Moulin Rouge was my first broadway show and I will never forget it! I heard incredible things about Moulin Rouge so I was so excited to see it. We sat on the second to back row of the Mezzanine (Circle in the UK) And the view was brilliant, didn’t feel far away. The set for Moulin Rouge is quite immersive so I think it is better to sit further back to take it all in!
I listened to the cast recording before so I kind of knew what I was in for… The show opens in the club itself and for the first 20 mins or so nothing that important in the plot happens except flashy medleys of pop songs. I think the first act started getting going when Satine sang Firework which gave the character a bit more depth. A lot of the plot is in Act Two I would say. Act Two was miles better than Act One with jaw dropping moments. Act Two opened with the Backstage Romance number which was unbelievable, the choreography ,lighting and the energy blew me away. It is the best medley I have ever listened to with songs intertwining with each other, it just sounded like 1 epic song. It builds to an unforgettable climax.
Another mind blowing moment was the famous ‘El Tango De Roxanne’. It is more theatrical than the film version with incredible full modern orchestrations. The vibrant lighting helped capture the stylised camera movement in the film. The best lighting design I have ever seen which heightened the rousing numbers. After this number is another brilliant moment ‘crazy rolling’ which really heightens the plot at that moment.
I think in the tone was slightly inconsistent, something just didn’t quite click for some reason and it might be because of the book. The cast were fantastic though. I could quite believe I was seeing Aaron Tviet play Christian and his voice is spectacular, I felt like I was listening to a recording! Karen Olivio played Satine with truth and depth. Her voice is so beautiful and powerful. And the ensemble performed Sonya Tayeh’s jaw dropping choreography.
The music sounded so full and consistent, the have added some modern songs and changed medley’s to make them more theatrical. Justin Levine has orchestrated the music brilliantly. The direction (By Alex Timbers) lacked some creativity at times, relying on big sets and fancy lights. But there were some really nice touches of the some style in it. But it could’ve been so much more. The set design was very impressive, full of detail and glamour. But I thought at times it got too static with a curtain coming down and having a little song in front of it then lifting it up to a new set. It would’ve been so much better if we saw the set push forward so it still has the kinetic energy of the films style. I did really like how it was immersive in the theatre though and the miniature models of Paris were a nice cinematic touch.
I don’t know if it was we were sat but some moments fell really flat because the sound was far too quiet and in a big medley before the Interval I didn’t feel a thing. Moulin Rouge is big, brash and bold, the sound needs to be huge and fill the theatre.
I do think the positives do outweigh the negatives and it is a spectacular , eye-popping night at the theatre. Very much style over substance.
Have you seen Moulin Rouge? What did you think? Feel free to comment below or message me on Instagram @unofficialtheatre
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