Last weekend I went to see Moulin Rouge in its new stage musical form in Boston, and WOW. It was VERY GOOD. I've only seen the movie once, so I wasn't a huge fan going in, but I loved it anyway. The whole cast was great, and stars Karen Olivo and Aaron Tveit completely blew me away. The show kept most of what I liked from the movie and added roughly 3000 additional songs. No, really. Every song is now in this. Particularly delightful were the additions to "Elephant Love Medley" and the new "Bad Romance" sequence. This show is an amazing spectacle - the sets and the costumes are breathtaking, and there are so many of both. But it's also very solid, and the dancing, especially, is truly impressive. And the story is a tragedy, of course, but this version is also extremely funny, and that's a combination that works very well for it.
Of course, this is a pre-Broadway tryout run, and there are some tweaks that are clearly still needed: the pacing feels a bit off in the second act and Satine needs to be sicker earlier. Much as I love Florence, the "Shake It Out" number just doesn't work here. And there's a trans woman character played by a cis man (so far as I've been able to find out) and I really hope they change that.
It's playing through August 19th, so if you're in the Boston area, get on that! Otherwise, watch for it when it makes its way to Broadway.
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