It was announced in November of 2018 that “Moulin Rouge” would be coming to Broadway. Based on Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 hit film of the same name, many were ecstatic to have the glitz, glamour and drama brought to the stage. The following July, the show opened starring none other than Aaron Tveit as Christian.
The New York native has appeared in five of the most well-known musicals including “Hairspray,” “Wicked,” “Next to Normal,” “Catch Me If You Can” and most recently “Moulin Rouge.” Some of Tveit’s most memorable credits include originating the roles of Gabe in “Next to Normal” and Frank Abagnale Jr. in “Catch Me If You Can.”
Having played Christian in the pre-Broadway run at Boston’s Emerson Colonial Theatre and opening the show on Broadway in 2019, Tveit departed the Broadway production on May 8, 2022. However, fans were overjoyed upon hearing of Tveit’s return to Broadway in the role that won him a 2020 Tony Award back on Jan. 17 for a 12-week limited engagement.
“I had expressed a few times that returning was something that I would always want to do, come back in with the right circumstance,” Tveit said in an interview with Broadway Direct. “I had just finished working on the second season of Schmigadoon!, which comes out this spring, so I had a bit of time in the middle between those things, and I just jumped at the chance. I’ve never really had the chance to go back to something that I created, and I’ve always wanted to do that.”
Upon hearing that Tveit was a wonderful actor and a “must see performer,” I knew I had to bite the bullet and purchase tickets to a performance before his departure on April 9, and I am so glad that I did.
From the moment I entered the theater, I knew it was going to be an amazing show. Set designer Derek McLane received a Drama Desk Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award Honor and a Tony Award for his captivating work on “Moulin Rouge.” Whether it be the use of red and heart shaped portals or the addition of the elephant and windmill, the set is visually appealing and unique from anything else on Broadway at the moment.
Once the lights dimmed and the show began, I didn’t want it to end. I see Broadway shows frequently, so for me to not want something to end must mean that it was really that good.
I felt immersed throughout the show and loved the high energy from start to finish. This was a show that, although I originally came for one actor, made me fall in love with the storyline, music and the amazing ensemble of performers – which instantly led me to book tickets to go again the following week.
“Moulin Rouge” follows Christian, a poor bohemian songwriter in the 1890s who comes to Paris and falls in love with a nightclub singer named Satine who is being courted by The Duke. What sets this show apart from any other musical is that although based in the progressive era, it uses modern pop music because it is a jukebox musical. So in addition to the love story of the ages, it also includes well-known music that draws a wider audience than just theater lovers and fans of the movie.
According to Broadway Business, the grossing charts for 10 weeks between June 6 and Aug. 21, 2022, which is when Derek Klena was in the leading role, had the average ticket price at $118.10.
On the other hand, the last ten weeks that Tveit has been in the role, the average ticket price has been $138.53, which is nearly a $20 increase per ticket. This means that because the Al Hirschfield Theater seats 1,424 people, “Moulin Rouge” has an increased revenue of approximately $29,165 per performance since having Tveit as the leading role.
Having been fortunate enough to have seen the show twice now, I’ve come to understand that Tveit gives a wonderful performance which I believe everyone should experience at least once. However, the show itself also has so much amazing material, so whether you’re able to snag tickets before Apr. 9 or not, this is a must see show that has something for everyone. From the hit songs to the incredibly high energy dance performances and even the dramatic love story. I can almost guarantee you will not be disappointed.
Featured image courtesy of Didier Descouens, Wikipedia