Above – Samantha Dodemaide and cast. Cover – Alinta Chidzey and Des Flanagan. Photos – Michelle Grace Hunder

A razzmatazz extravaganza of glitz, gloss, corsets, bustiers, stockings and frocks, Moulin Rouge exceeds even the excessiveness of the Baz Luhrmann film that this stage fantasia springs from. The compere is camp, the villain arch, the hero homespun and not an ingenue in sight.

Kicking off with Lady Marmalade with a busty, gutsy, burly brio, the energy and mash up of this jukebox musical refuses to subside until interval lets all gather breath. Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend segues into Diamonds are Forever and Money (that’s what I want) in thrilling cascade of classic hits.

Movement and dance is effervescent to Bowie’s Let’s Dance and Heroes, Police perennials, Every Breath You Take and Roxanne, and the elevated anthem of What’s Love Got To Do With It. Some quieter moments deliver respite with beautiful renditions of Your Song and Nature Boy.

Perfection of style is in evidence in the first half which delivers the effortless coalition of all the arts of the musical stage at their highest point. The blending of skills is smooth, a triumphant solution of a puzzle to create a play pen of dancers, singers and musicians.

And what a play pen Derek McLane’s scenic design is with windmills, elephants, and chandeliers. Catherine Zuber’s exuberant and exquisite costumes fit right in. Sonya Tayeh’s choreography is a coalescence of classical and new, from Can Can to hip hop, an alchemy producing an irresistible mutual attraction.

Alinta Chidzey as Satine is a leading lady full of sass, savvy and star quality, leading by example an exemplary ensemble. Des Flanagan as Christian, doe eyed and head over heels for Satine, is the epitome of love struck boyishness, tender of tone and timbre, tempestuous too when required.

Camping it up to the highest echelon of big is Simon Burke as Harold, the harried, hoary owner-manager of the Moulin Rouge. It’s a lavish, ravishing role he clearly relishes and audiences will adore.

A sublime rendition of Sympathy for the Devil introduces Andrew Cook’s The Duke, a lascivious lizard, a rapacious reptile, played with triumphant arch. Tim Omaji gives a textured spin on Toulouse-Latrec and Ryan Gonzales as Santiago and Samantha Dodemaide as Nini add zest, vim and fandango, especially in the tango.

Indeed, the entire troupe are equally responsible for this star bright spectacular, where no effort is spared and none wasted.

Event details

Global Creatures presents
Moulin Rouge! The Musical
book John Logan

Director Alex Timbers

Venue: Capitol Theatre, Sydney
Dates: currently on sale until October 23, 2022. Check the website for updates
Bookings: moulinrougemusical.com


Related Articles

Wicked The Musical Wicked The Musical
The staging is spectacular, and this production has somehow managed to add additional layers of texture and style into the design that refreshes the experience...
The Dismissal | Squabbalogic The Dismissal | Squabbalogic
The Dismissal charts the full-of-hope, robust rise and rise of the Gough Whitlam led Labor Government from 1972, to its rambunctious demise on November 11, 1975...
The Marvellous Elephant Man: The Musical The Marvellous Elephant Man: The Musical
This is a good, old-fashioned, vulgar, vaudevillian tent show...

Most read Sydney reviews

  • Miss Saigon | Opera Australia
    There really isn’t a moment when we believe there is going to be a happy ending, but the incredible music keeps us sitting in the carriage as we careen perilously towards the inevitable train wreck of an ending.
  • Home Country + The One | Little Cup Theatre Productions
    Two new works presented as a double feature provide somewhat of a highlight in the current Sydney Fringe Festival.
  • Dog Man the Musical | CDP Theatre Producers
     Dog Man will have you giggling at the ridiculous antics of an unlikely hero.
  • Wicked The Musical
    The staging is spectacular, and this production has somehow managed to add additional layers of texture and style into the design that refreshes the experience.
  • City of Angels | Hayes Theatre
    City of Angels is a big bold sexy production with lots of style, lots of laughs, and an incredible collection of wonderful performers and musicians that deliver this complex score with real conviction.

More from this author