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Moulin Rouge (Boston)

From 12 critic and 99 member reviews
Members say: Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging, Ambitious, Disappointing

About the show

Based on Baz Luhrmann’s Academy Award-winning film, and featuring many of its iconic songs, the world-premiere musical invites you to experience the sweeping grandeur of Paris’s most spectacular dance hall. More…

Set in Montmartre Quarter of Paris, France at the turn of the century, a world of indulgent beauty and unparalleled extravagance, of bohemians and aristocrats, of boulevardiers and mademoiselles, "Moulin Rouge! The Musical" tells the fictional story of an ambitious, lovesick writer, Christian, and a dazzling, entrancing chanteuse, Satine. Their lives collide at the Moulin Rouge with its many characters including the host of the Moulin Rouge, Harold Zidler, the brilliant and starving artist Toulouse-Lautrec, the greatest tango dancer - and gigolo - in all of Paris, Santiago, the tempting Nini , and The Duke of Monroth, the wealthy and entitled patron of the club who thinks he can buy anything he wants, including love. Directed by Tony nominee Alex Timbers, with a book by Tony winner John Logan. 

The Stage (UK)

"The great skill of director Alex Timbers and his book writer John Logan is to fold other songs brilliantly into the narrative...If we must have jukebox musicals, I only wish they were all as vivacious and utterly exhilarating as this. 'Moulin Rouge' feels operatic in the high stakes it sets up...The polish with which it is all executed makes for a breathtaking spectacle. Thanks to gorgeous performances from Karen Olivo and Aaron Tveit, it also has a heartbreaking human dimension." Full Review


"The story’s been strengthened in this splashy production, while expectations of cinema-inspired visual splendor are met and even exceeded...Levine weaves the numbers together with remarkable variety...Timbers, Logan, and company aren’t just riding on the sensory experience, but are committed to finding the right balance between a story that will engage and move us, and a visual and aural environment that can, and does, blow us away." Full Review

Front Mezz Junkies

“Logan has found a way to take the perfect and precious, and make it better, deeper, darker, and surprising...It’s highly stylized and dramatic...This is not going to be a carbon copy of the masterful film, but a reimagining...The additions are seamless and perfectly mixed...There are still some awkward staging moments that need attention before it can-can’s its way onto the Broadway stage, but they are all fixable and minor.” Full Review

The New York Times

"Smart, shameless, and extravagantly entertaining...Directed with wit and heart by Alex Timbers...The creators have tinkered artfully with their archetype, translating the cinematic splendors of Mr. Luhrmann’s universe into more earthly pleasures. This 'Moulin Rouge!' captures the sensibility of a movie-loving movie in a theater lover’s language. The glamour is still here, but there’s a lot more grit. And we’re far more aware of the mortal flesh of the characters." Full Review

Tati's Tidbits

“Fun, loud, romantic, kitschy and fabulous all at the same time. There is no original music...but they brilliantly took the concept of the movie of mixing in mashups of modern songs and went to town with it. They basically take the nostalgia of the film and make it modern Nostalgia for 2018...The result is fabulous...You laugh, you cry at the end, and you feel like you have been transported...through the power of theater...There is some tightening that can be done." Full Review

Edge Boston

"Timbers puts all these top-notch design elements into a single elegantly packaged whole and does the same with the cast's performances...Luhrmann managed to take a familiar story and lots of well-known, well-loved songs, finesse them together, and pump enough energy and fizz into the mix to create a new kind of musical and cinematic experience. 'Moulin Rouge!,' the stage musical, pulls the trick off all over again, with even more light and color." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

"A captivating theatrical event that combines the highest calibre of set, lighting, and costume designs with powerhouse performances...There is never a dull moment in this show which is marked by its kinetic energy...The thing that is sacrificed is the depth of the relationships...On the whole, there is more than enough razzle dazzle in this energetic, electrifying musical, with inventive use of popular songs and one fabulous production number after another." Full Review

90.9 WBUR

"Almost certainly the glitziest, sexiest, most spectacular jukebox musical ever conceived — or reconceived. But...the non-stop, over-the-top theater piece is at once sentimental and mechanical. It is also, for the cranked-up clockwork that it is, extremely well executed...Really, you cannot fault the flashy, fluid production...But for my part, I would have preferred to leave the theater with tears in my eyes rather than with a shower of confetti hearts in my hair." Full Review

Cape Cod Times

"'Moulin Rouge! The Musical' may take your breath away with Derek McLane’s glorious sets, Catherine Zuber’s wildly colorful and seductive costumes, and Sonya Tayeh’s bold and brassy choreography...It has the splash and vigor, the color and blaze to wow an audience. Alex Timbers expertly directs the large cast and the big numbers in flawless precision. But there is still work to be done in igniting the story to match the splendid visuals." Full Review

Boston Globe

"Sensory overload, jaw-droppingly kitschy, hilarious, and vapid at the same time...It is a barrage of amusing musical mash-ups, with a 'Love Medley' that kills in the first act — and a second act that drags...Timbers’s direction is spot-on in the first act, but the attempt to turn the second act into a tragedy rather than a feel-good musical sucks the energy out of the show...No doubt, 'Moulin Rouge!' is a crowd pleaser...But it left me feeling both giddy and empty." Full Review

Wicked Local

"The superb cast and skilled artistic staff...need no more proof of their talents than this extravagant venture...The creators are depending on the audience’s love for familiar pop tunes, hurled one after another and often swirled together in continuous patterns...Viewers who flock to spectacles like Cirque du Soleil or who grew up crowding concert tour stops plus fans of 'Mamma Mia!' and the like will spread a good word about 'Moulin Rouge!' Some others of us, not so much." Full Review


"Opulent but imperfect...A whirling dervish of sights and sounds designed more for effect than affect...For those seeking a more nostalgic emotional connection to the material, This 'Moulin Rouge' may seem more rock concert than musical theater...A major the jarring shifts in tone that all but destroy the underlying idealistic themes of 'truth, beauty, freedom, and love'...It would also be helpful if there were stronger chemistry between Olivo and Tveit." Full Review

Absorbing, Ambitious, Great singing, Great staging, Romantic

See it if you want to see the most spectacular stage production ever and you love clever integration of new pop songs into a show.

Don't see it if you don't like dizzying, frantic, energetic shows. This show did not stop to take a breath for 3 whole hours.

Masterful, Riveting, Entertaining, Great singing, Intelligent

See it if Moulin Rouge is a feast for the eyes and ears. Set and costume designs are fabulous. The dancing is top-notch. Aaron Tveit is captivating!

Don't see it if aren’t open to changes from the movie version. Knowing current pop music will increase one’s enjoyment of the musical too.

Epic, Must see, Entertaining

See it if You love breathtaking sets, costumes, choreography, catchy songs, high energy cast

Don't see it if You are a diehard Moulin Rouge movie purist who wants nothing changed

Also This musical does not fall short in any area. It is a feast for the se... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Clever, Exquisite, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if An eye-popping and updated adaptation of the film, the artistic team has pursued excellence in every Tony category - this show is fantastic.

Don't see it if You are not familiar with pop-music and pop-culture. A certain amount of one's enjoyment may be dependent on knowing the popular canon.

Absorbing, Great singing, Spectacular, Entertaining, Must see

See it if you want to see something spectacular and over the top at times, and something with a touching message at its core

Don't see it if you hate pop songs, or love

Delightful, Entertaining, Exquisite, Great staging, Great singing

See it if you are looking for breathtaking staging and costumes, incredible dancing and the most beautiful singing voices on the stage. Tveit! Olivo!

Don't see it if you are looking for a direct interpretation from the movie. There are some changes to the song selections and plot.

Ambitious, Great singing, Great staging, Must see, Quirky

See it if You are a fan of the (amazing) film. This show is your dream come true!

Don't see it if You can’t handle things that are VERY bizarre, but amazing.

Also My only nitpicks were the length of act one compared to act two (act t... Read more Read less

Clever, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You want a wonderful evening with great music

Don't see it if You are looking for a serious play or don't like musicals.

Ambitious, Delightful, Entertaining, Epic, Riveting

See it if You love a sexy in-your-face fun entertaining spectacle of a show.

Don't see it if You are looking for a calm night at a traditional musical.

Also Incredible spectacular show. Costumes, choreography, lighting, set, si... Read more Read less

Must see, Refreshing, Great singing, Great staging, Entertaining

See it if It is truly a magical and brilliant show! We hope to see it again in the 2019-20 season.

Don't see it if Ahhh - no reason.

Masterful, Great staging, Great singing, Entertaining

See it if You love Phenom staging, choreo, sets, costumes, ensemble. A big production.

Don't see it if You want a traditional musical

Also This is the out of town tryout. Changes will be made prior to Broadway... Read more Read less

Great staging, Quirky, Great singing, Ambitious, Grand

See it if You enjoyed the movie or if you like high energy extravaganza type shows that have substance and style. LOTS to look at. Great new songs.

Don't see it if You’re unwilling to realize that this is a new medium, the stage is not the screen and these are new actors. Not Ewen McGregor and Kidman.

Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging, Great dancing

See it if you like spectacles. The movie is a fave but this took some liberties. It was fun and beautiful. Aaron Tveit is awesome, Karen Olivo wasn't.

Don't see it if You want all the same music as the movie. They changed it up to be more current, Not sure I liked all the choices.

Ambitious, Entertaining, Great staging, Great singing, Must see

See it if you liked the movie, you like Aaron Tveit, you enjoy large production values, you like tragic love stories.

Don't see it if you are not a fan of pop music, you prefer small intimate musicals, you didn't like the move.

Also Once you enter the theater you are transported to the Parisian club Mo... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Entertaining, Fast paced, Great dancing, Great singing

See it if for a (mostly) fast-paced musical that throws everything at you! This was a wild ride w/great performances (Danny B and Aaron T especially)

Don't see it if you want a very sophisticated book (ending needs work), you don't like jukebox musicals, you want a quiet show

Ambitious, Great staging, Great singing, Entertaining, Romantic

See it if you want a fun and enchanting night at the theater - a great adaptation of the movie

Don't see it if you do not like popular songs in your theater - the show uses more pop songs than the movie

Great staging, Funny, Entertaining, Great choreography, Romantic

See it if You are not a fan of or have not seen the film You're looking for a show with recognizable tunes

Don't see it if You don't like juke-box musicals You're not a fan of burlesque-style shows

Ambitious, Enchanting, Great staging, Great singing, Must see

See it if You enjoy great sets and a strong cast

Don't see it if You don't enjoy "jukebox musicals"

Great staging, Ambitious, Indulgent

See it if you want to be immersed in the red hot world of the Moulin Rouge. If you loved the movie, you are likely to enjoy this show.

Don't see it if Baz Luhrmann's artistic vision is not your thing. If you will find it difficult to enjoy dramatic moments underscored by modern pop music.

Clever, Entertaining, Great staging, Refreshing

See it if you loved the movie- it was a great updated version.

Don't see it if you don't like pop music.

Great singing, Funny, Entertaining, Delightful, Indulgent

See it if you love an over the top show or love the movie. The dancing and singing are incredible and the score is a mashup of fun popular music

Don't see it if you're looking for a show with deeper meaning or substance. This show is a party which does leave the story a little lacking at points

Ambitious, Delightful, Enchanting, Exquisite, Must see

See it if you love the movie or have always wanted to see the movie.

Don't see it if nope. just go see it.

Ambitious, Great singing, Entertaining, Must see, Edgy

See it if you're a fan of the original movie, pop music from the 70s up to today, or any one of the incredibly talented stage actors giving their all.

Don't see it if you'd prefer a musical with a down-to-earth plot or performance/design aesthetic, or you have a distaste for jukebox musicals.

Ambitious, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging, Uneven

See it if You can handle change, want your shows updated, want to see a fantastic staging, great performances by an entire company, and Danny Burstein

Don't see it if You loved the movie and want to see that. LOTS of new contemporary songs, some odd choices in songs/medleys, and a really boring 2nd act.

Absorbing, Great singing, Great staging, Fluffy, Romantic

See it if You loved the movie or want a fun experience with built out sets. The cast is crazy talented & the moments that stay with the movie are good

Don't see it if You don’t enjoy the story, the original music or current songs of today.

Also This show was not perfect but I was still weeping by the end! The sets... Read more Read less

Cast & Creatives (12)