Review Moulin Rouge! The Musical. Truth, Beauty, Freedom, Love and Family

Hey Lallster world, so it’s been more than a minute more like a full year, 1 month, and 2 days. Don’t worry I am still here watching movies but life is busy.  So much so that for the first time I lived a weekend of airplane to airplane, city to city, country to country life. I know, I know, but what does this have to do with the movie I saw? Well, within my travels I made a little stop in Boston and was taken back to 1901 Paris. Where truth, beauty, freedom and love was even more alive than I could have imagined and it could not have been more inspiring than it was on a beautiful Saturday night in the middle of July.

So what? I went to a museum? -oh no, no my movie lovers, not a museum and for those of you that caught on, no I didn’t just come out from under a rock and watch the 2001 Baz Luhrmann film Moulin Rouge! – I woke up at 4:45 in the morning after a wedding reception to hop onto a plane for one night at Moulin Rouge! the Musical.

Yes that is correct, it happened as I was scrolling Instagram and there it was: the post for Moulin Rouge! the Musical and I had to be there. So I made the decision, (thank you in part to Drake because YOLO was my motto) – I bought the tickets and after seven months of anticipation was off to Boston. 

So no this isn’t about the movie, which I love because who wasn’t practicing the choreography for “El Tango de Roxanne” – (no… just me), downloading all versions of “Lady Marmalade” including the original chart topping recording by Labelle, or singing the “Elephant Love Medley”. But do not worry Bohemian’s all of the aspects you loved about the movie were carefully and beautifully incorporated into this Broadway preview.

So what did the director Alex Timbers do? Here are my Top 5 production highlights.

#5 – Satine and Christian
Taking on the role of Satine, Karen Olivo brings the sweetness of every good woman in her care for her Moulin Rouge family but do not fret she is also made up of spice. This woman brings a fierceness to Satine that I aspire to have in my life. She embodies every woman who does what they need to do to protect their family, putting everyone before themselves, and loving with more passion in her little finger than most people are able to do over a lifetime. Speaking of Satine’s great love, you may remember him mentioned in my earlier post of Grease Live! Yes, you theatre junkies, your Broadway honey is back! (He never really left) – Aaron Tveit takes on the role of the lovable, hopeless romantic Christian. So 17 years later what do we expect of this Christian? Still lovable? Check. Has a boyish smile that makes you smile? Check. Will love you for more than 1000 years? You better believe it. Aaron Tveit follows with his heart, and brings a confidence to Christian that makes the audience believe in love. And in a generation where we are now ruled by swiping, and my fear that people will forget how to have face to face conversations, it is refreshing to see that real love like Satine and Christian (even if it is by all accounts “Old School”) is not dead.

#4 – The Bohemians and Harold Zidler
If I just moved to a new city with my wild heart and needed to be taken in I would BE so lucky to be “adopted” by Toulouse-Lautrec – wonderfully portrayed by Sahr Njaujah and Santiago – the charismatic Ricky Rojas. These two bring the warmth you would want to be around if you were alone in a city. At first you would think,  “I regret this decision I don’t need any more friends especially if they are giving me absinthe to get over my love troubles” but after 5 minutes you find out you were completely wrong and your life would not be the same without these people. We really could not have the Bohemian antics without the assist from the Moulin Rouge head of household. Yes ladies and gentleman the spectacular spectacle himself Harold Zidler. Portrayed by Danny Burstein, Harold this time around I found to be in true and unapologetic father figure form trying to do what is best for this family,  always (like Satine) the fighter, and his hunger to see his Moulin Rouge shine. 

#3 – The Ladies of the Moulin Rouge.
“Well excuse the hell out of me, and bitch I better sit down and be humble” – is what I thought when I saw the “ladies” of the Moulin Rouge strut their way onto the first platform and breathe new life into “Lady Marmalade” – Robyn Hurder, Jacqueline B. Arnold, Holly James and Jeigh Madjus- (yes! Canadian’s represent! and boy that make up department is on point); give the most powerful performance and even more message of family standing united together as one, always fighting for each other (even when fighting with each other) and lifting each other up no matter what the circumstance.

#2 – The choreography
Sonya Tayeh, lady you are incredible. The name should sound familiar to any dance lover; well at least “So You Think You Can Dance” fans. Yes the woman who beautifully choreographs intense contemporary pieces which great passion lends her grace, love, and flavor to the Moulin Rouge. Incorporating jazz, contemporary, and burlesque to the choreography of this musical I as a dancer in my house, kitchen, and shower fell in love with every moment of it. To pick a favorite piece would be like picking which Game of Thrones episode was my favourite; let’s just say I walked back to my hotel with a bit more of an extra sway in my hips.

#1 – The Music
What kind of music lover would I be if I didn’t have it as my number one! And if you have made it this far, thank you! Now for the reason the lady in front of me almost was removed from the theatre, and the one beside me probably thought I was going to cry because every time she and her husband glanced over at me I had the biggest smile on my face due the fact that I was in a moment, completely in love, and knowing that I would never take this moment back for anything. Brilliantly the fearless music supervisor Justin Levine, took all of the songs we love from the 80’s such as “Take On Me” (A-ha) and “I Wanna Dance with Somebody”(Whitney Houston) added some “Chandelier” (Sia), mixed in a bit of “Bad Romance” (Lady Gaga) and added a dollop of  “Roxanne” (The Police) and presented to the audience with this feast of a party and at one point I am pretty sure I stopped breathing I had to look down to see if my chest was moving.

At the end of the night not only was my inner Bohemian alive and well, but I figured it out; The main difference between the movie and this production was the theme of family. May we always love them and fight for them as fiercely as we fight for truth, beauty, freedom and love.

If you are in Boston, do yourselves a favour before August 19th. Go and check out Moulin Rouge! The Musical. The best way I could describe it would be as “the first date you always wanted; non-stop conversation, laughter and part (if not all) of everything you are will fall completely in love”

Thank you to Boston’s Emerson Colonial Theatre, and Alex Timbers for this experience I will always have the memory of. 


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