Travel There – Sardi’s and Moulin Rouge
It was supposed to be Joe Allen’s and Moulin Rouge, but I had a little planning hiccup, so we ate at Sardi’s instead. All of my life I’d heard of Sardi’s, so I wasn’t too upset, until I got there. BORING!! There is no longer any sizzle, only a very tired restaurant, mediocre food and a zombie waitstaff. Let’s move on to more exciting things.
So, while Sardi’s was a real disappointment, Moulin Rouge was not. There was frisson in the air as we approached the Al Hirshfield Theater. Everything was under construction along the street, which added it’s own chaos to the gathering crowd, wearing their masks and whipping out their phones for entrance into the theater. Apparently, actual paper tickets are a thing of the past.
Once inside the theater, we were all Bohemians, but you’d better not be carefree enough to take off your mask. All around me I heard stories of a show being stopped while an usher beamed a light at unmasked people. Someone else said they’d seen people thrown out of the theater for taking off their masks. A flyer warned us of all the things we were not supposed to do and just in case we missed it, an usher explained the seriousness of the crime of masklessness.
The musical was everything you’d want a Broadway production to be. The set, as you can see above, was amazing. The costumes were great. And the voices? WOW!! We were in the balcony, but we could see and hear everything with ease. We loved it.
I’ll be honest though, I did not love the music of the musical as much as I did the music of the movie. It wasn’t the singers. It was the songs. What I didn’t know is that the show was written in a way to include current music in the story. I’d especially loved some of the songs in the movie and was waiting eagerly to hear them. One of the first songs belted out was Lourde’s Royals. It fit in perfectly and it’s a song I like, but it was my first clue that I’d be hearing different music that night than I had anticipated.
It’s a great show and very much like the movie, but not exactly like the movie, even beyond the music. Logistics was part of it. You just can’t fit the movie set of Moulin Rough into a Broadway theater, so you saw only the inside of Satine’s dressing room, not the huge elephant it was on. While absinthe, the dangerous green spirit, plays a role in the live show, it is somewhat different than the movie. In the movie it was almost exalted, while in the show it is more clearly a villain.
Should you go? Absolutely! It was one of the highlights of the trip, but don’t eat at Sardi’s. All in all this was a red letter day. To go to the Met and a spectacular Broadway show, all in one day, was pretty amazing.
We trotted back up Broadway to our hotel, doctored our various ailments and got ready for the next day. Getting old really does suck, but it is better than the alternative.
Next up, a walking tour of Mid-Town, so be sure to come back next week for the Morgan Library, the New York Public Library, St. Patrick’s and Top of the Rock.