‘Spectacular, Spectacular’ Moulin Rouge The Musical
Shattering the fourth wall entirely, and inviting the audience to join the party. Moulin Rouge The Musical captures the feeling of being in an actual hedonistic cabaret experience. The Al Hirschfeld Theater is transformed into a Parisian fantasy dripping in gold and red, complete with an elephant, a runway, and an audience pit.
Using the movie storyline and taking its innovative musical concept. Moulin Rouge The Musical goes full camp, and unapologetically takes from several popular songs that were released after the movie to create a refreshed experience for the audience. The selection feels at times like the playlist of a millennial that has fallen into chaos.
The show, however, anchors itself relying on emotional connection. The production uses the shattering of the fourth wall in its advantage to draw the audience in. It can be argued that the success of Moulin Rouge was to take something universal like the values of the French revolution and a love story; then mix it with a brand new form of storytelling. The same can be said of its live stage musical iteration.
The talented cast is allowed to show full range. Everyone is given a chance to showcase their musical theater chops as well as their acting skills simultaneously. The show is sultry, perfect for a time where everyone needs an escape and some release. Which is precisely what places like the cabarets in that period were designed to do. The costumes, sound, lighting, and stage all work together to create a truly immersive experience with an emotional connection.
The experiment works. The audience is fully invested, and by the end, the show received a standing ovation that was carried into the encore number and curtain vow from the performers. It is important to note that the show is not a carbon copy of the movie that inspired it. An offspring of the concept and the values of what made the original a classic would be a more suited description.
It all succeeds in creating a classic Broadway iteration of musical theater with some brand new storytelling techniques. Finally, the show corrects some of the social mishaps of the original movie. Bringing diversity and fully embracing the LGBT elements of the story unabashedly and without a filter. Moulin Rouge is a celebration of the times and brings new perspectives to the audience. It is ultimately a classic and hit on Broadway.