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.
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