Monday, May 20, 2024
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‘Moulin Rouge! The Musical’ is a Visual and Auditory Feast

The cast of the North American Tour of Moulin Rouge! The Musical, photo by Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade

 

–by Ashley Cox

 

Why try to create a new synopsis when “So Exciting” sung by the main cast sums up the show, “A tale of love, and death, and sex, and money, and dancing.” “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” is similar enough to “Moulin Rouge! The Movie” as to be familiar but different enough to keep established fans on their toes. Songs are updated, Christian is now from Ohio, and the Duke is no longer creepy and domineering… he is hot and domineering? Andrew Brewer as the Duke of Monroth along with Christian Douglas as Christian and Nick Rashad Burroughs as Toulouse-Lautrec join the kids from “Mrs. Doubtfire” and the “Company” cast as my stand outs during the Fox’s 2023- 2024 Broadway season.

Robert Petkoff as Harold Zidler and the cast of the North American tour of Moulin Rouge! The Musical, photo by Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade

The story line feels rushed or truncated at points, instead favoring visuals and performance. Still a jukebox musical, more modern songs have been added into the production and instead of a this-line-then-that-line style from the film, lyrics are layered in a frenetic, auditory dessert. “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” is a visual and auditory feast. The singers hold bright and loud notes, the dancers contort and gyrate, the costumes pop and dazzle, and the set design shines and twinkles.

Sarah Bowden & Danny Burgos in the North American Tour of Moulin Rouge! The Musical, photo by Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade

Welcomed changes included an elaborate dance number “Backstage Romance” and inventive trick lighting to “Chandelier.” While still moving enough to make me tear up, I was sad that “El Tango de Roxanne” was changed. The deafening roar of the crowd showed I was in the minority. Douglas’s wrenching vocals and acting combined with the ensembles’ passionate dance was captivating.

Christian Douglas & Gabrielle McClinton in the North American Tour of Moulin Rouge! The Musical, photo by Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade

Danny Burgos’s (Santiago the Argentinian) finale costume, a green jacket with structured sleeves and paint stroked pants, was too beautiful to be onstage for such a short amount of time. I will also dream of Brewer’s moire suit jacket (are you sensing a theme in my costume envy?) stole the show every time it was onstage. Satine’s entire wardrobe dripped in sequins, lace, and velvet befitting the Sparkling Diamond.

Andrew Brewer as The Duke of Monroth, Photo by Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade

If possible, I would go to every remaining show which runs until May 12th. Tickets can be purchased online HERE. It shouldn’t need to be noted but a show about a prostitute is not for children. It also includes fog and strobes. Next up is “MJ, the Musical” which opens May 28th and follows the creation of Micheal Jackson’s 1992 Dangerous World tour. Tickets for that run may be purchased online at The Fabulous Fox website.

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