Show Must Go On: Moulin Rouge!
The alumni from the Broadway Performance Club, driven by their ongoing passion for music and dancing, have collaborated with Circus Balkanski, the biggest traveling circus on the Balkans, to stage the musical “Moulin Rouge” in 2016.
Five years ago the Broadway Performance Club at AUBG performed “Moulin Rouge” as their annual show program and visited six of the largest cities in Bulgaria. Back then the show was praised by both spectators and artistic representatives. Now, the alumni, realizing the potential of the project, will produce it once again, more “spectacular” than ever, as they promised.
“This is a show unlike anything we have done so far. We have gathered amazing talents, and we can’t wait to show you what we’ve got,” Georgi Petrov, the director of the show, said. “Moulin Rouge” is one of the most beautiful tragic romances ever written with universally renowned music.”
The project includes a cast of 70 performers, who have been selected among hundreds of talented candidates in a national audition process. They will travel together with Circus Balkanski. The crew has already started regular rehearsals in terms of dancing, acting and singing. However, the schedule for the shows will be announced later in the spring.
The initial idea of the project came from Rafayel Khachatryan, an AUBG alumnus and the producer of the university’s production of “Moulin Rouge,” who currently lives and works in Sofia. Khachatryan is also the current producer of the show. He invited Petrov, also an AUBG alumnus, to direct the show and together they have started moving forward with the project.
Petrov said that up to know the circus crew has been fully supportive of them. They have negotiated on a price for a tent and on helping them with some of the stunts in the show.
Petrov shared that he and Khachatryan were two of the initial developers of the musical club in AUBG. After their first show “Hairspray” in 2010, they got even more motivated to develop the musical genre in the university.
“We had already elevated the musical significantly from previous years, but we wanted to go further,” Petrov said. “That is when we added more cities to the tour, we talked for the first time about hiring an orchestra and it was back then when Rafayel had the idea to perform in a circus tent for the first time.”
Petrov liked the idea immediately. From his director’s point of view he loved the idea of creating “a cabaret atmosphere, through the circular arena and the close proximity of the audience, for a musical, which is famously set in the great French cabaret “Moulin Rouge”. Unfortunately, back then due to time conflicts they were unable to cooperate with the circus.
The project relies on external financial support. The budget of the show is 150,000 BGN. The team started an Indiegogo campaign to help raise additional funding. Up to now they have gathered $950, which amounts to 10 percent of their $10,000 goal.
“This is a big project with a very complicated funding scheme,” Petrov said. “Crowd funding is a part of it, but not necessarily a fatal one, although I must say we expected more support than we have gotten.”
The show will take place in April and will reach the audience in major Bulgarian cities including Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, Burgas, Ruse, Veliko Tarnovo, and more. The crew aims to establish the musical type of show on the Bulgarian entertainment market.