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Moulin Rouge The Musical LA

Michael J and Penny Herman Opening Night in LA
 

Moulin Rouge The Musical, So Oh là là LA

Review by Michael J. Herman, Theater Critic an Executive Editor

Moulin Rouge The Musical opened at Hollywood's Pantages Theater last week to a full house of raving Musical Theater fanatics. Dressed in everything from formal tuxedos with black walking sticks and top hats to sparkly feathered boas, the hit musical direct from Broadway is making its US Tour and is electrifying Hollywood.

I was astounded by the sheer augmentation of the production. Last time I saw Moulin Rouge on stage, it seemed much smaller. The production was much more muted. This innervation of sound, light, shear, pure, unadulterated fist pumping, pulse-pounding adrenaline is huge in every way and makes you want to get up and dance.

It's more than a musical, it's an experience! This extravaganza is a visual sensation, an emotional hayride, and possibly a spiritual awakening.

There is so much to take in from this show that it is hard to encapsulate into a single page.

The production design is something to behold. The imaginations that conceived the staging, costuming, choreography, lighting design, orchestrations, casting, musical direction, and more are among theater's very best.

I have to admit that I went expecting not to like it. I saw Moulin Rouge years ago. I have seen the Nicole Kidman's filmic offering, and the animated version that continued to disappoint, but this one hit the target so center that I can't wait to see it again.

What I like most about this production were two specific hi-lites:

  1. The way musical and thematic homage was paid to Phantom of The Opera,

and

(2) The masterful incorporation of modern and classic rock music and love ballads woven into a quilt of emotionally turbulent and romantically satisfying storytelling. Every musical number is a masterpiece and performances by Conor Ryan as Christian and Courtney Reed as Satine dazzle in ways I was not expecting.

Ryan's ability to transform a note into an out of body experience, combined with the ensemble's ability to lift the chorus through the rafters makes    Moulin Rouge "The" theatrical ticket of the year. In fact, performances by David Harris and Austin Durant were especially noteworthy. Really, the whole ensemble cast deserves high praise for its delivery of pure musical elation!

Enter rooting for the proletariat and find yourself switching sides for the aristocracy and Bourgeoisie. As relevant today as we face issues of social and economic disparity contrasted with utter opulence, Moulin Rouge LA delivers what we all need…

A rip-romping, fun and musically outstanding getaway.

It's worth mentioning however that the famous musical le dernier coup, or denouement was abruptly cut short as was the famed Can-Can. Perhaps this was a one-off occurrence due to Opening Night, but missing part of these two iconic musical numbers left me feeling incomplete and wanting more. I still left the theater singing and dancing, like it was the Shubert Theater on Broadway, or the Moulin Rouge on Avenue             des Champs-Élysées.

Moulin Rouge LA plays June 30-September 5 at the Pantages Theater. Visit Broadwayinhollywood.com for details.

Please let me know if and how I can be of value.
 
Michael J. Herman, Speaker-Writer-Author-Entrepreneur
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