Baz Luhrmann’s highly popular musical film Moulin Rouge! was made for theatre. Now, according to Playbill.com, we may see it in its natural habitat. Tony winner John Logan (Red) and Tony-nominated Alex Timbers (Peter and the Starcatcher; Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson) are on board to write the book and direct the adaptation, respectively.
Bringing Moulin Rouge! to the Stage
For now, details on the project are very scarce. Opening city, venue, cast, and score are all a mystery. The show was announced in both New York and Luhrmann’s native Australia, but there are no clues as to where the show will develop or find its stars.
The 2001 film takes place in a highly stylized version of the legendary Moulin Rouge, the “spiritual birthplace” of the can can. English poet Christian (Ewan McGregor) moves to Paris where he is hired by a troupe of Bohemians to write their new musical “Spectacular Spectacular”. He falls in love with Satine (Nicole Kidman), the lead courtesan at the Moulin Rouge. What he doesn’t know is that she has been promised to the actual mustache-twirling Duke of Monroth (Richard Roxburgh), an investor in the cabaret. There’s love and betrayal and singing too close to each other’s faces–the perfect ingredients list for a Broadway musical.
No word yet on whether any of the pop song adaptations will be revived in the musical version, or whether any of the original cast will be involved with the project. Lurhmann had the following to say about Logan and Timbers: “I immediately recognized the young director’s creative spirit and felt we shared similar sensibilities and instincts. So I’m tremendously happy to celebrate that Moulin Rouge! will be under his direction and that the book will be the creation of the gifted Tony Award-winning playwright John Logan whose writing I also admire deeply. It’s immensely gratifying to know that a new wave of artists will be leading Moulin Rouge! into its rightful theatrical realm.”