Moulin Rouge! The Musical in Melbourne

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Can can can they capture the Absinthe fairy magic as the Luhrmann-inspired jukebox musical returns to Melbourne?

As the multiple Tony Award-winning Moulin Rouge! The Musical makes its grand encore at the majestic Regent Theatre, it’s an experience that transcends mere entertainment. Adapted from Baz Luhrmann’s iconic 2001 film, this theatrical extravaganza has once again captured the hearts of audiences, reigniting the magic of maximal musical nostalgia in a way that only the Moulin Rouge can.

The visual spectacle is unparalleled, with Derek McLane’s dazzling scenic design creating an immersive world that spills off the stage and through the fourth wall. The already-majestic Regent Theatre radiates the red light district glow of hand-painted bulbs, transporting the audience back in time to the infamous Parisian club’s heyday with a touch of actual Absinthe fairy magic.

Returning stars Alinta Chidzey and Des Flanagan shine even brighter in their roles as the rags-to-riches courtesan Satine and her penniless suitor Christian. Their kilowatt chemistry illuminates the show, bringing to life the 70-plus tunes woven into this jam-packed jukebox musical with remarkable grace. Their vocal prowess, combined with the demanding choreography and magnificent costumes, creates a mesmerizing experience for all in attendance.

The intricately stitched orchestration, under the command of Australian musical director Matthew Carey, seamlessly weaves iconic songs into the narrative, adding layers of depth and emotion to the performance. From Beyoncé’s ‘Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)’ paired with Lorde’s ‘Royals’ to Elton John’s ‘Your Song’ and Dolly Parton’s ‘I Will Always Love You’, the musical tapestry is skillfully crafted to captivate and enthrall.

Despite the crowd-pleasing nature of the show, there’s a seam of darkness running through Moulin Rouge! The Musical, designed to bring unbridled joy to the masses via maximal musical nostalgia. The ensemble cast, including Christopher J Scalzo’s gender non-conforming Babydoll and new cast member Bert LaBonté as the Duke’s-sparring Toulouse-Lautrec, delivers performances that resonate with depth and authenticity.

Intriguingly, while the stage show crams in much more music than the movie, it still feels somehow less hectic, with a streamlined focus on Satine’s determination to light up for one final opening night, ‘Come What May’.

Moulin Rouge! The Musical doesn’t seek to reinvent the form; rather, it owns the night, captivating audiences with its sheer brilliance and unrelenting passion.

Get tickets here