It’s official, I’m a snob. A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to see Moulin Rouge at the Al Hirschfeld Theater theater on Broadway. I liked it a lot, in fact I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I don’t think I respect it. Can I say that?
This show puts the jukebox in jukebox musical. Featuring 70 songs, by 161 songwriters, the most impressive thing about this show is the sheer number of legal landmines they had to dodge to produce it. The majority of the songs fall into the category of things that were popular when I was in college. Think Adelle, Lady Gaga, and Lorde. I like to joke that this was 2012 the musical.
That’s not to say it wasn’t a lot of fun. I regularly found myself laughing out loud at the choice of song. When “Shut up and Dance” came on I nearly fell out of my seat and they managed to work “Firework” into the plot quite well.
That said, the plot was thin. I haven’t seen the film, but I hear it’s known above all else for it’s cinematography. The staging didn’t adequately live up to that. The story involved two star crossed lovers in a theater that’s going out of business. I'd like to refer to this plot as Lame Phantom, referring to the plot of the Phantom of the Opera.
Aside from the plot, the set and choreography were both well done, but nothing special. They were very much what you come to expect from an over-the-top broadway show. I imagine this set is what the Great Comet would have looked like if the theater said no to the major renovations.
The funny thing is, this is still the musical I’m gonna send people to. I don’t think it’s a particularly impressive piece of theater, but as far as mainstream appeal goes, it has everything. I did open this article with I'm a snob.
I don’t think this musical will have much staying power, but you’ll enjoy it for what it today. On the bright side, I’m no longer concerned about losing the lottery.
One last thing. I owe a special thank you to George Baier IV, he hooked me up with my ticket, which are very hard to get. I also had the joy of meeting his sister Rebecca, arguably better than the show itself.