Moulin Rouge! The Musical Review


Many people know the wonder of musical theater through the lens of film. However, people who live and surround themselves with the art of theatrics often find themselves venturing throughout the world to see a play or musical. One of the relatively newer Broadway sensations is the theater adaptation of Moulin Rouge!, and I myself went to see the show for myself within the past week. 


Moulin Rouge!, though originally a film starring Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman, has been gaining internet traction and popularity after the show’s TikTok account posted a video of lead performer Aaron Tveit singing part of the song “El Tango De Roxanne,” the musical’s version of the song “Roxanne” by The Police. Admittedly, I have never heard anything from Moulin Rouge! before, but I gained immense interest after the video’s popularity graced my “For You Page” a substantial amount of times. After seeing the large acclaim from the Tony Awards, to which Moulin Rouge! won 10 awards, I decided I should check out the show for myself. 


After finally seeing the show, I can safely say that it did not disappoint in the slightest. 


Upon entering the theater, you are immediately immersed into the world in which the show takes place. The stage and set are overall designed to extend into the seating area. In fact, there is a set seating area within the audience that is enveloped by the stage (similar to a pit/orchestra) called the “Can Can Seating,” where the ensemble occasionally interacts with the audience members occupying the seats. 


About ten minutes before the show “officially” begins, members of the ensemble slowly pour onto the stage. The actors enter completely in character as cabaret performers, moving about with such grace and elegance that I was in shock from the moment it started to the moment that the show officially began.


From the start of the show to the end, I felt completely immersed in the show, constantly feeling the excitement that live theater should give anyone. Moulin Rouge! is a jukebox musical, meaning that all of the songs within it are not made specifically for the show, and from many artists, similar to shows such as Rock of Ages, Mamma Mia, Head Over Heels, Jersey Boys, etc. 


Though a jukebox musical, each song was carefully chosen to be in the show, perfectly progressing the plot as well as showing real emotional meaning from the characters. The mashup of songs constantly stunned me as they perfectly segued into each other. In particular, my favorite song happened to be the act two opener, “Backstage Romance,” a mashup of Bad Romance by Lady Gaga, Tainted Love by Soft Cell, Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes, Toxic by Brittany Spears, and Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) by Eurythmics. Not only was the song astonishing to hear, but the lighting and choreography to the song just made it even more enjoyable to watch.


Overall, watching Moulin Rouge! on Broadway was one of the most enjoyable experiences I have had seeing a musical live. I was consistently impressed by the cast, choreography, set design, music, and just in general the show itself. Going into the show completely blind made the experience so enjoyable as I never knew what to expect next, and everything surpassed any anticipation.