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Review: MOULIN ROUGE at the Orpheum Theatre

This production runs now through June 5th.

Review: MOULIN ROUGE at the Orpheum Theatre Moulin Rouge tours through the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis. Enter a world of splendor and romance, of eye-popping excess, of glitz, grandeur and glory! A world where Bohemians and aristocrats rub elbows and revel in electrifying enchantment. Pop the champagne and prepare for the spectacular spectacular...Welcome to Moulin Rouge! The Musical. Baz Luhrmann's revolutionary film comes to life onstage, remixed in a new musical mash-up extravaganza. Directed by Tony Award® nominee Alex Timbers, Moulin Rouge! The Musical is a theatrical celebration of truth, beauty, freedom and - above all - love. With a book by Tony winner John Logan, music supervision, orchestrations and arrangements by Justin Levine, and choreography by Emmy® nominee Sonya Tayeh, Moulin Rouge! is more than a musical; it is a state of mind.

Christian, a young composer, falls in love with Satine, a dazzling actress and one of Paris's most beautiful, well-known stars. Based on the 2001 film, "Moulin Rouge!" directed by Baz Luhrmann and co-written by Craig Pearce, Moulin Rouge! The Musical is set in Paris, France, at the turn of the 20th century during the Belle Epoque era (1871 - 1914). It is a celebration of truth, beauty, freedom and love amidst the glamorous, garish, and gaudy underworld of the Moulin Rouge, Paris's infamous Bohemian nightclub. Paris, France, 1899. Christian, a young man from America, arrives in Paris, hoping to start a successful and sustaining career as a writer. While in Paris, he meets the Bohemians Toulouse-Lautrec and Santiago, who tell him that he should write a musical (which is later named "Spectacular, Spectacular") so that they can showcase it at the famous and nightclub, the Moulin Rouge.

Upon arriving at the nightclub, Christian sets eyes on Satine, the most alluring, bright, & beautiful star entertainer of the Moulin Rouge, and falls deeply in love. After a short time, Satine feels the love-pull, and returns her affection to Christian. Meanwhile, Moulin Rouge's impresario, owner, and enigmatic host, Harold Zidler, asks a wealthy Duke to financially invest a substantial sum of money to help pay off the club's debts and transform the Moulin Rouge into 'le grand lieu de th..tre' thatit was meant to be. The Duke agrees ONLY if he can lay claim to Satine as well. With this proclamation, Christian and Satine's love, as well as their desires, are overpowered, and Satine is forced by circumstance to conjoin with the Duke. Adding to this tricky love triangle, Satine develops a severe illness (Consumption), which progressively worsens throughout the story, challenging the fate of love itself.

Review: MOULIN ROUGE at the Orpheum Theatre

The cast is led by previously announced Courtney Reed as Satine and Conor Ryan as Christian, as well as Austin Durant as Harold Zidler, André Ward as Toulouse-Lautrec, David Harris as The Duke of Monroth, Gabe Martínez as Santiago and Libby Lloyd as Nini. Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer is the Satine Alternate. The cast includes Nicci Claspell, Harper Miles, Andres Quintero, Adrienne Balducci, Andrew Brewer, Jack Cahill-Lemme, Sam J. Cahn, Darius Crenshaw, Alexander Cruz, Alexa De Barr, Tamrin Goldberg, Alexis Hasbrouck, Jordan Fife Hunt, Justin Keats, Tyler Logan, Tanisha Moore, Brayden Newby, Kent Overshown, Amy Quanbeck, Adéa Michelle Sessoms, Jenn Stafford, Denzel Tsopnang, Travis WardOsborne, Sharrod Williams, Jennifer Wolfe and Ricardo Zayas.

Of course, many of us have seen the film version. When you walk into the Orpheum theatre, you are immediately blown away by the set with its dazzling display of lights, the elephant, and windmill. It feels like you are in the Moulin Rouge. The show begins with a big number of talented cast members and dance numbers. The crowd was already going wild, and the energy was through the roof.

Review: MOULIN ROUGE at the Orpheum Theatre

One of my personal favorites is "Sparkling Diamond/Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend," and Courtney Reed (Satine) did a fabulous job. It was just so glamorous when she was on the swing! What I was most surprised by, having not listened to the entire Broadway album, was all of the modern pop songs that were added to the production. Conor Ryan (Christian) sang early favorite love songs, and he had an incredible charm and incredible talent! Courtney and Conor had an incredible commitment to their characters, especially in the emotionally taxing moments. They also had great chemistry with each other. David Harris as the Duke was villainous, yet so desirable.

The ensemble was so talented! I really enjoyed their big dance number that included the pop hit "Toxic" by Britney Spears and "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga. The audience would laugh at times when the hit pop songs came on, and I think it was more because we weren't expecting it.

Review: MOULIN ROUGE at the Orpheum Theatre The whole production overall is just a magical spectacle. From the set changes, costumes, lights, and effects, the creative team did an incredible job! It's obvious why this musical won the multiple Tony's! I have spoken to many friends who are planning to see it more than once.

You do not want to miss this show while you have the chance!

Review: MOULIN ROUGE at the Orpheum Theatre

For ticket and show information, click here.

Photos by Mathew Murphy of Murphy Mad.

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