U.S. theatregoers may soon have to contend with dueling stage productions titled Moulin Rouge.
Baz Luhrmann—the filmmaker responsible for the phantasmagoric 2001 film "Moulin Rouge," which reaped several awards and has been credited with reviving the movie musical form— told the New York Post Jan. 22, 2001, that he was working on a stage version of the film.
Luhrmann may still be working on the project, but another producer has beaten him to the footlights. A second musical entertainment, also called Moulin Rouge, will premiere at Southern California's Pechanga Resort and Casino in June 2003. The national tour is scheduled to begin the following fall. Moulin Rouge Productions Inc. and Theatrical Arts International are producing.
Like the movie, the revue-like venture is inspired by the world surrounding the famed burlesque palace of Paris. Unlike the movie, the show will take place not in the late 19th century, but in the 1940s. Such story as there is will focus on the acts seen on the Moulin Rouge stage.
John de Lancie, who has worked with L.A. Theaterworks and the Hollywood Bowl, will direct. Working with him will be the artistic staff which created productions for the Paris club. Though the project is in no way connected to the film, producers are not averse to associating themselves with the popular Luhrmann work. A full page ad in a recent issue of Variety featured a Nicole Kidman look-a-like, dressing in a costume reminiscent of the Oscar-nominated flick.
—By Robert Simonson