Broadway-Aimed Moulin Rouge! Musical Plans Spring Reading | Playbill

News Broadway-Aimed Moulin Rouge! Musical Plans Spring Reading The production is seeking to fill the role originated on film by Nicole Kidman.
20th Century Fox

An April-May staged reading is being planned for the Broadway-aimed musical adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 Oscar-nominated film Moulin Rouge, according to an Actors' Equity Association audition notice.

Titled Moulin Rouge! The Musical, the stage show will have a book by Tony Award winner John Logan and direction by Tony nominee Alex Timbers.

Equity-only auditions will be held February 17 at Pearl Studios in Manhattan for the role of Satine, the part played by Nicole Kidman in the film. Described as a female in her 30s, the headliner at the Moulin Rouge nightclub, “Satine is a star. Beautiful, glamorous, commanding. Fully aware of her worth. Wicked sense of humor and smart as a whip... but beyond this, our heroine has a deep humanity. She has suffered and her wounds are very close to the skin. Heartbreaking, in her way.”

The roles of Christian, Lautrec, Zigler, and Argentinian have already been cast. Auditioners are asked to prepare a short pop/rock song in the style of the show, and to bring sheet music in the correct key. A pianist will be provided. The casting directors are Jim Carnahan and Stephen Kopel.


The reading will take place April 24 through May 5 in Manhattan.

Logan won the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critic Circle, and Drama League awards for his 2010 play Red. His other Broadway credits include the libretto for Sting’s 2014 musical The Last Ship, and the script for Bette Midler’s 2013 solo show, I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers.

Timbers' stage credits include Rocky, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and Peter and the Starcatcher (Tony nomination) on Broadway (the latter as both director and librettist), and Here Lies Love and The Robber Bridegroom Off-Broadway. This season he directed Oh Hello on Broadway. Timbers is also co-creator and co-executive producer of the TV show Mozart in the Jungle, starring Bernadette Peters, which won the 2016 Golden Globe Award for Best Comedy Series.

Despite the project’s simultaneous announcement in New York and Luhrmann’s native Australia in September 2016, a production spokesperson said the show’s opening city, opening venue, and production timeline would be announced at a later date. No casting was announced. There was also no word on whether the show would have an original score, or if it would use pre-existing pop songs, as the movie does.

The highly theatrical film is set at the decadent Parisian nightclub, the Moulin Rouge (Red Mill), and tells the story of a poet who becomes obsessed with a beautiful singer and courtesan, Satine. The movie is filled with musical numbers set at the club, and some outside it, much in the style of Cabaret.

The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards including Best Picture, and won two: Best Costumes and Best Art Direction—Sets.

Carmen Pavlovic, CEO of Global Creatures, is developing the musical.

“I first encountered Alex Timbers through the remarkable and inventive production of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and the brilliance of Here Lies Love,” Luhrmann, currently represented on Netflix with the series The Get Down, said in a statement. “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.”

(Updated February 3, 2017)


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