MOULIN ROUGE! The Musical Synopsis and Story

Christian, a young composer, falls in love with Satine, a dazzling actress and one of Paris’s most beautiful, well-known stars. Based on the 2001 film, “Moulin Rouge!” directed by Baz Luhrmann and co-written by Craig Pearce, Moulin Rouge! The Musical is set in Paris, France, at the turn of the 20th century during the Belle Epoque era (1871–1914). It is a celebration of truth, beauty, freedom and love amidst the glamorous, garish, and gaudy underworld of the Moulin Rouge, Paris’s infamous Bohemian nightclub.

Paris, France, 1899. Christian, a young man from America, arrives in Paris, hoping to start a successful and sustaining career as a writer. While in Paris, he meets the Bohemians Toulouse-Lautrec and Santiago, who tell him that he should write a musical (which is later named “Spectacular, Spectacular”) so that they can showcase it at the famous and nightclub, the Moulin Rouge. Upon arriving at the nightclub, Christian sets eyes on Satine, the most alluring, bright, & beautiful star entertainer of the Moulin Rouge, and falls deeply in love. After a short time, Satine feels the love-pull and returns her affection to Christian.

Meanwhile, Moulin Rouge’s impresario, owner, and enigmatic host, Harold Zidler, asks a wealthy Duke to financially invest a substantial sum of money to help pay off the club’s debts and transform the Moulin Rouge into ‘le grand lieu de théâtre’ that it was meant to be. The Duke agrees ONLY if he can lay claim to Satine as well. With this proclamation, Christian and Satine’s love, as well as their desires, are overpowered, and Satine is forced by circumstance to conjoin with the Duke. Adding to this tricky love triangle, Satine develops a severe illness (Consumption), which progressively worsens throughout the story, challenging the fate of love itself.

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