'Moulin Rouge!' musical coming to Fox Cities PAC, using popular songs to tell love story (2024)

'Moulin Rouge!' musical coming to Fox Cities PAC, using popular songs to tell love story (1)

APPLETON – A love story told through pop music from a range of decades is on its way to the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center for a two-week run from June 11 to 23.

"Moulin Rouge! The Musical," based on the 2001 film starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor, is set in Paris at the turn of the 20th century. It follows the love story between Christian, a composer, and Satine, the star performer at the Moulin Rouge cabaret. Satine, however, is promised to the wealthy Duke of Monroth in exchange for funding at the Moulin Rouge, and finds she must choose between security and true love — all while keeping a secret of her own.

One detail sets "Moulin Rouge!" apart from a typical musical: the show is comprised of dozens of songs from all sorts of music icons.

"It uses over 70 songs, spanning a hundred-some years, just everything from Beyoncé to Elton John to Britney Spears to the Rolling Stones, and kind of everything in between," said Andrew Brewer, who plays The Duke in the North American tour making its way to Appleton.

Jukebox musicals — the term for shows that follow this format, featuring well-known songs rather than original music — have become increasingly common in recent years. But the 2001 "Moulin Rouge!" film was one of the first modern musicals to take on a jukebox style. The effect is that audiences are able to bring emotions tied to songs they know to their experience of the musical, Brewer said.

Need a break? Play the USA TODAY Daily Crossword Puzzle.

Brewer said actors can sometimes tell when audience members recognize songs in the musical.

"We have different moments that you can hear audiences react, or we have a little conductor monitor for us back stage so we can see the conductor when we have to sing off to the side, and the way it kind of peeks over the first few rows of the audience — we get to watch people's reactions. We get to see people sort of nudge their neighbor when a certain song comes on."

"Moulin Rouge! The Musical" premiered on Broadway in 2019. The North American tour began with rehearsals in January 2022, and started touring that March. Brewer has been in the touring cast since its start, and before that was a standby for Christian in the Broadway show.

'Moulin Rouge!' musical coming to Fox Cities PAC, using popular songs to tell love story (2)

Brewer said one of his favorite parts of performing in "Moulin Rouge! The Musical" is the ability to bring a Broadway spectacle with a talented cast to all parts of the country.

"Everything about this show is really incredible. I mean, it is a Broadway show — we had all the same, you know, designers and directors and choreographers," he said.

Part of the appeal is the talented cast, Brewer said.

"As sort of the villain of this show, I'm a little removed from the rest of the cast, you know, it tends to be me at odds with everyone else," he said. "And so I get to watch kind of a lot of this show, even from onstage. And to really appreciate how talented these performers are and how hard they work. It really is something that reads to the audience. ... They sort of catch the joy that we get in performing this show and they sort of give it back to us."

"Moulin Rouge! The Musical" is not Brewer's first experience in the cast of a touring Broadway musical. He previously toured the country — and came to Appleton — with "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical" from 2014 to 2018.

Returning to some of the same cities years later — and after a global pandemic — has been a unique experience, Brewer said.

RELATED:Fox Cities PAC 2024-25 season will feature both new and returning shows to Appleton

"Seeing just how the towns have changed and evolved — like some of the cities that we really enjoyed the first time maybe have changed a little bit and don't have as much going on, and some of the cities that we really didn't clock the first time around have built so much and have expanded — it's really interesting," he said. "Everywhere we go, everywhere has something. Everywhere has a thing that we all kind of look forward to."

"Moulin Rouge! The Musical" is the final show in the PAC's 2023-24 Kimberly Clark Broadway Across America series. The next Broadway season will begin in November with the Wisconsin premiere of "Mrs. Doubtfire."

Tickets for "Moulin Rouge! The Musical" can be purchasedonline through Ticketmaster, orby phone at 800-982-2787, or through the PAC ticket office in-person or by phone at 920-730-3760. The PAC ticket office is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

Contact Kelli Arseneau at 920-213-3721 orkarseneau@gannett.com. Follow her on X, formerly Twitter, at@ArseneauKelli.

'Moulin Rouge!' musical coming to Fox Cities PAC, using popular songs to tell love story (2024)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Barbera Armstrong

Last Updated:

Views: 5343

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (59 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Barbera Armstrong

Birthday: 1992-09-12

Address: Suite 993 99852 Daugherty Causeway, Ritchiehaven, VT 49630

Phone: +5026838435397

Job: National Engineer

Hobby: Listening to music, Board games, Photography, Ice skating, LARPing, Kite flying, Rugby

Introduction: My name is Barbera Armstrong, I am a lovely, delightful, cooperative, funny, enchanting, vivacious, tender person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.