PHOTOS by Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade
A story that blends the ideals of Miss Saigon, Finding Neverland, Love Never Dies, and the chart-toppers of the 2010s, “Moulin Rouge” on Tour emerges as a theatrical extravaganza that seamlessly weaves together romance, fantasy, and familiar tunes.
At its core, “Moulin Rouge” is a visual feast that highlights contemporary pop hits in the style of Broadway. While the storyline isn’t all that groundbreaking, the 3-dimensional set, opulent costumes, and flashy lighting collectively added such depth to this production, while hitting home the theme of pursuing love and finding reciprocity of that love. Undoubtedly, it stands as one of the best sets I’ve witnessed in a touring show.
The incorporation of contemporary pop music was generally enjoyable, yet there were one or two cheesy instances where I found myself holding in a chuckle during a serious moment, such as when our leading lady, Satine, found herself singing Katy Perry’s “Firework” in a moment of despair. However, the pulsating music coursing through the audience created an immersive experience that heightened the overall enjoyment, and there were more moments that I genuinely loved than not, such as the “Bad Romance” x “Toxic” mashup that began the second act.
Satine, our leading showgirl portrayed by the talented Gabrielle McClinton, made the most memorable first entrance I’ve seen in awhile, descending from the top of the stage on a swing while dripping in jewels in a moment that epitomized the show’s opulence. She had multiple quick changes on stage that were very impressive, which only added to the magic of the night. However, the night’s most unexpected highlight was Preston Taylor, who stepped into the role of Christian last-minute and delivered a performance that left the audience in awe. A particularly notable moment was Taylor’s seamless execution of the infamous Aaron Tveit opt-up during the “Tango de Roxanne,” a moment that undoubtedly elevated my experience.
In the end, “Moulin Rouge” on Tour delivered a theatrical feast for the senses, blending a vibrant cast of characters with dazzling visuals and a soundtrack that truly resonated with the audience. While some may find fault in its narrative depth, there’s no denying the sheer entertainment and spectacle this production brings to the stage.
The National Tour of “Moulin Rouge” plays at The Hippodrome in Baltimore through December 17th. For more information, visit: https://baltimore.broadway.com/shows/moulin-rouge-the-musical/
Final Grade: A