Civic Center Ticket Office closed for in-person ticketing until Aug 20; order by phone or online. Learn More
  • News
  • Behind the Scenes of Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Behind the Scenes of Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Behind the Scenes of Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Get ready to experience glitz, glamour, and splendor like never before. Moulin Rouge! The Musical is taking up residence at the Des Moines Civic Center August 20 - September 1. This dazzling show of truth, beauty, freedom and love recently celebrated its fifth year on Broadway and has won a total of 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical (2021).

From costumes to set design, Moulin Rouge! The Musical is eye-popping and intoxicating. Get ready to see it all live at the Civic Center - but first, take a peek behind the scenes. 

Moulin Rouge! The Musical is brought to life through a combination of award-winning sets, costumes, music and choreography. “There are so many different dance styles in this theater production,” says choreographer Sonya Tayeh. “The historical Can-Can, contemporary forms, jazz, classical musical theater. It’s like a candy shop.” 

Tayeh claims that her biggest challenge while choreographing Moulin Rouge! The Musical was finding a way to build movement that both moves the story forward and stays clear inside the story.

Moulin Rouge! The Musical Cast Album

Moulin Rouge! The Musical has been praised as “the jukebox musical to end all jukebox musicals,” by Adam Feldman, Time Out New York. How did Moulin Rouge! The Musical get rights to scores of high-charting tunes that would be woven into the unique songscape? 

“Every artist deal was treated equally, and we were genuinely prepared to find an alternative for any song,” producer Carmen Pavlovic explains. “This required management and the creative team to hold hands and commit to the philosophy from the outset. It put the onus back on rights holders to decide whether they joined the club.” 

In the end, the score for Moulin Rouge! The Musical would encompass 160 composers, 70 songs, and 30 publishers. There has never been anything like it before on Broadway.

Catherine Zuber and Derek McLane worked to design the costumes and set of Moulin Rouge! The Musical. The process involved dreams of glamour and excess, creating an environment in which the entire theater becomes the Moulin Rouge before the show has even begun. 

“I began by amassing huge amounts of research,” scenic designer Derek McLane explains. “There were many period photos of Montmartre and the Moulin Rouge, of Parisian courtesans’ apartments.” The walls of the theater, McLane adds, are draped in no fewer than nine different types of red fabric, each its own hue and pattern. The heart-shaped portals you see upon entering are loosely inspired by Baz Luhrmann’s film. “I worked hard to create a structure both densely patterned and lacy so that you see through one set of patterns into another,” McLane says. 

Costume designer Catherine Zuber poured the cast into a series of bespoke costumes, mixing Parisian silhouettes and edgy, contemporary couture. “Since the music is contemporary, the challenge is to introduce a modern interpretation,” Zuber notes. “The choreography is high-energy, requiring costumes that are not restrictive.” She notes that director Alex Timbers “kept us on track by insisting that the design should occur now and in the past simultaneously.”

Take a final glimpse into all that came together to create the Moulin Rouge experience live on Broadway. Don’t miss out on your chance to spend a night in the club, taking in the splendor and romantics with your own eyes. 

Moulin Rouge! The Musical Group Deals

Week 1: Groups of 10+ save 10% on select performances.

***Week 2: For a limited time, groups of 8+ save 20%! Must book by July 15.***

Call 515-246-2300 Monday-Thursday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. to book your block!

The Lauridsen Ticket Office Lobby at the Civic Center is closed for renovations through August 20th. 

How to Purchase Tickets: While the lobby is closed, you can still easily purchase your tickets or address any ticket-related needs by visiting our website at or by calling our ticket office at (515) 246-2300. Our friendly staff is ready to assist you with any inquiries or purchases over the phone.

Get Tickets Now



August 20 - September 1, 2024 Get Tickets


Top 3 Reasons to See the 2024-25 Dance Series

The top 3 reasons to become a Dance Series Subscriber for the 2024-25 season.

Read More

2024-25 Temple Comedy Series Overview

Don’t miss another laugh-out-loud season of fun with the 2024-25 Temple Comedy Series!

Read More

Trivia: Do You Know the Moulin Rouge! The Musical Cast Recording?

Moulin Rouge! The Musical and its music mash-up marvel is taking up residence at the Des Moines Civic Center August 20 - September 1.

Read More