Moulin Rouge! (musical)

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Moulin Rouge!
The Musical
Moulin Rouge the Musical poster blue.jpg
2018 Broadway teaser poster
MusicVarious
LyricsVarious
BookJohn Logan
BasisMoulin Rouge!
by Baz Luhrmann
Craig Pearce
PremiereJuly 10, 2018 (2018-07-10): Colonial Theatre, Boston
Productions2018 Boston
2019 Broadway

Moulin Rouge! The Musical is a jukebox musical with a book by John Logan. The musical is based on the 2001 film Moulin Rouge! directed by Baz Luhrmann and written by Luhrmann and Craig Pearce.[1]

The musical premiered on July 10, 2018 at the Emerson Colonial Theatre in Boston. Moulin Rouge! opened on Broadway at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, with previews starting on June 28, 2019 and officially opening on July 25.[2]

Background[edit]

In 2002–2003, there was speculation about the possibility of a stage musical based on Moulin Rouge!, possibly in Las Vegas, but there had been no public talks in the years since.[3] Some sources claimed in 2006 that the director, Baz Luhrmann, had approached the leads of the film, Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor, to star in the potential stage version.[4]

In 2016, it was announced that a stage musical was being developed by Global Creatures with direction by Alex Timbers.[5]

A workshop took place in 2017,[6] starring Aaron Tveit and Karen Olivo. The lab ran from October 30 until December 15.[7]

Overview[edit]

Moulin Rouge! is set in the Montmartre Quarter of Paris, France, during the Belle Epoque at the turn of the 20th century. The musical relates the story of Christian, a young composer, who falls in love with cabaret actress Satine, who is the star of the Moulin Rouge. Similar to the movie, the musical's score weaves together original songs with popular music, "including songs that have been written in the 17 years since the film's premiere."[8][9][10]

Productions[edit]

Boston (2018)[edit]

Moulin Rouge! was scheduled to begin preview performances on June 27, 2018, at the Emerson Colonial Theatre in Boston. The production was scheduled to officially open on July 22, 2018, and would complete its limited run on August 5, 2018.[9] On June 6, it was announced that the Boston production would be extended by 16 additional performances, running through August 19.[11] Construction delays in renovating the Emerson Colonial Theatre resulted in the premiere date being pushed back to July 10.[12] The production featured choreography by Sonya Tayeh, sets by Derek McLane, costumes by Catherine Zuber, lighting design by Justin Townsend and sound design by Peter Hylenski.[10]

Broadway (2019)[edit]

On November 19, 2018, it was announced that Moulin Rouge! would open on Broadway at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre.[13] Previews on Broadway began on June 28, 2019 and opening night was July 25.[14]

National Tour (2020)[edit]

On September 19, 2019, it was announced that the musical would launch a national tour. The tour will begin in November 2020 at the Saenger Theatre in New Orleans and continue to the James M. Nederlander Theatre in Chicago with casting and the full lineup of dates and cities to be announced later.[15][16]

West End (2021)[edit]

The musical is scheduled to debut in West End in March 2021. The production will be at Piccadilly Theatre in London, with casting to be announced later.[17]

Melbourne (2021)[edit]

On July 28, 2019 producer Carmen Pavlovic of Global Creatures announced that the international premiere of the musical would take place in her home country of Australia. The show will open in Melbourne’s Regent Theatre in 2021. Further details are yet to be announced.[18][19]

Roles and principal casts[edit]

Character Workshop
(2017)
Boston
(2018)
Broadway
(2019)
Satine Karen Olivo
Christian Aaron Tveit
Harold Zidler Eric Anderson Danny Burstein
The Duke of Monroth Tam Mutu
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec Sahr Ngaujah
Santiago, the Narcoleptic Argentinean Joel Perez Ricky Rojas
Nini Legs-in-the-Air Robyn Hurder
La Chocolat Jacqueline B. Arnold
Arabia Holly James
Baby Doll Jeigh Madjus

Musical numbers[edit]

2018 Boston World Premiere Production

† Featured in the 2001 film

*Scenes/plot points provided prior to release of song titles

2019 Broadway Production

† Featured in the 2001 film

Cast recording[edit]

Moulin Rouge! The Musical (Original Broadway Cast Recording) was released digitally on August 30, 2019. A physical edition is expected to be released at a later date.[20]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Performers Duration Songs Covered/Sampled
1 "Welcome to the Moulin Rouge!" Danny Burstein, Jacqueline B. Arnold, Robyn Hurder, Holly James, Jeigh Madjus, Tam Mutu, Aaron Tveit, Sahr Ngaujah, Ricky Rojas 7:40
2 "Truth Beauty Freedom Love" Sahr Ngaujah, Ricky Rojas, Aaron Tveit 2:54
3 "The Sparkling Diamond" Karen Olivo 4:38
4 "Shut Up and Raise Your Glass" Aaron Tveit, Karen Olivo, Sahr Ngaujah, Ricky Rojas 2:42
5 "Firework" Karen Olivo 2:43
6 "Your Song" Aaron Tveit, Karen Olivo 3:09
7 "So Exciting! (The Pitch Song)" Tam Mutu, Aaron Tveit, Karen Olivo, Danny Burstein, Sahr Ngaujah, Ricky Rojas 3:27
8 "Sympathy for the Duke" Tam Mutu, Karen Olivo 2:29
9 "Nature Boy" Sahr Ngaujah, Aaron Tveit 2:39
10 "Elephant Love Medley" Aaron Tveit, Karen Olivo 5:25
11 "Backstage Romance" Ricky Rojas, Robyn Hurder 5:22
12 "Come What May" Aaron Tveit, Karen Olivo 3:16
13 "Only Girl in a Material World" Tam Mutu, Karen Olivo 3:00
14 "Chandelier" Danny Burstein, Ricky Rojas, Sahr Ngaujah, Aaron Tveit, Jacqueline B. Arnold, Holly James, Jeigh Madjus 3:06
15 "El Tango de Roxanne" Aaron Tveit 3:37
16 "Crazy Rolling" Aaron Tveit, Karen Olivo 5:13
17 "Your Song (Reprise)" Karen Olivo, Aaron Tveit 2:38
18 "Finale (Come What May (Reprise))" Aaron Tveit 2:43
19 "More More More! (Encore)" Danny Burstein, Jacqueline B. Arnold, Robyn Hurder, Holly James, Jeigh Madjus, Ricky Rojas, Tam Mutu, Sahr Ngaujah 3:53

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

The Broadway production of the musical received mixed reviews.

In a rave review, theater critic John Simon wrote, "If you like splash, Moulin Rouge! is the show for you. Even more than the Baz Luhrmann movie, on which the musical is loosely based, it can hold your wonderment without abate from start to finish. ... This is a show to make the young feel mature, and the old blissfully young again."[21]

It's one of The New York Times Critic's Picks with Ben Brantley calling it "a cloud-surfing, natural high of a production."[22]

Diane Snyder of The Telegraph praised the scenic design, choreography, and costume and wrote that "Moulin Rouge! may not have the depth of some of Broadway’s great musicals... [but] it’s fun, tuneful and entertaining, and that’s exactly what we need right now."[23] Mashable's Erin Strecker said that "This is the best of what a jukebox musical can be; a thrilling burst of color and chorus and nostalgia and bold reimagining."[24] Adam Feldman leaned positive as he called the show "an extravagant Broadway megamix," commenting that it "looks and feels expensive."[25]

Some critics praised the changes made from the film. Patrick Ryan of USA Today commented that "the use of recent pop songs actually improves upon the source material, helping flesh out characters' motivations and deepen the central romance."[26] David Cote of Observer wrote, "Logan’s tweaks to the original screenplay are neat and necessary."[27]

In a mixed review, Rolling Stones' Brittany Spanos criticized the musical's disjointedness but praised the high-energy parts of the show.[28] In another mixed review, Charles Isherwood of Broadway News summed up that "The resulting show is all flash, splash and megawatt musical numbers, nimbly if not entirely masking a fairly hollow and certainly hoary emotional core."[29] Alexis Soloski of The Guardian also commented on the leads' lack of chemistry, but mentioned that the show delivers when it comes to "dazzle and excitement," praising its choreography, set, energy, and costume.[30]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Original Boston production[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2019 IRNE Awards[31][32] Best New Musical Won
Best Musical Won
Best Actor – Musical Aaron Tveit Nominated
Best Actress – Musical Karen Olivo Nominated
Best Supporting Actor – Musical Danny Burstein Won
Best Set Design Derek McLane Won
Best Costume Design Catherine Zuber Won
Best Lighting Design Justin Townsend Nominated
Best Sound Design Peter Hylenski Won
Best Director – Musical Alex Timbers Nominated
Best Choreography Sonya Tayeh Nominated
Best Music Director Cian McCarthy Won

References[edit]

  1. ^ Evans, Greg (April 4, 2018). "'Moulin Rouge! The Musical' Announces Cast For Pre-Broadway Boston Premiere". Deadline. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  2. ^ "Moulin Rouge! The Musical Sets Dates, Theater & Casting for Broadway Premiere". Broadway.com. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
  3. ^ "Moulin Rouge – Stage Production". Baz the Great. Archived from the original on March 3, 2009. Retrieved March 27, 2009.
  4. ^ Gorgan, Elena (June 20, 2006). "Moulin Rouge on the Stage? – The director Baz Luhrmann has already approached Kidman and McGregor with the offer". Softpedia. Retrieved March 27, 2009.
  5. ^ Lang, Brent (September 1, 2016). "'Moulin Rouge!' Being Developed Into a Stage Musical". Variety. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  6. ^ Hetrick, Adam (October 31, 2017). "Aaron Tveit and Karen Olivo Lead Moulin Rouge! Lab". Playbill. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  7. ^ "Exclusive! Aaron Tveit & Karen Olivo Lead Moulin Rouge Developmental Lab". Broadway.com. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  8. ^ "Moulin Rouge! The Musical". Broadway.com. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  9. ^ a b McPhee, Ryan (April 4, 2018). "Aaron Tveit and Karen Olivo Will Star in Boston World Premiere of Moulin Rouge! Musical". Playbill. Retrieved April 15, 2018.
  10. ^ a b McPhee, Ryan (August 3, 2018). "World Premiere of Moulin Rouge! Musical Officially Opens in Boston Before Broadway Bow". Playbill. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  11. ^ Hetrick, Adam (June 6, 2018). "Broadway-Aimed Moulin Rouge! Extends Boston Run". Playbill. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  12. ^ "MOULIN ROUGE! Delays Boston Premiere to July 10th, Full New Dates". Broadway World. June 18, 2018. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  13. ^ McPhee, Ryan. " 'Moulin Rouge!' Musical Sets Broadway Dates and Theatre; Aaron Tveit and Karen Olivo to Star" Playbill, November 19, 2018
  14. ^ McPhee, Ryan. " 'Moulin Rouge!' Musical Begins on Broadway June 28" Playbill, June 28, 2019
  15. ^ McPhee, Ryan (September 19, 2020). "Moulin Rouge! Musical to Launch National Tour in 2020". Playbill. Retrieved September 19, 2019.
  16. ^ Desk, BWW News. "MOULIN ROUGE! Will Hit the Road and Launch National Tour in 2020". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved September 19, 2019.
  17. ^ Thomas, Sophie (October 16, 2019). "Moulin Rouge! The Musical to transfer to the Piccadilly Theatre in 2021". London Theatre Guide. Retrieved October 18, 2019.
  18. ^ Lambert, Catherine. "Australian Broadway hit Moulin Rouge coming to Melbourne in 2021" Herald Sun, July 28, 2019
  19. ^ McPhee, Ryan. "Moulin Rouge! Musical Will Open in Australia in 2021", Playbill, July 28, 2019
  20. ^ "Moulin Rouge! The Musical Sets Digital Release Date for Original Cast Album". Broadway.com. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  21. ^ Simon, John (August 12, 2019). "Uncensored John Simon: Moulin Rouge!". Uncensored John Simon. Retrieved September 7, 2019.
  22. ^ Brantley, Ben. "Theater. Moulin Rouge Review" The New York Times, July 25, 2019
  23. ^ Snyder, Diane (July 26, 2019). "Moulin Rouge! The Musical, Al Hirschfeld Theatre, New York, review: exactly what the world needs". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved September 7, 2019.
  24. ^ Strecker, Erin. "'Moulin Rouge!' on Broadway is one hell of a fun spectacle". Mashable. Retrieved September 7, 2019.
  25. ^ "Moulin Rouge! The Musical Review: An Opulent Broadway Megamix". Time Out New York. Retrieved September 7, 2019.
  26. ^ Ryan, Patrick. "Broadway's 'Moulin Rouge!' musical updates score with Lady Gaga, Adele hits". USA TODAY. Retrieved September 7, 2019.
  27. ^ "Broadway's 'Moulin Rouge!' Finds the Sweet Spot Between Kitsch and Glitz". Observer. August 5, 2019. Retrieved September 7, 2019.
  28. ^ Spanos, Brittany; Spanos, Brittany (July 26, 2019). "Love Lifts Us Up: 'Moulin Rouge! the Musical' Packs More Pop Than One Show Can Handle". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 7, 2019.
  29. ^ Isherwood, Charles (July 26, 2019). "Review: 'Moulin Rouge!' hits Broadway with a panache of pop". Broadway News. Retrieved September 7, 2019.
  30. ^ Soloski, Alexis (July 26, 2019). "Moulin Rouge review – high-kicking Broadway remix is hard to resist". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved September 7, 2019.
  31. ^ "Nominations for 23rd Annual IRNE Awards Announced! – Theater Mirror". Retrieved February 26, 2019.
  32. ^ "Moulin Rouge! Musical Leads Boston's 2019 IRNE Awards". Playbill.

External links[edit]