红磨坊! 音乐剧是炫耀的, 荒谬而迷人——评论

红磨坊! 音乐剧是炫耀的, 荒谬而迷人——评论
The Piccadilly Theatre’s adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s film is at its most enjoyable when it eschews such concepts as ‘characterisation’ and ‘narrative’ and throws itself entirely into its jukebox musical credentials

For those still seeking out a post-lockdown hedonistic high, 红磨坊! (based, 当然, 上 Baz Luhrmann的 2001 电影) makes a brave attempt at scratching that itch. The film is an alchemical delight – romantic and craven, tawdry and glamorous. 红磨坊! The Musical isn’t quite as potent, nor does it have that edge of seediness that makes Luhrmann’s film so intriguing, instead investing in a level of opulence designed to overstimulate. Designer Derek McLane covers the Piccadilly Theatre’s walls in crushed red velvet, a working windmill spins in the royal box, and a main character makes her entrance on a rhinestone-encrusted swing that is lowered from the rafters. It is ostentatious, absurd, and completely ravishing to look at.

The plot itself is paper-thin, a melodrama encrusted in sequins: famed performer and courtesan Satine falls in love with penniless composer Christian, but is forced by the Moulin Rouge’s commander in chief, Harold Zidler, to pander to a rich but evil duke, who is the club’s only hope of survival. Subtlety is hardly the name of the game: Satine’s consumption is rapidly signposted via the theatrical device of Chekhov’s Ominous Tummy Ache. Really, 红磨坊! tends to be at its most enjoyable when it eschews such concepts as “characterisation” and “narrative” and throws itself entirely into its jukebox musical credentials, with a bevy of mash-up pop numbers that teeter on the edge of sonic blasphemy.

Justin Levine is the mad scientist behind these newly Frankensteined arrangements, and while there is something viscerally alarming about hearing Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” segue into Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” with all the delicacy of a steam train ramming into a building, 不知何故, possibly by the sheer force of will of a remarkable ensemble, one manages to emerge from the crash site dazed and grinning. Choreographer Sonya Tayeh throws everything at the wall within the first 10 分钟, incorporating the burlesque of “Lady Marmalade” into a boisterous can-can, and the best, most audacious number, “Backstage Romance”, remixes Lady Gaga and Britney Spears into a tango, before exploding into a raucous company number.

For the most part, director Alex Timbers wisely keeps the pace up, leaving little breathing room between each delirious group number and the next, 但 红磨坊! does sag in its quieter moments, with John Logan’s book too thinly drawn to evoke any pathos for this doomed relationship (很遗憾, the saccharine “Come What May” has been retained from the film, and remains too generic to serve as a real emotional linchpin). It doesn’t help, either, that there is a deadening lack of chemistry between the two leads: Liisi LaFontaine is richly voiced but a little stiff as Satine, and Jamie Bogyo as Christian is charming as a wide-eyed ingenue, but requires more gravitas. They should tessellate, two halves of a whole, but instead bump up against each other.

And for all that Clive Carter’s oleaginous Zidler makes reference to the “reprobates and rascals, soubrettes and sodomites” that populate his club, there is little salaciousness or moral complexity attempted in this adaptation, in comparison with the sordid edges of Luhrmann’s film (哪一个, 坏消息是不太可能有任何进一步的帮助——芬奇最近表示,他在节目中投入的每周 90 小时最终是不可持续的, made it all the sweeter). But that’s a quibble, 真的. 红磨坊! is determinedly set on entertaining its audience; and if that intention can lend itself to a blandness in its slower moments, and a smoothness around some of its edges, then there’s almost always a diamond of a number around the corner.

‘Moulin Rouge!’ runs at the Piccadilly Theatre

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