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Why the hate for moulin rouge

Theatrefanboy1
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Why the hate for moulin rouge #1
Posted: 5/19/20 at 2:33pm
Ive recently noticed that theres been a wide range of meh for the show. I think unanimously the can be praised. The show itself what is it that people are not liking.
I saw it and really enjoyed it. Though I understand the comments about the lack of chemistry between Aaron and Karen. The only other disappointment for me was that they didnt include the show must go on. Which for me was a stand out.
Interested to hear thoughts because it has been mixed both critically and by theatre goers
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JBroadway
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Why the hate for moulin rouge #2
Posted: 5/19/20 at 2:53pm

Since you're asking...

I have very complicated feelings about this show, and my reasons for disliking it are also kind of complicated and might take a long time to explain (I keep a journal of my thoughts on all the shows I see - I wrote 3 pages on this show, whereas I usually just write 1). But I'll try to simplify them. I have 3 main issues with the show:

(1) I think the show feels largely pretty soulless. They capture the glitz and glamor of the Moulin Rouge, but it's completely lacking in the creative spirit of Lurhmann's directorial style. 

(2) As you said, I felt absolutely zero chemistry between Tveit and Olivo, and the passionate, sexy love story is a big part of what anchors the film. 

(3) The way the songs are jam-packed into the book feels gimmicky, and utterly exhausting. There are way too many medleys (rendering the Elephant Love Medley pretty meaningless). The medleys themselves aren't even that well-constructed IMO. There's a lot of whiplash, going from one song to the next, and there are so many of them that none of them is able to actually carry any storytelling weight. They force you to spend all your time going "hey, another song! I know this song!" rather than actually engaging you in musical storytelling. The songs in the film are so beautifully curated, and so beautifully integrated, and the musical doesn't achieve anything even remotely close to that. I could actually go on and on about this, and go into much more detail, but I won't for the sake of brevity. 

Updated On: 5/19/20 at 02:53 PM
barcelona20
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Why the hate for moulin rouge #3
Posted: 5/19/20 at 4:11pm

JBroadway nailed it. 100%.

Theatrefanboy1
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Why the hate for moulin rouge #4
Posted: 5/19/20 at 4:12pm
Thanks for that. I’ve been really interested to hear thoughts
rattleNwoolypenguin
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Why the hate for moulin rouge #5
Posted: 5/19/20 at 4:18pm
It reeks of cash grab

Impossible2
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Why the hate for moulin rouge #6
Posted: 5/19/20 at 5:11pm

The only 'style' Baz Luhrmann has is annoying camera zooms, terrible editing techniques and excessive visual effects.

None of which can be achieved in a theatre unless your stage is full of LCD screens.

The music was always crud x

Updated On: 5/19/20 at 05:11 PM
djoko84
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Why the hate for moulin rouge #7
Posted: 5/19/20 at 5:17pm

I enjoyed it a lot for the spectacle and fun, but if we're talking about an original piece of art - this show is not it. It's more like a tourist attraction than anything else. And I don't hate it for it, but an awards-worthy show it is not.

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Why the hate for moulin rouge #8
Posted: 5/19/20 at 6:42pm

Plus the audience laughing and clapping every time they recognize a song, no matter what is going on onstage, is really annoying.

& Juliet is what Moulin Rouge should have been

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Why the hate for moulin rouge #9
Posted: 5/19/20 at 6:49pm

I liked it.   A decent amount - but I also despised the film.   I don't disagree with most of the comments above and I usually HATE spectacle, but I was entertained.  Don't ever need to go back, though.

If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
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Why the hate for moulin rouge #10
Posted: 5/19/20 at 7:02pm

I enjoyed it purely for spectacle. I loved that they didn't use screens and instead focused on amazing lighting and practical sets. 

The hardest part for me was to take any of the drama seriously. So much of it felt so tounge-in-cheek that at the end when it was supposed to be this big dramatic finale, it just fell flat and I was just waiting for the "encore" to liven things up again. 

This is not a critique on any of the actors who put on a fabulous show 8x a week. The dancing they have to do in those almost 3 hours every night is a feat onto itself and you can tell they love this show. 

I would watch it again only if I had a good deal on a ticket. Luckily I saw a weekday matinee in February and got center orchestra seats for a really good price!

Colin852
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Why the hate for moulin rouge #11
Posted: 5/19/20 at 7:28pm

Because NY theater-goers are truly special people.

Theatrefanboy1
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Why the hate for moulin rouge #12
Posted: 5/19/20 at 9:46pm
Does anyone think that different casting for Karen and Arron be any different
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Why the hate for moulin rouge #13
Posted: 5/19/20 at 10:23pm

I thought the chemistry between Aaron and Karen was fine- I loved the music and the dancing- it was exciting and fun throughout- and the person I saw it with also loved it. Maybe it was a bit commercial, a bit pop- and not highbrow at all- but it was a spectacle unlike any I have seen- it was not at all soulless to me- I really liked the story and the characterizations- and I am obviously to alone since the tickets have been selling well and the grosses are among the best on BWAY. Sondhiem its was not- nor was it Rodgers and Hammerstein- but it was a very entertains - visually, musically- and the dancing was also excellent. I loved it and highly recommend it for a very entertains night in the theater. And it made more sense to me than Hadestown- which ultimately said that one doubt of a loved one will land a person in hell forever- a stupid and untrue message- at least MR rang true.

Jarethan
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Why the hate for moulin rouge #14
Posted: 5/19/20 at 11:35pm

I loved it the third time as much as the first time I saw it.  I think it had one objective: to entertain in a 'knock your socks off' way.  It was not aiming for great depth, but rather for sheer joy.  And I think Alex Timbers and team succeeded spectacularly.  

For the last decade or so, I have expecially come to think that there are two audiences for musical theatre: the ones who go ga - ga over little shows like The Band's Visit, Fun Home, and (maybe Hadestown).  I say maybe because as of the start of the shut-down, it was not showing signs of slowing down the way the other two shows did.  They clearly had a limited audience, despite the other awards.  The second group (and I know I am dealing in sweeping generalities here) tend to go ga-ga over big, splashy shows, with sets, and some combination of big numbers, singable scores, good laughs, etc.  

MR is favored by the latter, larger audience, because it is exuberant fun and a feast for the eyes for them.  I have to admit that I tend to fall into the latter group: I liked The Band's Visit, but didn't love it; I hated Hadestown; and, despite loving the score, I disliked Fun Home (I suspect a lot of that had to do with the location of my seats...I always felt I was looking at backs, more than probably any other time in CITS.  

NOTE: One interesting exception: I think lovers of Sondheim musicals generally fall into the first, smaller group.  Since I love a lot of Sondheim musicals, I guess that would mean I straddle more.

Bottom line re MR, I believe that (and I do not mean this in any way snarky) the people who tend to fall into the first group are probably turned off by the intentional garrishness of MR, assisted by the fact that it does not have an original score.  The second group loves the garishness, considers it a significant contributor to their enjoyment, and leaves the theatre on a high.  

bwaylady3
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Why the hate for moulin rouge #15
Posted: 5/19/20 at 11:51pm

I have never understood the hate for MR on this board. I guess for some, it’s more fun to hate on/ troll something than to be supportive of an art you claim to love & live for. It is a fun night at the theatre with amazing performances from Aaron, Karen, Danny and the entire cast /ensemble. The dancing is insane, costume/ sets are beautiful and Aaron and Karen sing their faces off. Is it perfect? Of course not. But it’s far better than other shows I’ve seen in recent years. I look forward to seeing it again when things reopen.

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BenjaminNicholas2
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Why the hate for moulin rouge #16
Posted: 5/19/20 at 11:56pm

It's not hate.  To hate something is a very serious, strong emotion.  This is simply people being critical and for very good reason (most of which have already been addressed here).

This show is perfect for Vegas, not NYC.  You leave humming the set.  It's suited well to an audience who wants to drunkenly sing along and get released into a casino 90 minutes later.

 

 

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Why the hate for moulin rouge #17
Posted: 5/19/20 at 11:59pm

I don’t understand why people feel the need to discredit or shame anyone for their opinions, positive or negative. I never told anyone they shouldn’t like the show, and I never would. Why do I deserve to be called a fake theatre lover just for having a negative opinion about some shows? It’s because I love the art form of theatre that I am critical. If every show were universally praised by everyone, theatre would be stale and lifeless, and we might as well shut down this message board for all the worthwhile discussion to be had. 

The OP asked why people hated on MR. I gave my personal answer. And I think I was detailed enough that I don’t deserve people saying that I’m just doing it because I “enjoy being negative” or because I’m a snob, or anything like that. I dislike the show for the reasons I said. 

I understand that it’s not fun to read criticisms of shows you enjoyed - I really do get that. There are plenty of shows I love that most people on this board hated. But I don’t try to undercut their opinions with broad-strokes generalizations. 

Updated On: 5/20/20 at 11:59 PM
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Why the hate for moulin rouge #18
Posted: 5/20/20 at 12:32am

Hate is a strong word. I was majorly disappointed.

MOULIN ROUGE is one of my favorite films - I cry almost every time I watch it. The musical has moments of absolute delight (the opening of both acts) and then moments that rival episodes of SMASH (the Zidler “Chandelier“ number??).

I place almost all of the blame on Josh Logan and the book. Somehow a story about love feels so cold. Karen Olivo does what she can. I thought Aaron Tveit was miscast and/or poorly directed.

It also doesn’t help that you have to pay $160 for the third last row of the mezzanine.

"Oh look at the time, three more intelligent plays just closed and THE ADDAMS FAMILY made another million dollars" -Jackie Hoffman, Broadway.com Audience Awards
Updated On: 5/20/20 at 12:32 AM
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Why the hate for moulin rouge #19
Posted: 5/20/20 at 1:44am

bwaylady3 said: "I have never understood the hate for MR on this board. I guess for some, it’s more fun to hate on/ troll something than to be supportive of an art you claim to love & live for. 

You have to be kidding. I support my niece's grade three recital. I don't need to support a business claiming to be selling a product that is worth an average of $200+ piece.

I thought some parts were entertaining. It strips away all charming and magical aspects of the film (which worked as a visual assault on over-the-top campy romance) and it turns it into a light and lazy jukebox for tourists and the random groupies. To each their own, but I bet it will smell dated and trite pretty fast. Only worth it if there is absolutely nothing better to attend.

 

 

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Why the hate for moulin rouge #20
Posted: 5/20/20 at 5:14am

I was biased from the beginning, since I don't really like jukebox musicals.

That being said, I wanted to love Moulin Rouge since set design and costumes play a really big part in whether I like a show or not. I don't regret seeing the show for this reason alone. Plus, I actually really liked the opening number.

But similar to JBroadway, I didn't like it because it felt kind of soulless. The whole romance felt like lust rather than love—which could've been interesting in a different story, but MR's ending tries to convince you that there was a true love there all along. People around me bought it, judging by the sobs I heard, but I didn't.

Also, the way that they jam-packed songs one after the other just felt gimmicky to me. Many times, the transitions didn't feel seemless or even like they had a connection (lyrically) to begin with.

And I'm not sure if it's just me, but I didn't feel connected to the characters at all. Most of the time when I see a show, I get fully immersed in it. But for the whole 2 hours in a MR, I felt like I was watching a show.

Before any of you lovely board people bother to sass me with, "Of course you felt like you were watching a show. Because you were...", let me try to explain. I'm trying to say is that MR didn't really pull me in (something that even other shows I've disliked were able to do). The people on stage felt like actors and not their characters, except for maybe two people. Not trying to imply that anyone is a bad actor, but I guess I can attribute that to the cheesiness of the script and the lack of chemistry. Not just between the main love interests but the cast as a whole. (I didn't buy that Harold and Satine had a close enough relationship that he'd be that worried when she had symptoms towards the end of act two, or that the Duke lusted for Satine, or that Christian and the other two guys became fast friends)

The show was good at being fun, but bad at being anything else in my opinion. Like I said, loved the first number, loved the act 2 opening (even though I don't care for "Bad Romance"Why the hate for moulin rouge , loved Satine's introduction. Felt bored at the "origin" story, the pitch, pretty much any solo songs, etc, as soon as the allure of the costumes and set for each scene change wore off after a minute or two.

I'm still glad I saw it, but I don't feel the need to see it again or highly recommend it to anyone.

 

EDIT: Noticed some types and a sentence that I erased

Updated On: 5/20/20 at 05:14 AM
Philly Theater Girl
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Why the hate for moulin rouge #21
Posted: 5/20/20 at 7:35am

Jarethan said: "I loved it the third time as much as the first time I saw it. I think it had one objective: to entertain in a 'knock your socks off' way. It was not aiming for great depth, but rather for sheer joy. And I think Alex Timbers and team succeeded spectacularly."

Couldn't agree more. This show isn't deep at all but I walked away thoroughly entertained. Tickets for this aren't cheap but I definitely got my money's worth.

I'm not sure that I've seen it on this board but I think a lot of the negative comments I've seen are of the 'it's not the movie' variety. I don't know why anyone would want a Broadway show to be just like the movie - if that's what you want save your money and watch the movie.

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Why the hate for moulin rouge #22
Posted: 5/20/20 at 9:41am

Philly Theatre Girl said: “I don't know why anyone would want a Broadway show to be just like the movie - if that's what you want save your money and watch the movie."

 

That’s a fair point, but my response is this: 

It’s not that I want it to be exactly like the movie. If they had tried to replicate Baz Luhrmann’s style, it might have come off like a cheap mockery. The problem is, for me, there’s no clear stylistic vision to fill the void that Luhrmann’s vision left. I don’t mind if they depart from the film, but if they do, I want those choices to be strong, clear, and purposeful. And stylistically, this just felt bland and generic to me. Not in terms of design - the design was gorgeous. But in terms of the tone, and the energy, and the storytelling. 
 

Also, part of the reason I compare it to the movie is because I actually think the songs from the movie would have worked really well onstage. You’d be right to point out that doing that wouldn’t be a very artistically risky think to do. I do actually respect them for trying to do something new with the music (like I said in my first post, my feelings are complicated and I wasn’t able to sum them up in a short post). But in this particular case, I don’t think their choices worked, and so they risk didn’t pay off. So for my money, the end result just would have been more enjoyable if they had taken the songs from the movie and put them onstage, even if that isn’t the most artistically fresh direction to go. 

EDIT - Again, I just want to be clear: Philly Theatre Girl raised a specific point about the criticisms she’s heard, and I responded to that point by trying to clarify where I’m coming from. I am NOT trying to convince anyone to dislike the show. This is all just my own personal opinion. 
 

Updated On: 5/20/20 at 09:41 AM
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Why the hate for moulin rouge #23
Posted: 5/20/20 at 9:58am
I paid a lot of money to sit in the last seat in the last row for this, and I truly believe this is the most overhyped show...ever? I cringed almost the entire time - it wasn’t funny or cute to me, it was loud and annoying. I found the song choices uninspired and ridiculous, and the book was boring. The performances were flat and wooden.

I love fun flashy shows, but I guess there’s a level of camp I just can’t get behind. I see 100+ nyc shows a year, and genuinely don’t think I could sit through this again. I love that it brings people joy, but it’s certainly not for me.
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Why the hate for moulin rouge #24
Posted: 5/20/20 at 10:00am
I really enjoyed Moulin Rouge. As someone else pointed out, it feels like a Vegas show. I appreciated it for what it was. I am a fan of the film but hate the editing of the dance numbers. You can’t see the choreography. It’s all quick cuts. I like that I could see all the choreography on stage. The show was a confection and got me out of my head. I was grateful and appreciative.

That being said, I’m a little critical of such shows because I know that they are really hard on the actors. It’s a real push with all the stage craft, sets, costumes, dancing and the breakneck singing. Audiences want to see their money on stage and sometimes it’s at the peril of the performers.
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Why the hate for moulin rouge #25
Posted: 5/20/20 at 12:18pm

It was very enjoyable to watch, even dazzling at times, from a technical perspective. However, the story and performances both left me cold for the same reasons many have already said