The cast of the North American Tour of Moulin Rouge! The Musical, photo by Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade
‘Moulin Rouge’ actor brings benefit show to the Rose Room
RICH LOPEZ | Staff writer
If you can-can-can, head to the Rose Room on Monday night, March 27, for a special performance by cast members of Moulin Rouge! The Musical. The show is now playing at the Music Hall at Fair Park through April 2. But Monday night will be something altogether different — and it’s for a good cause.
“Our company believes in the power of art to create change, and we hope to bring attention and awareness to an often neglected disease,” cast member Tamrin Goldberg — one of the benefit organizers — said in a press release. “Together, we can stop TB.”
In the show, the main character, Satine, suffers from “consumption,” which is actually tuberculosis, hence this fundraising awareness event. But with performances by the cast, the show sounds like a “Crazy Rolling” fun time.
“The benefit concert will really be something entirely unique. It’s an opportunity to see these incredible artists doing what they love outside of the show that many of us have been performing in for over a year now … although you may hear a familiar melody kicking off the evening,” Goldberg said. “Our benefit concert will be an opportunity for Dallas to celebrate activism and to come together for art.”
Goldberg said about a third of the cast will participate in the show along with some of its crew.
Goldberg herself is a swing member of the cast and understudies both Nini and La Chocolat as part of the Lady Ms. As a swing, she has to be ready to jump in the show at any moment for any role — and she kinda loves it.
“This experience has been an absolute dream come true. To actually be doing it, bringing this amazing new choreography to life, is something I constantly have to pinch myself over,” she said by email. “Being a swing has been extremely rewarding, despite — or maybe because of — the inconsistencies and excitement. But I still have moments of disbelief, a year into the tour, that I am fortunate enough to be performing in this epic production.”
The show is very queer-inclusive, if not just flat out gay, with its sexy costumes and steamy interactions among cast members of all genders. Goldberg says that feeling is an organic one among the cast and in each performance that celebrates all people with diverse backgrounds, body types, gender identities and sexual orientations.
“In our show, Harold Zidler, the master of ceremonies at Moulin Rouge, says to the audience, ‘Everyone is welcome here.’ This is true not only for the characters in his world, but within our touring company. From day one, there has been an emphasis on creating a safe space where we feel celebrated and free to explore our sensuality and our authentic way of moving through the world,” Goldberg said.
When she talked with Andrés Quintero, the actor who plays Baby Doll, about that morale, he told her, “There is a visibility that stays true to the originality of what the Moulin Rouge was. It was like a time capsule, where all of these extremely progressive things were happening, not just with LGBTQ issues, but also with Black people, with the exchange of high class and low class people hanging out together.”
If you haven’t seen the show, Goldberg assured that won’t take away from appreciating the Monday night performances, where they all get to break away from the usual. And, she said she’s glad to bring the Art for Change event to the Rose Room.
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“ART FOR CHANGE is simply a name for Monday’s concert, but I hope to continue producing concerts like this one to raise awareness and support opportunities for advocacy within our company,” Goldberg said. “The Rose Room was recommended to me by one of our company managers who spent time in Dallas. I checked out the website, and knew it would be the perfect fit, if they would have us. I was lucky to be connected with the wonderfully generous Tracy Nanthavongsa.”
But with an expectedly boisterous night of showtunes and performances, Goldberg wants the reason behind it all to still be forefront.
“Moulin Rouge is a story of ‘Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and Love,’ but it also tells a tale of a woman dying of consumption, or tuberculosis, that today causes 1.5 million deaths globally each year and infects a quarter of the world’s population,” she said. “With my father working as a TB doctor and researcher, I was always surprised to learn that none of my friends had heard of it. This show has given me an opportunity to advocate for tuberculosis awareness across the country and to meet dynamic and effective advocates for TB elimination in organizations like We Are TB and Treatment Action Group, who are supporting the concert. I am grateful for the impact we have already made and for opportunities like this benefit concert to spread the word.”
ART FOR CHANGE: Moulin Rouge! The Musical Sings for TB Elimination, 8 p.m. Monday at the Rose Room. $20-$30, VIP $75. BrownPaperTickets.com/event/5763349.