With the acclaimed Broadway adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s iconic Moulin Rouge! set to hit Melbourne’s Regent Theatre this November, audiences should prepare to enter a world of splendour and romance, of eye-popping excess, of glitz, grandeur and glory. A world where Bohemians and aristocrats rub elbows and revel in electrifying enchantment.

Melbourne is the second city in the world to stage the hit musical. Originally scheduled to open in August, the city’s sixth lockdown delayed the plans. With the city reopening, the musical is set to open on November 12.

In what was the second week of rehearsals, Star Observer caught up with two of the production’s stars.

Musical Gets A New Queer Story

“The film was such a classic and embraced so much by the LGBTQI and queer community, what the writers of the Moulin Rouge musical have done really well is they’ve added a drag character to the show, which wasn’t reflecting in the film,” said Ryan Gonzalez who plays Santiago.

“We also get a new queer story that wasn’t there in the film. We also have a lot of people of colour in the cast, and a lot of people who are queer and of different gender identities which is a little different to the film but very important.”

It’s been exactly 20 years since Luhrmann’s original masterpiece burst onto screens, becoming an instant classic as Gonzales rightly describes it, with the film going on to clean up during awards season. But in bringing the world of the Moulin Rouge into the present day, the producers have chosen to hit refresh on the film’s iconic soundtrack.

“The musical has added some more recent pop bangers, I’m very lucky to get to sing some Lady Gaga and Brittney Spears in the show. You kind of have all these new pop bangers folded into the score, but everything you ache for from the film you still have, but with a new upbeat energy to it.”

The Love Triangle Is A Lot More Tense And Passionate

In Luhrmann’s film, The Duke of Monroth would be remembered as the primary antagonist, a rich nobleman, who lusted after Satine, only for her beauty, yet things are a little different in this stage adaptation, as Andy Cook who plays The Duke tells us.

“I really am drawn to playing the antagonistic characters, playing someone who is flawed is a gift for an actor as there is a lot of interesting stuff to break down.

“What is different about this Duke is that he is not quite like the film. In this version he is a much more viable option for Satine, he is very intelligent, he has a lot of sex appeal, it has been quite a tweak in the musical to make the love triangle between The Duke, Satine and Christian a lot more tense and passionate.

Moulin Rogue The Musical

“One of the biggest changes for me on face value is that all the classic songs that you want to hear are in there, but it’s been updated with some new bangers from Beyoncé & Sia, that we would all know and love.”

Presented by Global Creatures, the production company have been busy teasing fans, dropping images from the Regent Theatre as the massive bump in efforts continue, promising a visual feast not like anything seen at the much-loved Melbourne venue.

‘Moulin Rouge The Musical’ Opens in Melbourne on November 12, tickets available at www.moulinrougemusical.com

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