I recently visited Paris for a short vacation and treated myself to the Moulin Rouge. If you loved the movie when it came out back in 2001, you’ve probably dreamt about visiting the actual Moulin Rouge hoping it would give you a taste of that same romance and magic. Of course, looking up reviews on TripAdvisor or getting recommendations from local Parisians, the Moulin Rouge is definitely not what it used to be. But, because I had loved the movie so much and have an affinity for live performances, I felt I needed to give my 11 year old self the gift of seeing it for myself.
When buying tickets, my partner and I opted for the *champagne add-on* for an extra 10 euros. You can get one or more drinks… why not? We got our tickets the night before. Our showtime was on a Wednesday night at 11PM for roughly 85 euros each (including the champagne).
The line to get in was long. You enter one side of the building, then wait in a dingy movie theater nextdoor. It felt like we were being herded like sheep into the theater, which wasn’t bad, it just felt odd since you know this place is raking in the big ones… and why are we standing in a damp theater??
When you finally get in, it’s really neat! It feels like you’re in a circus tent. There’s a bottle of champagne on ice at the table, for you and whoever else bought the drink add-on to share. If you are the only one who bought that add-on at your table, you get to enjoy the entire bottle to yourself.
The show begins and it’s a dream realized. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as magical as the movie. Of course I know it’s not going to be anything like the movie, I follow along trying to understand what’s going on. My french is as good as a third-grader, and so most of what I’m interpreting is based off the tunes I’m hearing, the dancing, and the set pieces.
It is definitely a spectacle and the costumes are cool, yet at the same time, everything feels outdated. The music and dance moves will transport you way back to the 90s.
It’s not as intriguing as a Broadway show, and it lacks the excitement factor that made it famous to begin with. In short, it felt like a cruiseship performance sailing out of Vegas (if that were possible). With all due respect for the performers, who did a great job executing their parts, the overall show (costumes, choreography, music arrangements, and storyline) felt entirely outdated.
With Moulin Rouge on Broadway currently in its development phase in New York City, we can certainly bank on the Broadway version, which will have more of a direct tie to the 2001 movie version, to do a better job at transporting us into the glitzy romantic world the show intends on taking us to.