Interview: Austria's AK Naderer Joins MOULIN ROUGE North American Tour

Read everything about AK Naderer starring as NINI at the North American Tour after her run at the German Production.

By: Jun. 21, 2024
Interview: Austria's AK Naderer Joins MOULIN ROUGE North American Tour
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Interview: Austria's AK Naderer Joins MOULIN ROUGE North American Tour Austrias AK Naderer just finished her spectacular (spectacular) run as Nini in the record-breaking German Production of Moulin Rouge in Cologne. The red windmill creates a unique connection between the actors and the show. Your paths might cross again, sooner or later, like with Aaron Tveit, who returns to the Al Hirschfeld Windmill, staring as Christian, the role which brought him his first Tony Award. The critically acclaimed show is now calling Naderer back earlier than expected. The Austrian performer joined the Cast of the show's North American Tour after finishing rehearsals on Broadway.

BWW: Congratulations on a successful run in Cologne. The German production opened to rare reviews with a transformed Musical Dome and a superb Cast. It is an outstanding and powerful German production with a sold-out run. It is a rare journey in Musical-Theatre to open such an iconic production.

AK Naderer: Yes, and I feel very lucky to have been part of this journey!
BWW: Have you seen the show before you got cast into it, e.g., on Broadway or in London's
West End, or did you go straight into the audition process?

AK Naderer: Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to watch the show before I auditioned. I try to visit
NYC at least once a year to keep up with new Broadway shows. But shortly after Moulin
Rouge opened, lockdown hit, and I had to wait a couple of seasons before being able to
travel there again. However, in preparation for my audition, I scanned the internet for any
interviews with the creatives or any snippets of choreography that had been posted and also listened to the cast recording day and night.
Fun fact: I was in the City when offers went out for the original Broadway cast. Sonya
was giving a masterclass that day and so I was dancing alongside a lot of performers who had just found out they booked Moulin Rouge on Broadway.
BWW: Rehearsing in such an iconic neighborhood must have been like a dream. Apart from all the paperwork and the rehearsals, have you got some time to enjoy NYC?
AK Naderer: Absolutely! Rehearsing in NYC felt like a dream! I have only ever been in the city as a tourist, so rehearsing amidst it all felt unreal. Every free second I got, I would go
and see a show. The variety of productions and the level of talent on Broadway is truly
inspiring. I always leave the city with a full heart.

Interview: Austria's AK Naderer Joins MOULIN ROUGE North American Tour
AK Naderer as NINI in the German Production of Moulin Rouge ©Johan Persson

BWW: Touring through the U.S. means exploring different cities in different states, which
means different reactions from your audiences. How vital is the energy even before the
show, coming from the auditorium?

AK Nanderer: Moulin Rouge is a very special show in the way it interacts with the audience. In this show, we break the “4th wall” a lot. We invite the audience to experience our world with us, which is one of the reasons why I love playing this show so much. As a performer, I don’t dictate the energy in the room. We create it together. That means with the audience’s reaction, the tone of the show will vary every night.
BWW: Your character, Nini, is a powerhouse, full of energy, and involved in every significant
dance number. How do you prepare yourself for this intense performance?

AK Naderer: Nini is a powerhouse indeed. My answer to this question is very simple: daily training and overall well-being.
This has worked best for me in the long run. I make sure I give myself enough time for
physical and vocal warm-ups. This allows me to find the right balance within myself and for the character of Nini so that I can portray this powerhouse of a character to the best of my ability. In addition to that, I make sure to enjoy life and find joy in what I do. If you’re miserable, it just makes everything so much harder.

Interview: Austria's AK Naderer Joins MOULIN ROUGE North American Tour
Vini Gomes as Santiaga and AK Naderer as NINI in the German Production of Moulin Rouge ©Johan Persson

BWW: Being on tour means a lot of fun and adventure but also a lot of traveling, packing, and unpacking. In your opinion, something Musical Artists should have done at least once in their career?
AK Naderer: It’s not for me to say. We are all different human beings, each on their own individual journey through life. I love traveling!! So, for me, this is a great opportunity to see a lot of places in the U.S. that I wouldn’t have seen otherwise.
There is a lot to learn when being “on the road.” Every theatre is different. Every theatre
sounds different. While the crew does an incredible job of keeping the backstage setup the same, due to different layouts, it can always vary.
These constant little changes can be challenging, but I find that there is also a lot to learn. I get to know myself a lot better in terms of focusing on the important things. On stage, that is the story. No matter how different the venues feel or sound, the story is always constant and there for you to hold on to.
BWW: What makes the show a must-see, not only for Musical-Theatre enthusiasts?
AK Naderer: This show is a spectacle in every way, with endless details to discover.
It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and it will make you remember how it feels to
be in love.
BWW: You already had your North American premiere; how did it go, and more
importantly, how did it feel?

AK Naderer: Opening night went pretty well! This company is so supportive. Already in the opening number, everyone tried to catch my eye and have a little moment with me on stage. It was so much fun to perform together.
I was very nervous before my debut - I always am on opening nights. But once the curtain
went up and I took the first steps down that platform, I felt at home. Nervous AK left and
Nini took over for the rest of the night.

BWW: Same, same, but different! Apart from the German Translation, are there any other differences between the one in Cologne and the one you are now staring at?
Apart from the language, the biggest difference is the set. The touring set does not have a
“Passarelle”. That means we have to use the given space in different ways. It is very
insightful and fun to experience the show from different angles.
What surprised me the most was how the change of language also changed Nini. In the big picture, the character stays the same. But the different choice of words retrospectively gives different nuances to the character.

Interview: Austria's AK Naderer Joins MOULIN ROUGE North American Tour
AK Naderer as NINI in the German Production of Moulin Rouge ©Johan Persson

BWW: Thank you for your time. Enjoy your spectacular road trip, and remember that
Vienna still waits for you!

AK Naderer: My heart will always be in Vienna.

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