Want to sing along to “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?”, get up and dance, and be swept in an unbridled extravaganza of song, dance and color? Then slip into your most dazzling sequined outfit and head over to the Hollywood Pantages, now serving as the Moulin Rouge in 1889 Paris by way of Vegas. Could there be a better setting? The theater’s opulent Art Deco style and production’s scenic design by Derek McLane are a match made in Montmartre heaven. Picture the stage with a windmill on one side, an enormous elephant on the other, and at the center, the legendary club where pretty much everything goes.
“(It’s) a decadent feast with the singular goal of giving its hungry audience a cornucopia of delights...Go hungry, you will be satiated.
The no holds-barred musical with a book by John Logan received a total of 14 nominations at the 74th Tony Awards and amassed a total of 10 awards, including Best Musical, Best Scenic Design (by Derek McLane) and Best Costume Design (by the show-stealing work of Catherine Zuber). It’s only loosely based on the 2001 film by Baz Luhrmann, but the audiences didn’t seem to mind one bit, relishing the musical for its unapologetically saturated gifts. The gist, however, remains the same — an aspiring American songwriter, Christian (Conor Ryan) falls for the club’s headliner, Satine (played with palpable sensuality by Courtney Reed) whose mortal clock is ticking away and must eventually choose between true, but indigent love with him and the success and security offered by the wealthy, but sinister Duke of Monroth (David Harris).
The drama unfolds through infectious pop hits that run the gamut, never failing to delight the audience, as if their song requests are constantly being bumped to the top of the jukebox queue. And what a jukebox it is, starting with the anthem, “Lady Marmalade” and soaring through other remixed renditions like “Sympathy For The Duke” (a Rolling Stones ensemble of Sympathy For The Devil/You Can’t Always Get What You Want/ Gimme Shelter)” and “The Sparkling Diamond” (a medley of Diamonds Are Forever/Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend/Material Girl/Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)/Diamonds).” Little wonder that by the time “Backstage Romance” (Bad Romance/Tainted Love/Seven Nation Army/Toxic/Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This))” came around, the audience couldn’t restrain itself and broke into a well-deserved standing ovation long before the show’s conclusion. This is a decadent feast with the singular goal of giving its hungry audience a cornucopia of delights.
Go hungry, you will be satiated.
— Rosane Grimberg
“Moulin Rouge! The Musical” is playing at the Pantages Theater through September. Tickets HERE.