He’s the most successful, influential and powerful producer in the world, according to the New York Times, and he’s in Melbourne this week in preparation for the highly anticipated opening of Les Miserables on Thursday July 3.
However, although the official gala opening of Les Miserables at Her Majesty’s Theatre is no doubt Cameron Mackintosh’s primary concern this week, he will be taking some time out of the theatre to honour the life and work of late Australian publicist Suzie Howie tomorrow at Arts Centre Melbourne as part of the Melbourne Arts Walk.
An Australian first, the Melbourne Arts Walk is a series of crafted plaques honouring the arts which are embedded into the footpath surrounding Arts Centre Melbourne’s buildings. Taking the idea of Hollywood’s Walk of Fame a step further, the plaques feature inspiring and uplifting quotations from famous artists celebrating the creativity and passion of the performing arts in Melbourne. At $25,000 per plaque, they are understandably an important fundraising initiative for Arts Centre Melbourne. Cameron Mackintosh has purchased the plaque for Suzie Howie, who worked with him on Les Miserables, Cats and many other productions during her career.
Suzie Howie, who lost her battle with cancer in October 2012, was an Australian publicity legend who managed the publicity for the majority of Australia’s best-selling musicals and theatre productions, including Cats, Les Misérables, Mary Poppins, The Phantom of the Opera, Jersey Boys, Wicked and many more. She had been described by Barry Humphries as “the best publicist in the Southern Hemisphere” and also worked on international blockbuster films Crocodile Dundee, The Man from Snowy River and The Man from Snowy River II.
Notable performers who have provided quotes for the Melbourne Arts Walk include Kylie Minogue, Guy Pearce, Olivia Newton-John, Paul Kelly, Tina Arena, Silvie Paladino, Robert Lepage, Cliff Richard, Marina Prior, Reg Livermore and many more.
Cameron Mackintosh will unveil the Melbourne Arts Walk plaque tomorrow at 11am and Suzie Howie’s husband Paul Taylor will also be in attendance.