Broadway in Chicago presents the ten-time Tony award-winning Musical Moulin Rouge at the James M. Nederlander Theatre, located at 24 W. Randolph Street. The show runs through May 14, 2022.
You become memorized by the beautiful and sensual environment experienced upon entering the theater. L’amore or Lust, whatever the feeling, it fills the air. Big and Bold, the color red fills the stage as performers seduce the crowd by wearing enticing costumes created by Catherine Zuber. Set Designer Derek McLane does a phenomenal job recreating an eighteenth-century Paris set.
The show opens with an over-the-top performance of 1974 Patti and the Labelle’s Lady Marmalade. Then it transitions into Cab Calloway’s 1947 song Hi De Ho. The ensemble is electrifying, and the crowd goes wild and gets into the grove as melodies of past and current Pop hits continue.
But for me, the story goes beyond singing and dancing. It’s more than just another boy meets girl; boy loses girl love triangle. If you delve deeper, you will find that it’s more about survival. Unfortunately, sometimes in life, we must sacrifice, whether it is for love or self-preservation. Young, handsome Christian (Conor Ryan) arrives in Paris from America in hopes of finding himself. He comes across Toulouse-Lautrec (Andre’ Ward) and Santiago (Gabe Martinez), who requests his assistance to convince Satine (Courtney Reed) to be the star of their Stage production, Bohemian Rhapsody.
Satine, the beautiful lead singer/dancer of Club Moulin Rouge, has more weight on her shoulders than she can bear. Meanwhile, the owner and manager of the Moulin Rouge, Harold Zidler (Austin Duran), forces her to use her sexual bewitchery to seduce the Duke to provide the money to save the club. If she cannot convince the Duke to fall in love with her, Moulin Rouge will close, and everyone will be displaced. Unable to bear the thought of losing it all, she agrees to do what is necessary to survive.
Unbeknownst to her, she meets and falls in love with Christian, the poor migrant from America. She soon realizes that Christian is not the Duke, but it’s too late; their romance has already blossomed. She is torn, because Christian is the man she wants, but the Duke of Monroth (David Harris) is the man she needs. She struggles to find balance amid her health challenges. Unlike the song by Stephen Stills that goes, “if you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.” Satine refuses to die without letting Christian know how much she loves him and attempting to save the Moulin Rouge.
Moulin Rouge is an excellent musical, and the chemistry between the actors enhances the many messages in the storyline as well as their captivating performances. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys exhilarating and high-energy musicals. I guarantee audiences will not be disappointed. Run-time is approximately 2 hours and 35 minutes, including intermission. Tickets are available for purchase through May 14, 2022, at Broadway in Chicago
Photos Credits: Matthew Murphy