Moulin Rouge! The Musical: A Must-See

Disclaimer: I received two tickets to Moulin Rouge at the Straz Center for the purpose of this review. All the opinions are my own. 

In complete transparency, I was never a fan of the film, Moulin Rouge.

I said what I said. Don’t @ me.

Oh sure, I loved the music, such as Lady Marmalade and Your Song and who doesn’t doesn’t swoon over Ewan McGregor? But despite the 2001 film’s popularity, I was not feeling the Moulin Rouge love.

However, when Moulin Rouge! The Musical won ten Tony awards in 2020, I knew I would have to rethink my Moulin Rouge stance.

While the film and the musical have a similar plot, the musical definitely kicked the score up a notch. Lady Marmalade and Your Song still remain, but there are even more contemporary pop hits added to the mix of this Tony award-winning jukebox musical, including Firework and Chandelier. There are so many fantastic mashup medleys of some of your favorite dance songs. I won’t spoil it for you, but I dare you to listen to the Moulin Rouge! The Musical Original Broadway Cast Recording and not dance.

As the audience enters the theater, a pre-show unfolds under the glowing red lights and gothic design of the Moulin Rouge. The show opens with four Burlesque dancers performing Lady Marmalade and welcoming us to the Moulin Rouge. 

Robert Petkoff as Harold Zidler and the cast of the North American tour of Moulin Rouge! The Musical Photo: Matthew Murphy

With flair and flamboyant style, Harold Zidler (Robert Petkoff), plays our emcee and narrator to retell the love story of Satine (Gabrielle McCinton) and Christian (Christian Douglas).

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Christian Douglas and Gabrielle McClinton in the North American tour of Moulin Rouge! The Musical Photo: Matthew Murphy

While the spectacular set design, choreography and costumes mesmerizes the audience, the vocal talents of this incredible cast will simply captivate you. The pacing and delivery of Firework by Gabrielle McClinton will tug on your heart strings and reel you in. 

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Gabrielle McClinton as Satine in the North American tour of Moulin Rouge! The Musical
Photo: Matthew Murphy

In the stage adaptation of Moulin Rouge!, the bohemian elements ring out loud.

Beauty – The costumes and set design beautifully illustrate this element through turn of the century Parisian style. The colors of both the set and costumes are vibrant and breathtaking.

Love – What would be the Moulin Rouge without a love story? At the heart of the story, it’s a boy meets girl. It’s a century old meet cute. There are quite a few more Backstage Romance love stories happening as well.

Truth Moulin Rouge! reminds us to live an authentic life and our truth. You cannot deny your past, nor can you ignore what your future holds. Both will haunt you if you do not come to terms with those realities. Shine like a diamond for the world to celebrate you.

Freedom – There is freedom and glory in living the life you are meant to live. We experience freedom when we remove the shackles of our past and the weight of others’ expectations. Express yourself. Make your dreams a reality. Love the people you are meant to love. 

While the plot is pretty basic with the tragic and anticipated death of Satine (SPOILERS!); the energy and spectacle of Moulin Rouge! is like no other. From the start to finish, Moulin Rouge! will have you clapping, dancing and singing along.

Yep, I’m a fan. If you love jukebox musicals, Moulin Rouge! The Musical is a must-see.

It’s the perfect Valentine’s Day date night. And remember to wear red and a bustier, if you have one, “because YOU CAN, CAN CAN!”

Feel the Moulin Rouge L’amoir at the Straz Center now until Sunday, February 18. Visit for showtimes and tickets.