Roughly 15 years later, Justin Levine, the year-old music supervisor for the lush new Broadway adaptation of the movie, wanted to try again. He had to solve a creative problem: how the villainous Duke of Monroth, played by Tam Mutu, would meet the heroine, Satine, portrayed here by Karen Olivo. Levine made obtaining the rights a personal point of pride. While on a trip to Germany, Mr. This time the answer was yes. If it all works right — and based on a tryout run in Boston and hot-selling early Broadway previews at the Hirschfeld Theater, the odds look good — the musical adaptation of Mr.
But the giddiness onstage is in contrast to the arduous negotiations it took getting there. The Moulin Rouge itself is a storied Parisian venue that has gone through many incarnations — cabaret, theater, music hall — since its founding in the lateth century. Along with getting Mr. Luhrmann, a fellow Australian, to sign off, she had to persuade another screenwriter and even the Moulin Rouge itself, which had licensed its name and imagery.
Much more. More than a third of the songs are mashed-up in one number. So are many other core numbers. But much of the music debuted after the film, giving the production a fresher, more contemporary feel. Which meant that along with its recognizable Broadway stars like Ms. First things first: How to retell the story of Christian, the wide-eyed writer, Satine, the dying courtesan, and their love-, sex- and absinthe-crazed bohemian world.
As filmmaker, Mr. Luhrmann had the luxury of quick cuts and dissolves to move things along. The musical has to tell a story in real time. Logan, a Tony-winning playwright and screenwriter. In , he and Mr. Levine gathered for a three-day summit in a Times Square hotel. Logan brought notecards outlining what he thought the story could look like. Levine brought a keyboard. Both brought in songs they thought would serve the story and their characters.
But the question remained: Would they ever actually be able to use those songs? Using the wish list provided by Mr. Logan and Mr. Levine, Ms. Pavlovic set in motion the difficult work of getting to yes.
Pavlovic brought in Janet Billig Rich, a producer with a deep well of experience in the music industry, to help with the clearances. The permissions and costs vary depending on how much of an individual song is in the musical and for how long.
Contemporary pop songs are often written by committee, and many feature samples of material written by a whole other set of creators. Each night the cast takes the stage, the composers receive a royalty payment, which is proportional to how long a given song is in the show and based on a cut of revenue. If a composer or a publisher demanded an exorbitant sum, the creative team was willing to improvise. Billig Rich said. This was a song with 11 credited songwriters , meaning Ms.
Pavlovic had to obtain approval from each one of them. McGregor and Satine Ms. Kidman trade off lines about their romance. Each line is from a different pop song. Levine holed himself in his office for several days, spreading lyric sheets on the floor to piece together songs that might work. Tveit and Ms. The solution, Mr. Levine found, was for Ms. Olivo to answer Mr. A cast album seems inevitable, and Ms. Pavlovic and her team have already begun to clear a whole new set of hurdles. Each recorded track will be its own unique copyright — meaning the team is going back to all the individuals and publishers who own stakes in the music and asking permission to present the songs as they are specifically done in the show.
And if the show is produced internationally, song rights will have to be cleared for these territories. But no matter how complex, the songwriters have every incentive to sign off. The producers are the ones who lose millions. With 70 Songs.
But Mr. And it started before a single word was written. The grand total: 70 songs credited to writers. A hotel room summit First things first: How to retell the story of Christian, the wide-eyed writer, Satine, the dying courtesan, and their love-, sex- and absinthe-crazed bohemian world. Hire an expert Using the wish list provided by Mr. She did. All except for one: Mr. Home Page World U.