“Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” the lavish stage production about a nightclub in turn-of-the-century Paris, won a Tony Award for best musical on Sunday, notching its 10th win of the night, the biggest haul of any show.
Adapted from Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 film, “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” opened on Broadway in July 2019, months before the first whispers about Covid-19, and had more than seven months of performances before the shutdown.
“It feels a little odd to me to be talking about one show that’s best musical,” Carmen Pavlovic, a producer of the show, said as she accepted the award. “I feel that every show of last season deserves to be thought of as the best musical. The shows that opened, the shows that closed — not to return — the shows that nearly opened, and of course the shows that paused and are fortunate enough to be reborn.”
The musical — which centers on the romance between Christian, who is new to Paris, and Satine, a cabaret performer and star of the Moulin Rouge — features dozens of pop songs, from 1980s Tina Turner to 2008 Beyoncé. After an 18-month hiatus, it reopened at the Al Hirschfeld Theater on Friday.
The show won nine Tonys earlier in the night, including best choreography, best direction of a musical, and best lead actor and featured actor in a musical.
During the pandemic, the show’s Tony-nominated lead actress, Karen Olivo, quit the show, saying that she was disappointed by Broadway’s lack of response to recently published allegations that the powerful producer Scott Rudin had long been abusive toward staff members. Olivo was replaced by Natalie Mendoza, who appeared in the original film version.
Just four new musicals were eligible for this award, and one of them, “The Lightning Thief,” was shut out by nominators.
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