Moulin Rouge! The Musical opened on Broadway last week – the eagerly awaited stage adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s revolutionary film comes to life onstage, remixed in a new musical mash-up extravaganza.
Taking centre stage are Aaron Tveit as Christian and Tony winner Karen Olivo as Satine—the roles originated on screen in the 2001 film by Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman.
The cast also includes six-time Tony nominee Danny Burstein as Harold Zidler, Tony and Olivier nominee Sahr Ngaujah as Toulouse-Lautrec, Tam Mutu as the Duke of Monroth, Ricky Rojas as Santiago, and Robyn Hurder as Nini.
Directed by Alex Timbers and penned by John Logan, Moulin Rouge! The Musical features a cornucopia of hits from the original film and new pop songs made famous by Seal, Sia, Rihanna, Adele, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga.
The production features choreography by Sonya Tayeh, sets by Derek McLane, costumes by Catherine Zuber, lighting design by Justin Townsend, sound design by Peter Hylenski, and wig and hair design by David Brian Brown.
Find ticket to Moulin Rouge! The Musical
Moulin Rouge! The Musical is booking until 24 November 2019 at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, New York.
Review round up:
Marilyn Stasio, VARIETY
‘The luscious 2001 movie hit makes it successfully to the stage — elephant and all — in this gorgeously flashy version.
Derek McLane’s pulsating red set invites us into the bohemian artists’ quarter of Montmartre’
Everyone is resplendent in Catherine Zuber’s colorful, divinely decadent costumes as they whirl through Sonya Tayeh’s frenzied dances
Thanks to Tayeh’s inventive choreography, the well-drilled dance corps carries off these exhausting maneuvers with Broadway pizazz.’
Johnny Oleksinski, NEW YORK POST
‘Who needs ecstasy when we’ve got “Moulin Rouge!”? That’s the effect of the fabulous new musical on Broadway: raucous sensory overload. From its sexy sword swallowers to the newly pumped-up pop songbook and from-the-loins dancing, the show’s as subtle as Liberace’s toy poodle: a glitter bomb on Broadway.
Just don’t show up looking for a Madame Tussauds’ wax replica of Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 film. Songs such as “El Tango de Roxanne,” “Come What May,” “Your Song” and “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” are still here, but they’re joined by about 70 party crashers: Walk the Moon’s “Shut Up and Dance” and Sia’s “Chandelier” among them.
Those energetic new numbers boldly propel the show into the present, and bring giggles every time one is cleverly introduced.’
Greg Evans, DEADLINE
‘In the miracle-working hands of scenic designer Derek McLane, Broadway’s Al Hirschfeld Theatre is transformed into a red velvet heart-shaped fever dream, a gloriously naughty, gender-mucked Valentine from a last-gasp Victorian Era. Costume designer Catherine Zuber matches the mood with the sort of flashy divine decadence undergarments-as-outer that we’ve come to expect after so many Cabaret revivals, but few will begrudge the familiarity. Dazzle is dazzle, never more so than when Sonya Tayeh is choreographing with a kitchen sink approach that encompasses can-can, Fosse and Single Ladies.’
Brittany Spanos, ROLLING STONES
‘The opening number is as dizzying as the Moulin Rouge’s introduction is in the film: a rapid-fire hodgepodge of dancing and pop music mashups.
Karen Olivo, who is criminally under-regarded as one of her generation’s greatest stage talents, shines as “the sparkling diamond”. Olivo takes the delicate damsel-in-distress element almost entirely out of her performance, reflecting the hard-edged independence and big dreams of the troubled, talented woman.
Moulin Rouge! The Musical (2019) comes close to matching [the film], but gets lost in the excess, like the absinthe Christian consumes. Drunk off its own accoutrements (specifically, the glossy roster of songs it packs in under three hours), the show loses touches of the emotion that made the film a modern classic in the first place.’
Adam Feldman, TIME OUT
‘Red alert! Red alert! If you’re the kind of person who frets that jukebox musicals are taking over Broadway, prepare to tilt at the windmill that is the gorgeous, gaudy, spectacularly overstuffed Moulin Rouge! The Musical. Directed with opulent showmanship by Alex Timbers, this adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 movie may be costume jewelry, but its shine is dazzling.
As Broadway shows become pricier and pricier, here is one that looks and feels expensive. It’s a very fancy heart-shaped box of Valentine’s Day chocolates, and though you know exactly what you’re going to get, each bite is still a little surprise: sometimes gooey, sometimes nutty, sometimes fruity, sometimes sweet, sometimes stale but mostly delicious. And if it’s any consolation to the haters, Moulin Rouge! may turn out to be the jukebox musical to end all jukebox musicals—if only because, among its particular type of jukebox musical at least, it’s hard to imagine how it can be topped.’
Patrick Ryan USA TODAY
‘C’est magnifique. jaw-dropping sets and sumptuous costumes … a bombastic assault on the senses ..the use of recent pop songs actually improves upon the source material, helping flesh out characters’ motivations and deepen the central romance.’
Alexis Soloski, THE GUARDIAN
‘Moulin Rouge is one of those shows that is not only critic-proof, but maybe also story-proof. In Alex Timbers’s production, with a book by John Logan, the characters are so thinly drawn that they disappear behind their corsetry and the love triangle so lopsided that it defies most laws of geometry. Any subtext has been shoved into a push-up bra and short shorts. It doesn’t matter.
About that duke: Mutu is a charismatic actor and his scenes with Olivo are taut and charged. Tveit, a handsome face attached to a rich lyric tenor, has by contrast all the sexual charisma of a baked potato. His scenes with Olivo seem friendly, nothing more. He wants them to run off together – and what? Have a picnic?
That lack of chemistry should kill Moulin Rouge. It doesn’t. Why? Well, to put it in words that make as much sense as anything in Logan’s book: “Giuchie, giuchie, ya ya da da / Giuchie, giuchie, ya ya here.” No one has bought a ticket expecting credible psychology or depth of character.’
Mark Shenton, THE STAGE (pre-Broadway)
‘If we must have jukebox musicals, I only wish they were all as vivacious and utterly exhilarating as this.
the great skill of director Alex Timbers and his book writer John Logan, adapting Luhrmann and Craig Pearce’s original screenplay, is to fold other songs brilliantly into the narrative’
The polish with which it is all executed makes for a breathtaking spectacle. Thanks to gorgeous performances from Karen Olivo and Aaron Tveit as the unhappy lovers, it also has a heartbreaking human dimension, which echoes La Boheme in its tragic inevitability. Tveit lends an astonishing, impassioned rock roar of a voice to tear into Sting’s Roxanne; Olivo has a sultry grace but also immense vocals as she tears into a medley that includes Diamonds Are Forever, Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend, Material Girl and Single Ladies. A huge ensemble features stand-out turns from Danny Burstein as the club’s MC and Tam Mutu as the aristocratic rival.’