Moulin Rouge! The Musical is playing at The Hobby Center in Houston, Texas until March 12, 2023 and I got the chance to see it on February 24th, 2023. This musical, based on the 2001 Baz Luhrmann film of the same name, is an upbeat energetic fusion of a fairly straightforward love story and popular pop hit covers from mostly recent decades (think “Firework” (Katy Perry), “Bad Romance” (Lady Gaga), “Toxic” (Brittney Spears), and “Royals” (Lorde), as well as some older classics and a few key original songs). Some of the best songs in this jukebox musical are ones that were released after the film’s debut, which I believe makes this musical a huge step up from its source material. I wasn’t a big fan of the film, but I was able to get behind this razzle-dazzle musical production.
Christian (Conor Ryan), a young music composer, has moved to Paris and quickly becomes infatuated with a courtesan (prostitute for the wealthy) named Satine (Courtney Reed) who works as the primary star of the night club, Moulin Rouge. However, Satine is destined to be with The Duke (David Harris), an opulent man who is the only investor the struggling Moulin Rouge can rely on to keep its doors open but also demands to be with Satine. In this musical, we see Satine yearning to be with Christian, the man she truly loves, but feels compelled to be with The Duke in order to save the Moulin Rouge and all of the people that work there, that she sees as her family.
A man falling in love with a beautiful woman and she being conflicted between two men is nothing extraordinary from a narrative perspective. Furthermore, the rambunctious silly cartoon tone that the musical embraces makes for a unique high energy presentation, but dilutes some of the strong emotions that you might have felt towards these characters if this was presented as a serious drama. Nonetheless, the nimble plot is not the primary selling point of Moulin Rouge! The Musical, but rather its stupendous covers of some of the best pop songs (often creatively mashed up among each other) are the reason one should venture out to see this. You can stream these songs on Apple Music or Spotify to see if these songs are your cup of tea.
The Production Design is another admirable trait of Moulin Rouge! The Musical. The set pieces are immaculate. From the moment you walk in before the start of the show, the stage features multiple giant cut-out heart borders that layer the entire stage and showcases a beautiful LED sign that has the name of the musical that runs from the left to the right. And this beautiful stage continues to impress as the show opens and all the way to the end with confetti and streamers bursting from the stage. Props to impressive Lighting Design, as there’s so many parts where the lights are in sync with music; particularly with the entrance of The Duke; as he enters there’s multiple drum hits and it was praiseworthy to see a different moving light immediately turn on as each drum hit.
Not one talent stole the show, but all singers and dancers carried an equal amount of fair pipes and dance moves. I was not blown away by any particular vocal, but the arrangement of songs, the melody of these songs, and the fun all of the performers were having was enough reason to smile.
For more information on Moulin Rouge! The Musical tour dates, visit here.
|An upbeat energetic fusion of a fairly straightforward love story and popular pop hit covers from mostly recent decades.