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Moulin Rouge! Broadway Reviews

Moulin Rouge! The Musical just opened at the Al HirschfeldTheatre (302 W 45th St.).

Directed by Alex Timbers (Tony Award®-nominated for Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and Peter and the Starcatcher)Moulin Rouge! The Musical has a book byJohn Logan (Tony Award® for Red), choreography by Sonya Tayeh (Lucille Lortel Award and Obie Award for Kung Fu, and Emmy winner), and music supervision, orchestrations and arrangements by Justin Levine (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson).


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Critics' Reviews



From: New York Stage Review | By: Melissa Rose Bernardo | Date: 07/25/2019

No disrespect to headliners Karen Olivo (a Tony winner as Anita in 2009's West Side Story), who plays the tuberculosis-plagued performer/courtesan Satine, and Aaron Tveit (Catch Me If You Can, Next to Normal), as the lovestruck aspiring composer Christian but the real stars of this Moulin Rouge! are the artists who don't appear onstage. Lighting designer Justin Townsend can evoke anything from a pulse-pounding nightclub to the shadowy alleys of Argentina to a hallucinogenic electric-green drunken dream. Six-time Tony winner Catherine Zuber, fresh off the elegantly appointed My Fair Lady, has crafted a stunning array of costumes: cascading cancan underskirts; bondage-style corsets; crushed-velvet tailcoats; and, for Olivo's Satine, glittering bustiers, satiny robes, and body-hugging gowns. And set designer Derek McLane has turned the inside of the Hirschfeld Theatre into a crystal-studded, heart-shaped, hopelessly romantic fantasyland.


‘Moulin Rouge!’ review: NYC’s hottest nightclub is on Broadway

From: New York Post | By: Johnny Oleksinski | Date: 07/25/2019

Director Alex Timbers' smartest move is not trying to replicate Luhrmann's quick-cut sense of humor, which would crash and burn onstage. Instead, he focuses on grandiose emotions, sensuality and the storybook sensation of first love, for which Tveit's puppy-dog innocence is ideal.


Review: ‘Moulin Rouge! The Musical’ Offers a Party, and a Playlist, for the Ages

From: New York Times | By: Ben Brantley | Date: 07/25/2019

In 'Moulin Rouge,' life is beautiful, in a way reality never is. All is permitted, and forgiven, in the name of love. Bohemian poverty is exquisitely picturesque. Stardom is around the corner for the gifted and hungry. And even songs you thought you never wanted to hear again pulse with irresistible new sex appeal. What this emporium of impure temptations is really selling is pure escapism. You may not believe in it all by the next morning. But I swear you'll feel nothing like regret.


Review: ‘Moulin Rouge! The Musical’ Offers a Party, and a Playlist, for the Ages

From: New York Times | By: Ben Brantley | Date: 07/25/2019

In 'Moulin Rouge,' life is beautiful, in a way reality never is. All is permitted, and forgiven, in the name of love. Bohemian poverty is exquisitely picturesque. Stardom is around the corner for the gifted and hungry. And even songs you thought you never wanted to hear again pulse with irresistible new sex appeal. What this emporium of impure temptations is really selling is pure escapism. You may not believe in it all by the next morning. But I swear you'll feel nothing like regret.

These days, most Broadway theatergoers don't so much want to see a show as take a warm bath inside of one. We crave relief from our growing terror of physical intimacy and our technology-fueled loneliness. What used to pass as immersive theatrical entertainment is, as we end this panicked second decade of the 21st century, no longer immersive enough. The bar has risen. Ergo, 'Moulin Rouge! The Musical.' Yes, baby, you're a firework.

Imagine Lady Gaga's 'Bad Romance,' but as a steamy Spanish tango. Now imagine that's been mashed up with Britney Spears' 'Toxic' and The White Stripes' 'Seven Nation Army,' and vigorously performed by a group of hot-blooded bohemians in early 1900s Paris. It's an absurd combination that by no means should work, but winds up being the undeniable highlight of Broadway's new 'Moulin Rouge! The Musical,' a wildly entertaining adaptation of Baz Luhrmann's 2001 movie that opened Thursday at New York's Al Hirschfeld Theatre.

A $28 million musical championing bohemian artists? Sounds perfectly logical when that show is the stage adaptation of Baz Luhrmann's blockbuster Moulin Rouge! The audacious director has never been afraid of stylish excess, as his vibrant, often dizzying 2001 film demonstrated. And although it isn't a seamless Broadway transfer, this lavish, rollicking production, from director Alex Timbers and book writer John Logan, serves up some suitably visual and aural splendours.


'Moulin Rouge!' on Broadway is one hell of a fun spectacle

From: Mashable | By: Erin Strecker | Date: 07/25/2019

This is the best of what a jukebox musical can be: a thrilling burst of color and chorus and nostalgia and bold reimagining. There are a whopping 70 songs you know and love in the show - some full numbers, some just snippets. Happily, the songs have been updated to include the present, which means modern hits such as 'Shut Up and Dance' sit nicely along classics like Elton John's 'Your Song.' The tunes feel like they're coming a mile a minute, but rather causing confusion, at the performance I attended, there were gasps of recognition and excited applause breaks of delight as all the various medleys and mashups unfolded.


Moulin Rouge! becomes an extravagant, head-spinning Broadway musical

From: Entertainment Weekly | By: Leah Greenblatt | Date: 07/25/2019

The spectacular spectacular, the ring-ding razzle dazzle, the gitchie gitchie ya-ya da-da: It's all in Moulin Rouge!, a Broadway musical so stuffed with songs and sequins and sheer outrageous excess that it's hard to catch a breath for most of its two-hour-and-45-minute runtime (at least not without inhaling an errant feather or a spangled scrap of confetti).


The antic unconventionality of director Baz Luhrmann's 2001 pop phenomenon 'Moulin Rouge!' has been transformed into an eye-and-ear-pleasing - and altogether conventional - Broadway musical. With a glorious set by Derek McLane, more than 70 pop songs, and dynamic lead performances from Karen Olivo and Aaron Tveit, the show is engineered for an evening of easily digested diversions.


Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From: TimeOut NY | By: Adam Feldman | Date: 07/25/2019

Red alert! Red alert! If you're the kind of person who frets that jukebox musicals are taking over Broadway, prepare to tilt at the windmill that is the gorgeous, gaudy, spectacularly overstuffed Moulin Rouge! The Musical. Directed with opulent showmanship by Alex Timbers, this adaptation of Baz Luhrmann's 2001 movie may be costume jewelry, but its shine is dazzling.



From: New York Stage Review | By: Jesse Oxfeld | Date: 07/25/2019

That's not to diminish any other parts of the staging or performance. Timbers, always an endlessly visually inventive director, has always had material that lived up to his specialties. (Rocky comes to mind.) But Luhrmann's fantasia gives Timbers license to do his best work-while creating something that is a definitively theatrical experience, not just a pale imitation of the film.


Theater Review: 'Moulin Rouge!'

From: NY1 | By: Roma Torre | Date: 07/25/2019

With tongue in cheek and heart in hand, not to mention assorted other body parts splitting, contorting and can-canning up a storm, 'Moulin Rouge' is a jukebox musical on steroids. And thanks to a very savvy adaptation from book writer John Logan and director Alex Timbers, it's paced for maximum pleasure. Still erotically antic with near non-stop dancing courtesy Sonya Tayeh's exhilarating choreography, it's also emotionally engaging, which says quite a lot for a show that doesn't seem to take itself all that seriously.


Broadway Review: ‘Moulin Rouge!’

From: Variety | By: Marilyn Stasio | Date: 07/25/2019

If they didn't do 'Lady Marmalade,' I was going to storm the stage. Happily, director Alex Timbers and writer John Logan were savvy enough to open their Broadway adaptation of 'Moulin Rouge!' with that crowd-pleasing tune, written by Kenny Noland and Robert Crewe and immortalized by the great Patti LaBelle. But does that mean this stunning live version blots out all fond memories of Baz Luhrmann's 2001 movie starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor? No way.


he something-for-everyone approach has its advantages - not least a steady stream of applause and recognition chuckles that make Moulin Rouge! feel like one of the liveliest shows on Broadway. With box office soaring), this reportedly $28 million enterprise will swat away any stray critical brickbats like so many gnats. But I don't think I'll be the only one leaning more toward grimace than grin.


'Moulin Rouge! The Musical': Theater Review

From: Hollywood Reporter | By: David Rooney | Date: 07/25/2019

The show is A LOT, in every sense, both intoxicating and exhausting in its unrelenting visual and sonic assault. But it virtually defies you not to be entertained.


Love Lifts Us Up: ‘Moulin Rouge! the Musical’ Packs More Pop Than One Show Can Handle

From: Rolling Stone | By: Brittany Spanos | Date: 07/25/2019

Entering the red light-coated Al Hirschfeld Theatre, with the stage flanked on either side with a giant red windmill and a large elephant's head, you're immediately asked to immerse yourself in the dreamlike, fantastical world of Baz Luhrmann's 2001 romantic tragedy Moulin Rouge! As its musical adaptation blazes forth with a whiplash-inducing 70 songs, flashy can-can dancers and bohemian ideals, the fantasy is forced to be grounded in reality and loses some of the film's spectacular spectacular-ness in the process.


’Moulin Rouge’ is a dizzying blast of color and music: Broadway review

From: | By: Christopher Kelly | Date: 07/25/2019

If you ever wondered what might happen if a karaoke machine exploded into a million bejeweled and bedazzled pieces, 'Moulin Rouge!' is your answer. For the most part, it's also a smashing entertainment - exuberantly performed, briskly paced, and sumptuously designed in more shades of red than you previously knew existed on the color spectrum.

Of course, inserting the pop hits into the period Parisian setting is the whole point of the venture, and Moulin Rouge! is certain to do very well at the box office without pleasing this reviewer's desire for an integrated score that would help the excellent company of actors achieve more fully-realized performances. There are certainly worse ways to spend and evening than with a musical so visually gorgeous and vibrantly performed.


‘Moulin Rouge!’ Broadway Review: Director Alex Timbers Is No Baz Luhrmann

From: The Wrap | By: Robert Hofler | Date: 07/25/2019

Under the direction of Alex Timbers, a veteran of movie-to-stage musicals like 'Rocky' and 'Beetlejuice,' 'Moulin Rouge!' re-creates that pre-show pandemonium only twice during the show itself and once again at the curtain call. Too often the stage musical gets bogged down in John Logan's uninspired book, which poorly mimics Baz Luhrmann's 2001 film about the consumptive cabaret courtesan Satine (Karen Olivo), who makes the mistake of falling in love with a novice composer named Christian (Aaron Tveit) when she's supposed to be bedding the wealthy Duke of Monroth (Tam Mutu).


Moulin Rouge! The Musical’ Is Trapped, Colorfully and Loudly, in Its Own Jukebox

From: Daily Beast | By: Tim Teeman | Date: 07/25/2019

Not that the thumping, pumping Moulin Rouge allows you to dwell on its misogyny. This is musical as spectacle, so if you don't exactly feel the peril and passion of Christian and Satine's doomed romance, then no matter, because another visual bonbon will be thrown at you soon enough.


Moulin Rouge review – high-kicking Broadway remix is hard to resist

From: Guardian | By: Alexis Soloski | Date: 07/25/2019

You could be forgiven for thinking that this tale has reached its sell-by date. But Moulin Rouge is one of those shows that is not only critic-proof, but maybe also story-proof. In Alex Timbers's production, with a book by John Logan, the characters are so thinly drawn that they disappear behind their corsetry and the love triangle so lopsided that it defies most laws of geometry. Any subtext has been shoved into a push-up bra and short shorts. It doesn't matter.


Theater Review: Moulin Rouge! Is Broadway’s Biggest Karaoke Night

From: Vulture | By: Sara Holdren | Date: 07/25/2019

For all its splashy, glittery, high-kicking, butt-cheek-baring, sword-swallowing maximalism, Moulin Rouge! is something more unsettling than not good. It's not even very interesting. There's a shapelessness about it, a weird enervation underneath the flash and bang. It's directed by Alex Timbers, but it feels like it was assembled by committee, even by algorithm. The show veers broadly away from its beloved-by-millennials-everywhere source material, which in itself is no crime. But the path its creators have taken is one long trip through the Kingdom of Pandering, with multiple pit stops in the Meadows of Cutesiness and the Forest of Flat Characters. Everywhere it should be filthy, it's scrubbed aggressively clean, yet somehow it's still a hot mess.

Despite an ornate and environmental visual design depicting a turn-of-the-century Parisian nightclub, first-rate leading actors (including Tony winner Karen Olivo, Aaron Tveit and Danny Burstein) and an updated/upgraded jukebox of hit singles to play around with, 'Moulin Rouge!' is not unlike earlier botched, inherently problematic attempts at bringing visually distinct movie musicals to the stage. Think 'The Wizard of Oz' and 'Singin' in the Rain.'



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