Melbourne’s Regent Theatre is set to change into a Parisian Burlesque wonderland as it plays host to the ‘Moulin Rouge’.
Baz Luhrmann’s revolutionary film comes to life onstage, remixed in a new musical mash-up extravaganza. As Paris is the city of love, the setting of the Moulin Rouge was perfect for Baz Luhrmann’s film, now a musical.
Moulin Rouge, the Musical, tells of a love story between Christian (played by Des Flanagan) and Satine also known as the Sparkling Diamond (played by Alinta Chidzey).
Christian, a struggling writer, falls completely in love with Satine, the star performer, the most beautiful courtesan in all of Paris.
The Moulin Rouge plays host to those of high society and lonely men who come to play with the young and beautiful courtesans.
With stunning costumes and an alluring Burlesque setting, we see a love story begin. Christian struggles to make enough money as a writer to impress Satine.
Christian decides to ask the owner of the Moulin Rouge, Harold Zidler, a wealthy Duke to help pay to transform the club into a grand theatre. The Duke agrees to help transform the theatre as long as Satine is promised to him, and so the love triangle between the 3 begins!
Interview with Alinta Chidzey (playing the part of Satine)
Have you been to the Moulin Rouge in Paris? “No, I haven’t been to the Moulin Rouge, but I have been to Paris.”
Have you always wanted to play the part of Satine? “It’s an iconic film and was destined to become a musical. I’ve had thoughts that I’d love to play this part and the fact that it has and I’m playing Satine is such a joy.”
Have you watched Nicole Kidman play Satine in the film, and how do you adapt it to the musical and make it your own?
“I always approach a role in my own way and not try and emulate another. It’s important to make it my own and make it personal. I need to see how this connects with me and how I can best tell the story and connect with the other characters in the show.”
How old is Satine, what type of woman is she? “She’s mysterious, we don’t know her age, she doesn’t want people to know as her time is running out. She’s very layered and has lots of different personas as the ‘Sparkling Diamond’.”
What experience will the musical bring to the audience?
“To have a live performance is where we can feel the real energy of what it would be like to be inside the Moulin Rouge and to hear Lady Marmalade sung live is just electrifying.”
Now, 20 years later, Moulin Rouge! The Musical will come home to play its Australian debut in Melbourne. “Uncle Baz” and CM have been instrumental guides and supporters of the stage adaptation of their work. On the eve of the production’s Broadway debut, Baz penned the letter below for Broadway Direct, as he found himself in the unexpected position of watching his creation come to new life.
Moulin Rouge! The Musical is directed by Tony Award nominee Alex Timbers with a book by Tony Award winner John Logan, music supervision, orchestrations and arrangements by Tony Award nominee Justin Levine, and choreography by Emmy and Tony Award nominee Sonya Tayeh.
In October 2020, Moulin Rouge! The Musical was honoured with 14 Tony Award nominations including Best Musical. The production was the first Australian-produced musical to originate on Broadway.
Melbourne is the first city to host Moulin Rouge! The Musical since its Broadway debut in 2019.
Performances start 13 August, Regent Theatre Melbourne. Tickets currently on sale until January 2022 at MoulinRougeMusical.com or Ticketmaster.
Interview and story by Melinda Sullivan
Images exclusive to Melbourne My Style