Review Round Up: Moulin Rouge, Al Hirschfeld Theater, New York

Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews for one of the most highly anticipated musicals of the year…

The Guardian: *** “What audiences apparently want is dazzle and excitement and pyrotechnics and trapezes and sword-swallowing and equal-opportunity lechery and Catherine Zuber’s sensuous costumes and Derek Mclane’s glitzy set and Sonya Tayeh’s playful, libidinous, clever choreography and a chorus belting out Bad Romance and Chandelier and Crazy (did they really have to keep Roxanne?) and a giant blue elephant that plays merry hell with a bunch of the sightlines.”

Variety: “As in the film, the plot is yet another tragic story of mismatched lovers, inspired by everything from “Carmen” to “La Dame aux Camélias.” But I’m not sick of it, and nor should you be. Tales about true love transcending divergent social origins and personal destinies never go out of fashion.”

New York Times: “In “Moulin Rouge,” life is beautiful, in a way reality never is. All is permitted, and forgiven, in the name of love. Bohemian poverty is exquisitely picturesque. Stardom is around the corner for the gifted and hungry. And even songs you thought you never wanted to hear again pulse with irresistible new sex appeal.”

Wall Street Journal: “The human appetite for over-the-top operatic spectacle, after all, is so unquenchable that most people are presumably more than willing to settle for a mere musical that gives them elephants (well, one king-size papier-mâché elephant). Just as the score of “Les Misérables” suggests what opera might sound like to the tone-deaf, so is “Moulin Rouge!” a pseudo-opera that doesn’t require its viewers to do anything so demanding as spend a whole evening listening to—horrors!—classical music.”

Time Out: **** “Directed with opulent showmanship by Alex Timbers, this adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 movie may be costume jewelry, but its shine is dazzling.”

The FT: ** “This musical aspires to recreate the heady blend of art and showbusiness that characterised the Moulin Rouge in its heyday. Instead it resembles the same cabaret today — tacky, expensive, full of tourists, and living off past glories.” “But the Moulin Rouge! that opened on Broadway tonight resembles nothing so much as an absurdly expensive and utterly exhausting game of dystopian karaoke — on a machine that willfully plays only two to three mega-hits at once, or else spits hooks from dozens of chart-toppers like so much machine-gun fire.”

The Telegraph: **** “Moulin Rouge! may not have the depth of some of Broadway’s great musicals, but it’s been playing to capacity crowds since performances began in late June. And why not? It’s fun, tuneful and entertaining, and that’s exactly what we need right now.” “The real frustration of Moulin Rouge! is that it feels so completely like a product. Underneath its pulsing, crimson exterior, it’s creepily cold-blooded.”

Broadway World: “There are certainly worse ways to spend and evening than with a musical so visually gorgeous and vibrantly performed.”

Moulin Rouge continues to play at the Al Hirschfeld Theater. To book tickets click here.

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