Home Musical play Theater critic: Moulin Rouge! is a wonderfully sumptuous musical experience like no other

Theater critic: Moulin Rouge! is a wonderfully sumptuous musical experience like no other

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Put on your best dress, button up your best tuxedo and step into an extravagant world of sequins, glamor and romance at the Moulin Rouge!

Based on at Baz Luhrmann iconic 2001 film, it tells the story of a budding composer, Christian (Flanagans), who falls in love with Satine (Alinta Chidzey), a prominent cabaret actress and Moulin Rouge star. Winner of 10 Tony Awards, including the highest honor for Best Musical, Red Mill! Musical comedy makes her international theater debut in Melbourne – dressing the Regent Theater for a spectacular night of truth, beauty, freedom and love.

Let me prepare the ground for you. You enter the theater to locate your seat only to be instantly stunned by the lavish interior, which has been newly decorated! Red curtains and sparkling chandeliers line the ceiling, a brightly lit windmill spins to your left and a blue elephant towers above your right, with a neon sign in the front and center welcoming you at the Moulin Rouge. With performers already roaming the stage in top hats, ruffled dresses and fishnets, you’re instantly transported to the streets of 19th-century Paris, ready to witness the birthplace of cancan cabaret.

Along the way, this jukebox musical features mashups of some of the hottest (and most cheesy) modern and classic pop songs, guaranteed to light up the stage and appeal to a wide range of audiences – Beyoncé fans. and Lady Gaga to admirers of The Police and Whitney Houston. Each musical medley and mashup is beautifully arranged, creating even the strangest couples – such as “Children of the Revolution“by T-Rex and”Royals”By Lorde – sound amazing when woven together.

The integration of pop songs released in the years since the original film is one of the highlights of the series, ensuring that it reaches casual young theatergoers, while also appealing to fans of the music featured in the film. It’s fun to hear the tunes you love to be sung on stage, but what’s even more appealing is that every musical sequence and song choice complements the narrative and matches the tone of the story at every moment. . Some songs are used for comedic effect, some to draw on emotional storytelling and others to trigger fiery dance numbers that make audiences want to jump in their seats and groove.

Speaking of fiery dance numbers, there is no shortage of dazzling choreography in the show’s biggest musical numbers. Directed by an award-winning choreographer Sonya tayeh, each musical sequence is greatly enhanced by brilliant choreography. The opening sequence, for example, is an extravagant arrangement of cancan and cabaret dancers, with a modern twist that gets the party started in a nice way. One thing is certain, the public is sure to be swept away by the wonder of the many dynamic dance numbers.

As the show progresses, one thing becomes very clear – the luxuriously grandiose set design, orchestrated by Derek mclane, is the best that has ever been staged. From the streets of Paris to Satine’s apartment to the plush look of the Moulin Rouge itself, each setting is as captivating to look at as the last. Plus, it’s not just breathtaking at the surface level – there is real depth to the way each location is designed and the little additions that make it real and experienced. The staging of the whole show is magnificent and Justin Townsend’s the lighting application is truly world class. There is a sequence where the entire scene is bathed in green light, except for a single spotlight of white light that follows Christian around the stage, really making him stand out in the background. From a technical point of view, this is a remarkable achievement in musical theater that far exceeds all expectations.

The lead performances by Des Flanagan (Christian) and Alinta Chidzey (Satine) bring these songs and story to life, both compelling in each of their scenes. There’s that radiant charm emanating from their performances, which ensures that their respective journeys during the show are just as engaging. Their singing is beautiful, the dancing is impeccable, and they are both impeccably captivating – so it’s hard to take your eyes off them at any time. The chemistry they share is crystal clear and only makes it easier for audiences to buy into their budding romance. The performance of Simon burke (Harold Zidler), Tim omaji (Toulouse-Lautrec) and Andrew Cook (The Duke), who are all entertaining and play their respective roles very well.

A haunting experience that revolutionizes musical theater as we know it, Red Mill! Musical comedy is something really special. Whether you are a theater enthusiast or have just seen Baz Luhrmann’s film, you have never seen anything as grandiose as this one. With songs spanning generations, woven together into glorious musical mashups, there’s a lot to love about this take on a jukebox musical. It is not often that something happens that must be seen to be believed, but Red Mill! is just that – a must see musical that is sure to leave audiences in awe!

Red Mill! Musical comedy plays at the Regent Theater in Melbourne until April 29. For more information and to buy tickets, go HERE

The evaluator participated on November 29, 2021.

Photo credit: Michelle grace hunder