Moulin Rouge! The Musical!

By: JACOB FROELICH

Bohemia is alive and well in this Broadway adaptation of the 2001 movie musical Moulin Rouge! The bohemian ideals of truth, beauty, freedom, and love are on display in vivid color and striking scenes throughout this fantastical ravishment of the senses. The work of scenic designer Derek McLane, costume designer Catherine Zuber and lighting designer Justin Townsend truly come together so cohesively it’s as if being transported to a world more colorful and alive than our own. If you needed a reason to see the show alone, the visuals created by this trio are more than reason enough to buy a ticket. 

Despite an unusual technical hiccup that caused the show to abruptly halt near the beginning of the show, right before Satine’s appearance, I felt the cast and crew recovered well and only grew stronger throughout the show. On stage we found Harold Zidler (Austin Durant) to be a magnetic personality with a voice and presence to match. The role demands a larger-than-life actor and Durant proved to be more than up for the challenge. We thoroughly enjoyed his every moment on stage. Another pleasant standout was the character Toulouse played by André Ward. I felt he captured the true artist’s passion and the vivacity of the movement, not to mention Ward’s rich baritone notes, supreme presence, and control of his voice. Beautiful. 

Conor Ryan as Christian, Gabe MartÍnez as Santiago, André Ward as Toulouse-Lautrec and Austin Durant as Harold Zidler in the North American Tour of Moulin Rouge! The Musical, Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Those who love the original motion picture will not be disappointed as the stage adaptation captures the spectacle, the quick-changes and general ruckus of the original work. Many of the favorite songs from the original remain while adding contemporary tracks to the mix. As someone who grew up on the original motion picture, I found pleasant surprises and fun twists to the iconic Elephant Love Medley and classics such as Sparkling Diamond and the Can Can. Some contemporary songs find their way into the mix and while I welcome most, it seemed to me that Satine (Courtney Reed) deserved a stronger ballad than Firework by Katy Perry. Some of the new numbers included song mashups from pop diva royalty such as Britney, Gaga, Adele, and Beyonce. The thunderous applause and the full house made the atmosphere one of excitement and anticipation for each delighting number. 

Moulin Rouge! the Broadway production is so exciting this reviewer hopes it will run for 50 years. It’s a sensual ravishment absolutely deserving of the positive audience reaction and your trip downtown. Spectacular, spectacular! 

Adéa Michelle Sessoms and Jennifer Wolfe in the North American Tour of Moulin Rouge! The Musical, Photo by Matthew Murphy.

“Tickets for Moulin Rouge! The Musical are currently on sale at the State Theatre Box Office (805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis), by calling (800) 982-2787 or by HennepinTheatreTrust.org. For information and reservations for groups of 10 or more, please click to minneapolis.broadway.com/groups.

Show dates are Wednesday, May 18 to Sunday, June 5, 2022 at the historic Orpheum Theatre. Performance times are Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 1:30 and 6:30 p.m. 

Ticket prices start at $50. All pricing includes a Building Restoration Fee of $5 Performance schedule, prices and cast are subject to change without notice.”

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