(Bostonuniversity; same set) Not sure how we wound up at this show as we raised the audience’s average age by quite a bit, but we have been trying to step outside our usual rut. The show is based on the film by Baz Luhrmann and is directed by John Logan.
The show is in previews now so the tickets are only $99–$180; later, they go up to $300+.
We couldn’t understand why they cost so much, but when we walked into the theater, now the Al Hirschfeld, we saw every dollar on the stage. (broadwaydirect) The sets really involved remaking the theater into a lurid, red and black night club setting for the songs, dances and minimal plot. Everything looked like it cost a lot.
This is a “jukebox” musical which I learned is a compilation of songs from other Broadway shows, films, recordings, videos and hit singles. So we heard “The Sound of Music,” “Every Breath You Take,” “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” combined with the James Bond movie’s “Diamonds Are Forever,” “Take on Me,” a Madonna video, Elton John’s “Your Song,” (moulinrougemusical) and many many other numbers all woven into the story. When the talented cast was dancing and singing (to the very loud electronic music) it was kind of fun. The audience clearly enjoyed identifying every number as it came up.
“Come What May,” a lovely song composed by David Baerwald and Kevin Gilbert, and performed by terrific singing leads Aaron Tveit (theatermania)and Karen Olivo (thecolumnonline) was apparently also prominent in the Luhrmann film. The second act brought in the Plot. I hope I won’t spoil it for you if I mention that the old old theme of the loving prostitute and the man who wants to take her away from all that formed the basis of the book. I could have used more singing and dancing.
As always on Broadway, production values are high and every dancer and singer is first rate. It’s something to see and if you don’t mind the price, it’s exciting stuff. We even recognized some of the more famous pop tunes. You might do better than we did.