NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — “Moulin Rouge” is bringing the popular movie to the stage.

CBS2’s Dick Brennan got the Broadway buzz on the new musical, which opened Thursday.

“Moulin Rouge The Musical” takes you to Bohemia, and dozens of pop music tunes are used to tell the stories of love, deception and artistic expression.

Based on the 2001 movie that starred Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor, the Broadway musical stars Karen Olivo and Aaron Tveit as Satine and Christian, the lovers who meet at the famed Paris nightclub.

“The essence of Satine is probably a loyal fighter. She’s someone who sort of carved her world out of nothing and has become the most sought-after performer and courtesan in Paris,” Olivo said.

With an elaborate set designed by Derek McLane, “Moulin Rouge The Musical” gives theatergoers a feeling of being there.

“All you have to do is look in this theater and I think you can see, you can imagine how excited we are to be here. This is really an incredible thing and to see a production realized in this way, translated to stage is really, really special,” Tveit said.

“This is my 18th Broadway show, and I’ve never ever been a part of anything like this. It is spectacular beyond spectacular,” actor Danny Burstein said.

Burstein is the ringmaster in this world of music and mystery.

“I play Harold Zidler, and he’s the impresario of the Moulin Rouge. And he’s sexy and gritty and tough,” he said.

Art and influence play a role, and the famed artist Toulouse-Lautrec was there to show the world. He’s portrayed by actor Sahr Ngaujah in the show.

“A lot of times, he had to be on the outside of things that were happening and he took it upon himself to paint it, and then he offered the world a window inside before selfies,” Ngaujah said.

Alex Timbers is the director of the musical.

“You know, we sort of wanted to obviously embrace the club and fantasy … of Paris, but also push into a kind of heightened deluxe maximalism and make something that felt exotic and exciting and dangerous and visually thrilling,” he said.

“I think the most important thing about Moulin Rouge is that it’s a story about love, and it deals with love in every conceivable aspect. I think that’s what audiences respond to,” John Logan, book writer for the musical, said.

More than 70 songs are in the show, so choosing the right music was key.

“I was really excited about digging through the last century of the pop canon. Because at the end of the day, what Puccini was doing and what Lady Gaga is doing now are not dissimilar,” orchestrator Justin Levine said.

“You hear people’s reactions to what they’re hearing, their gasps. You know they’re going on their journey as well while they’re watching our story unfold,” Tam Mutu, who plays the Duke of Monroth, said.

The creative team hopes to leave a lasting impression and a desire for audiences to have an exhilarating experience.

“It’s that floating idea of feeling like anything is possible, feeling like that love that you feel and that wondrous love that you feel is possible,” choreographer Sonya Tayeh said.

“Moulin Rouge The Musical” is at the Al Hirschfeld Theater on 45th Street. Visit for more information.


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