Break out the absinthe!
The Broadway-bound production of Moulin Rouge! The Musical has locked in principal cast ahead of its out-of-town tryout engagement early this summer at Boston’s Emerson Colonial Theatre.
Karen Olivo, a 2009 Tony winner for West Side Story and a veteran of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musicals In the Heights and Hamilton, will star as Satine, the tragic Parisian nightclub chanteuse and courtesan that Nicole Kidman played in Baz Luhrmann’s original movie.
Stepping into the Ewan McGregor role of lovesick writer Christian is Aaron Tveit, seen on Broadway in Catch Me If You Can and Next to Normal, in the film version of Les Miserables and on television in the CBS comic thriller Braindead and Fox’s Grease: Live.
Six-time Tony Award nominee Danny Burstein, whose extensive Broadway credits include Cabaret, Follies, Fiddler on the Roof and South Pacific, will star as nefarious nightclub impresario Harold Zidler, played by Jim Broadbent in the film.
Also joining the cast are Sahr Ngaujah (Fela!) as starving artist Toulouse-Lautrec, Ricky Rojas as tango-dancing gigolo Santiago, Robyn Hunter as jealous showgirl Nini and Tam Mutu as the Duke of Monroth, the wealthy club patron determined to buy Satine’s love.
Alex Timbers directs the production, which has its world premiere run set for June 27-Aug. 5 at the Emerson Colonial Theatre. While no Broadway plans have been confirmed, the show is expected to move to New York some time next season.
Set among bohemians and aristocrats in the Montmartre Quarter of Paris at the close of the 19th century, Moulin Rouge! The Musical features a book by John Logan and choreography by Sonya Tayeh. The design team includes Derek McLane (sets), Catherine Zuber (costumes), Justin Townsend (lighting) and Peter Hylenski (sound).
As in Luhrmann’s 2001 movie, the musical’s score will comprise popular tunes from across the last 50 years, including a number of songs heard in the Fox film.
The show is produced by Australian company Global Creatures, which also has King Kong heading for Broadway in the fall and another musical based on a Luhrmann film, Strictly Ballroom, currently in previews in London’s West End. Executive producer on Moulin Rouge! The Musical is Bill Damaschke, formerly of DreamWorks Animation.