In Case You Missed It: August 27-September 2

Week in Review   In Case You Missed It: August 27-September 2
Moulin Rouge is coming to the stage, and #Ham4Ham bids farewell to Broadway.
A scene from the 2001 Baz Luhrman film Moulin Rouge.
A scene from the 2001 Baz Luhrman film Moulin Rouge.

Fantastical director Baz Luhrmann’s best-known work, the 2001 film Moulin Rouge—that most theatrical of cinematic works—is finally going to land where it perhaps always belonged: onstage.

Moulin Rouge is being adapted as a stage musical with a book by playwright John Logan and direction not by Luhrmann himself, but by Alex Timbers (Rocky, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Peter and the Starcatcher), who continues to accrue the most unconventional resume in the American theatre. It will be titled Moulin Rouge! The Musical.

And that’s all we know, folks! Despite the project’s simultaneous announcement in New York and Luhrmann’s native Australia, a production spokesperson said the show’s opening city, opening venue and production timeline will 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, anachronistically positioned pop songs (“Material Girl,” “Lady Marmalade,” etc.), as the movie does.

The film is set at the decadent Parisian nightclub, the Moulin Rouge, and tells the story of a poet (played by Ewan McGregor) who becomes obsessed with a beautiful singer and courtesan there (Nicole Kidman). The movie is filled with musical numbers set at the club and some outside it.

The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards including Best Picture.


First you don’t see it, now you do.

Cirque du Soleil’s Paramour, the international circus troupe’s first show created expressly for Broadway, disappeared for a bit, but it returned to its regular performance schedule September 1.

The show took a four-performance mini-hiatus to make “creative changes.” Producers canceled the August 22, 24, 25 and 31 performances.

The acrobatic musical, about two rivals for the heart of a beautiful singer, opened May 25 at the Lyric Theatre.

The production released a statement explaining, “True to our roots as street performers, our shows evolve over time to reflect feedback from our consumers and our creative team.” Scott Zeiger, president and managing director of Cirque du Soleil, explained the process to “All of our shows go through a process of reevaluation, refining and retooling after they open—every one, globally. It’s the nature of what we do.”

Hey, what do you expect when the circus comes to town?

Actor Nick Cordero is finding a professional niche: roles Chazz Palminteri used to play.

Cordero made his name in Woody Allen's stage version of Bullets Over Broadway, playing the mobster role Palminteri had portrayed in Allen’s earlier film. He received a Tony nomination for the performance.

Now, he has been cast as goodfella Sonny, the starring role of the new Broadway musical A Bronx Tale: The Musical. The show is based on Palminteri’s film and play of the same name.

If there's ever a The Usual Suspects: The Musical, the producers will know who to call first.


More casting news!

Complete casting has been announced for the fall Broadway transfer of the Donmar Warehouse’s hit London revival of Les Liaisons Dangereuses.

As previously reported, Tony Award winners Janet McTeer and Liev Schreiber will star as La Marquise de Merteuil and Le Vicomte de Valmont, respectively, in Christopher Hampton’s play about sexual intrigue in 18th century France.

They will be joined by Mary Beth Peil as Madame de Rosemonde, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen as Madame de Tourvel, Elena Kampouris as Cécile Volangel, Raffi Barsoumian as Le Chevalier Danceny, Ora Jones as Madame de Volanges, Kartina Cunningham as Émilie, Josh Salt as Azolan and Joy Franz as Victoire.

Staged by Donmar artistic director Josie Rourke, the production begins performances October 8 and officially opens October 30 at the Booth Theatre.

The play will make Schreiber’s first Broadway appearance in six years, and McTeer’s first in seven years.

Finally, the Broadway musical Hamilton has put its longrunning #Ham4Ham event to bed.

Started by the show’s creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, on July 15, 2015, the #Ham4Ham concerts were designed to entertain the throngs of people lined up for the show’s discount lottery. The weekly series of impromptu mini-concerts took place on the steps of the Richard Rodgers Theatre, where Hamilton is playing.

The presentations came to draw a huge following, and became a well-loved Times Square tradition. Offered on an irregular schedule at first, they settled down to being presented every Wednesday and Saturday. They often featured stars from other shows, including Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald, Terrence Mann, Kelli O’Hara, George Takei and Andrew Rannells. Ultimately, more than 100 of the mini-concerts were held.

When the show's lottery went mostly online in spring 2016, the #Ham4Ham concerts were cut back to Wednesdays only.

The August 31 #Ham4Ham was the last regularly scheduled live installment and the last in-person lottery.

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