict lockdown.
The mother-of-one, who welcomed daughter Harley Rose in late March, will star opposite newcomer, Des Flanagan, as bohemian dreamer, Christian, and an all-Australian supporting cast of 32 performers.
‘Now I have a three-month-old with me in rehearsals!’ Alinta told Daily Mail Australia
Alinta Chidzey (pictured) was 37 weeks pregnant when she auditioned for Moulin Rouge! The Musical for the first time in person
The 37-year-old performer (right, with her makeup artist) was the casting directors’ pick of more than 2,000 applications and 479 auditions to play the musical’s tragic heroine, ‘sparkling diamond’ Satine, in Melbourne for the first time ever
Securing the sought-after role means Alinta, who has previously played Velma Kelly in Chicago and Anita in West Side Story over the course of her 19-year career, will go down in Australian musical theatre history.
The Melbourne production of Moulin Rouge is not only the first international staging of the musical, but will also be the only place in the world where the show can be seen due to the ongoing Broadway shutdown.
When New York’s iconic theatre strip shut its doors to slow the spread of coronavirus on March 12, 2020, they vowed to reopen in a month.
Alinta welcomed daughter Harley Rose in late March
Stages remain dark, but performances of big ticket shows including Aladdin are slated to relaunch in September.
Alinta admits she has always been fortunate to have consistent work in a notoriously unsecure profession.
She even managed to turn the catastrophic impact of the pandemic on the entertainment industry into a positive.
‘I’ve been very lucky, even with Covid it allowed me the time to start a family,’ she explained.
Alinta (pictured as Velma Kelly in a photoshoot for Chicago) is itching to return to the stage for the first time as a mother
‘It’s certainly been a hard time for the industry but for me it was a strange blessing in that I was able to have a child.’
And with daughter Harley now in tow, Alinta is itching to return to the stage.
‘People are really craving theatre at the moment, and it’s a really uplifting, beautiful, wonderful, exciting show,’ she said.
‘We’re on track to play to a full capacity audience, so hopefully nothing changes with that.’
Alinta admits she has always been fortunate to have consistent work in a notoriously unsecure profession
She even managed to turn the catastrophic impact of the pandemic on the entertainment industry into a positive – it gave her the time to have her first child
What Alinta Chidzey eats in a day
Breakfast: Muesli with blueberries, bananas, kiwi and kefir yoghurt
Lunch: Green salad with lean protein like chicken or white fish
Snacks: More fruit, nuts and protein balls
Dinner: Seafood curry, ramen or pasta
Dessert: A cheeseboard or chips with dips and occasionally chocolate
Alinta takes three to four classes of reformer Pilates each week to maintain the strength and stamina needed to perform in front of hundreds, night after night.
‘It keeps me aligned and I always feel better after a session,’ she said.
She also likes to run and play tennis to keep training interesting.
Alinta prefers a balanced approach to health and said she never restricts herself when it comes to food.
Her breakfast is usually a bowl of muesli with blueberries, banana and kefir yoghurt followed by chicken salad for lunch and a hearty dinner of seafood curry, ramen or pasta.
She stays energised during rehearsals by snacking on nuts and protein balls, but admits she has a weakness for all things savoury such as hot chips and cheeseboards.
Alinta said she takes daily supplements of powdered magnesium to help her joints recover from strenuous dance practice and send her off to sleep.
‘It can be hard to unwind after being on stage, so I take magnesium and I also find hot showers amazing – I feel water really changes your mood,’ she said.
Alinta (pictured with her husband during her pregnancy) said her perspective on life has changed since becoming a mother
Alinta said it is ‘definitely a juggling act’ trying to find balance between her spending time with her husband and their new baby and fulfilling her commitments to the show.
‘Since becoming a mum my perspective on what’s important has changed. It can be hard to keep everything in your life happy, particularly yourself,’ she said.
Alinta said the production team behind Moulin Rouge have gone above and beyond to support her as she prepares for her first role as a mother.
‘They have been so supportive of me from the beginning, it was never an issue,’ she said.
The Australian production of the Tony-nominated musical will premiere at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre on Friday, August 13.