Everything you need to know about 'Moulin Rouge! The Musical' in London
When someone says the words "Moulin Rouge", what do you think of first? We tend to think of the lascivious, nighttime behaviour mixed with the lavishness and luxuriousness of a sizzling nightclub. If you’ve watched the film and even been to visit the Moulin Rouge in Paris, you’ll love Moulin Rouge! The Musical, set to open at London’s Piccadilly Theatre in 2021.
Baz Luhrmann’s award-winning film is definitely at the heart of this production, matched with a contemporary pop score with tracks by Madonna, P!nk, and Elton John. Ahead of stepping into this hedonistic dreamer’s paradise, read all about how Moulin Rouge! The Musical is now coming to London.
What is Moulin Rouge! The Musical about?
Set in the Montmartre Quarter in Paris, audiences are welcomed to the Moulin Rouge from their first step in the auditorium. It’s bold. It’s daring. It’s indulgent. Then, as the curtain rises, a lovesick writer named Christian takes his seat inside the Moulin Rouge, looking forward to the evening’s events. He’s greeted by Satine, the “sparkling diamond” star of the show. Clearly, there’s a twinkle in both of their eyes, as they’re besotted by each other from first glance. While at the Moulin Rouge, audiences also meet Harold Zidler, the larger-than-life host, as well as wealthy Duke of Monroth who tries to buy romantic passion. But, even if the course of love doesn’t run smooth, Christian and Satine do all it takes to stay together.
When did Moulin Rouge! The Musical premiere?
The world premiere of Moulin Rouge! The Musical was staged at Boston’s Emerson Colonial Theatre. Performances began on 27 June 2018, ahead of an opening night on 22 July 2018. The first run was limited, with performances to 19 Aug. 2018.
After Boston performances, Moulin Rouge! The Musical made its Broadway premiere at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre. Previews began nearly exactly a year later, starting on 28 June 2019 ahead of an opening night on 25 July 2019.
Moulin Rouge! The Musical will begin performances at the Piccadilly Theatre from 12 Nov. 2021.
Who wrote Moulin Rouge! The Musical?
The book of the stage musical is written by John Logan, with a score by a host of pop stars. Moulin Rouge! The Musical is based on the 2001 musical film of the same name written by Baz Luhrmann and Craig Pearce. An Australian screenwriter and director, notable works include Strictly Ballroom, The Great Gatsby and Romeo & Juliet.
Who is in the cast of Moulin Rouge! The Musical?
Jamie Bogyo will star as Christian, making his West End debut in the role. Liisi LaFontaine will play the role of Satine. LaFontaine was previously in the West End production of Dreamgirls as Deena.
Two-time Olivier Award-nominee Clive Carter will play Harold Zidler. Simon Bailey will play the Duke, with Jason Pennycooke as Toulouse-Lautrec and Elia Lo Tauro as Santiago. The Lady M's will be played by Sophie Carmen Jones as Nini, Zoe Birkett as Arabia, Jonathan Bishop as Baby Doll and Timmika Ramsay as La Chocolat.
The Moulin Rouge! The Musical cast is completed by Femi Akinfolarin, Robson Broad, Ian Carlyle, Jonathan Cordin, Anthony Cragg, Katie Ella Dunsden, Adam Gillian, Luke Jackson, Alicia Mencía, Ciro Lourencio Meulens, Georgia Morgan, Melissa Nettleford, Ian Oswald, Craig Ryder, Tinovimbanashe Sibanda, Katie Singh, Ope Sowande, Tanisha Spring, Toyan Thomas-Browne, Amy Thornton, Misty May Tindall, Jon Tsouras, Tommy Wade-Smith and Lily Wang.
Who was in the original cast of Moulin Rouge! The Musical?
The original cast of Moulin Rouge! The Musical can currently be seen in the Broadway production, which opened at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre in June 2019.
The cast includes Aaron Tveit as Christian, whose Broadway credits include Wicked, Catch Me If You Can and Next to Normal. In London, he’s played John Wilkes Booth in Assassins at the Menier Chocolate Factory.
Danny Burstein plays Harold Zidler, previously appearing in Broadway revivals of Cabaret, Fiddler on the Roof and My Fair Lady. Sahr Ngaujah plays Toulouse-Lautrec, with Tam Mutu as The Duke, Ricky Rojas as Santiago and Robyn Hurder as Nini. Karen Olivo originated the role of Satine.
What theatre in London is Moulin Rouge! The Musical playing at?
Moulin Rouge! The Musical will receive its West End premiere at the Piccadilly Theatre. Moulin Rouge will be the latest show at the Piccadilly, taking over from Pretty Woman: The Musical which opened in February 2020. Previous shows at the Piccadilly Theatre include West End transfers of Death of a Salesman and The Lehman Trilogy.
What is the running time of Moulin Rouge! The Musical?
The running time for Moulin Rouge! The Musical in London is 2 hours and 35 minutes, including one 20-minute interval.
What are the songs in Moulin Rouge! The Musical?
The music in Moulin Rouge! The Musical is made up of 70 separate songs, with musical medleys and mashups performed throughout the show. There’s also stand-out songs from the 2001 film, including “Come What May” sung by Christian and Satine and “Lady Marmalade.” But, to rejuvenate the story, there’s pop songs released in recent years, including Sia’s “Chandelier” and Katy Perry’s “Firework.”
Here’s all the songs in Moulin Rouge! The Musical.
"Welcome to the Moulin Rouge! (Lady Marmalade/So Fresh, So Clean/Money (That's What I Want)/Let's Dance/Burning Down The House/Because We Can (Fatboy Slim)" – Zidler, Nini, La Chocolat, Arabia, Baby Doll, Monroth, Christian, Toulouse-Lautrec, Santiago, and Company
"Bohemian Ideas (The Sound of Music/I Don't Want To Wait/Every Breath You Take/Never Gonna Give You Up)" – Christian
"Truth, Beauty, Freedom, Love (Royals/Children of the Revolution/We Are Young)" – Christian, Toulouse-Lautrec, Santiago, and Company
"The Sparkling Diamond (Diamonds Are Forever/Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend/Material Girl/Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)/Diamonds)" – Satine and Company
"Shut Up and Raise Your Glass (Shut Up And Dance/Raise Your Glass/I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me))" – Satine, Christian, Toulouse, Santiago, and Company
"Firework" – Satine
"Your Song" – Christian and Satine
"So Exciting! (The Pitch Song) (Milord/La Vie en rose/Habanera (L'amour est un oiseau rebelle)/Galop Infernal)"– Zidler, Toulouse-Lautrec, Christian, Santiago, Satine, and Monroth
"Sympathy For The Duke (Sympathy For The Devil/You Can't Always Get What You Want/Gimme Shelter)" – Monroth, Satine, and Company
"Nature Boy" – Toulouse-Lautrec and Christian
"Elephant Love Medley (All You Need is Love/Love is Just a Game/I Was Made for Loving You/Just One Night/Pride (In the Name of Love)/Can't Help Falling In Love/Don't You Want Me/Don't Speak/I Love You Always Forever/It Ain't Me Babe/Love Hurts/Love is a Battlefield/Play the Game/Such Great Heights/Torn/Take On Me/Fidelity/What's Love Got To Do with It/Everlasting Love/Up Where We Belong/Heroes/Your Song/I Will Always Love You)" – Christian, Satine, and Company
"Backstage Romance (Bad Romance/Tainted Love/Seven Nation Army/Toxic/Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" – Santiago, Nini, and Company
"Come What May" – Christian and Satine
"Only Girl In A Material World (Only Girl (In the World)/Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend/Material Girl)" – Monroth, Satine, and Company
"Chandelier" – Zidler, Christian, Santiago, Toulouse-Lautrec, La Chocolat, Arabia, Baby Doll, and Company
"El Tango de Roxanne (Roxanne/es:Tanguera)" – Christian and Company
"Crazy Rolling (Crazy/Rolling in the Deep)" – Christian, Satine, and Company
"Your Song (Reprise) (Come What May/Your Song/Heroes)" – Satine, Christian, and Company
"Come What May (Reprise)" – Christian and Company
"More More More! (Lady Marmalade/Hey Ya!/Because We Can (Fatboy Slim)/Minnie the Moocher/Bad Romance/What's Love Got to Do with It/Don't You Want Me/Crazy/Galop Infernal)" – Zidler and Company
What are the reviews of Moulin Rouge! The Musical?
Although London reviews for Moulin Rouge! The Musical are not available, we can look at the Broadway reviews. Perhaps unsurprisingly, critics loved the production’s craziness in all its glory. New York Theatre Guide gave Moulin Rouge five stars, saying: “The transportation to another world occurs even before the show begins, as you enter the [theatre] beguilingly transformed into the spectacular nightclub of the title.… In a crowded Broadway market place, Moulin Rouge is a show that has it all… it’s also a canvas of spectacle and emotion that isn't just a floorshow but left me floored with its sublime artistry.”
The New York Times revelled in the celebratory nature of it all, suggesting Moulin Rouge is a hedonist’s dream. “The euphoric Moulin Rouge! The Musical opens in a shower of fireworks, confetti and glittering fragments of what feels like every pop hit ever written." Even those who tend to turn their noses up at jukebox musicals were pleased too, with Adam Feldman for Time Out saying: “Moulin Rouge! may turn out to be the jukebox musical to end all jukebox musicals—if only because, among its particular type of jukebox musical at least, it’s hard to imagine how it can be topped.”
What awards has Moulin Rouge! The Musical won?
Moulin Rouge! The Musical has not won any awards yet. But, it has received nominations in every possible category at the Tony Awards. Here's a list of all the Tony Awards that Moulin Rouge! The Musical is nominated in.
Best Direction of a Musical – Alex Timbers
Best Book of a Musical – John Logan
Best Choreography – Sonya Tayeh
Best Orchestrations – Justin Levine with Matt Stine, Katie Kresek and Charlie Rosen
Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical – Karen Olivo
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical – Aaron Tveit
Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical – Robyn Hurder
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical – Danny Burstein
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical – Sahr Ngaujah
Best Scenic Design in a Musical – Derek McLane
Best Costume Design in a Musical – Catherine Zuber
Best Lighting Design in a Musical – Justin Townsend
Best Sound Design of a Musical – Peter Hylenski
What are some fun facts about Moulin Rouge! The Musical?
The song "Come What May" was never going to be in the movie. "Come What May" was originally penned for Luhrmann's Romeo & Juliet.
The actual Moulin Rouge was home to a large elephant, patrons could pay 1 franc to view an intimate belly show.
The dance styles in Moulin Rouge! The Musical are inspired by actual routines performed at the Parisian cabaret venue. Moulin Rouge’s cancan is the Guinness Book of World Records. To celebrate the cabaret’s 125th anniversary in 2014, the dancers of Moulin Rouge did 29 consecutive kicks in 30 seconds.
How do I get tickets for Moulin Rouge! The Musical?
Photo credit: Moulin Rouge! The Musical on Broadway (Photo courtesy of Moulin Rouge! The Musical)