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Moulin Rouge is like a picture-postcard come to life, resplendent with spinning windmill and humongous elephant.

29-Apr-22 – Imagine if you will, the stage aglow, bursting with bright colors, take-your-breath-away choreography, exquisite costumes, and a mash-up of today’s most popular music.

Moulin Rouge! The Musical is based on the original 2001 film directed by Baz Luhrmann. The film received multiple Oscar nominations, and in 2021 it won 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

After a few postponements, COVID closures, and cast changes, the Broadway musical is now live in Chicago through May 14.

Take a look at the opulent James Nederlander Theatre and you will agree that this venue was destined to present this show. Previously known as the Oriental Theatre, which opened in 1926, this deluxe movie palace features Asian-inspired architectural and decorative details. It all adds to the wow factor.

Moulin Rouge

Set in Paris at the turn of the 19th century, Moulin Rouge is based on a fictional account of French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, a bohemian lover who subscribes to a philosophy of “truth, beauty, freedom, and love.”

The show features more than 70 contemporary tunes by such artists as Beyoncé, Adele, Katy Perry, Elton John, and the Beatles, keeping the audience enthralled with snippets of the music they know and love. As you would probably guess, many of these tunes were not featured in the 2001 movie.

And the dancing! From the traditional French can-can to sensual moves before the show begins, the choreography is high-energy and top notch.

The cast is led by the extraordinary Courtney Reed, as Satine, whose range is impressive, and the charming Conor Ryan, as Christian, who has the vocal chops to match. Austin Durant plays impresario-but-broke Harold Zidler. André Ward as artist Toulouse-Lautrec is spectacular, and even villain David Harris as The Duke of Monroth is ruggedly handsome and looks great in a violet tux.

(Right) Conor Ryan and Courtney Reed play Christian and Satine in the North American tour of Moulin Rouge! The Musical. Photo by Nathanael Filbert.

Photo by Nathanael Filbert

Kudos to costume designer Catherine Zuber for her elegant interpretation of the fashions of 19th century Paris.

This theatrical celebration is directed by Tony Award winner Alex Timbers with book by Tony Award winner John Logan; music supervision, orchestrations, and arrangements by Tony Award winner Justin Levine; and choreography by Tony Award winner Sonya Tayeh.

This is a visual spectacular not to be missed.

 More info and tickets: Broadway in Chicago