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Karen Olivo, Aaron Tveit, Danny Burstein to headline ‘Moulin Rouge! The Musical’

Karen OlivoEmerson Colonial Theatre

Some highly regarded stage performers are lined up to star in “Moulin Rouge! The Musical,’’ a world premiere that is slated to reopen the Colonial Theatre in June before a planned run on Broadway.

The “Moulin Rouge!’’ cast — announced Wednesday by Global Creatures, the theater company that is producing the stage adaptation of the 2001 Baz Luhrmann film — will include Karen Olivo, Aaron Tveit, Danny Burstein, Sahr Ngaujah, and Tam Mutu.

Olivo, who won a Tony Award for her performance as Anita in the 2009 Broadway revival of “West Side Story’’ and originated the role of Vanessa in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights,’’ will portray Satine, the courtesan and chanteuse played by Nicole Kidman in the movie, set in turn-of-the-century Paris.


Aaron TveitNathan Johnson/Emerson Colonial Theatre

Cast as Christian, the writer (played by Ewan McGregor in the film) who falls in love with Satine, will be Tveit. After creating the role of Gabe in “Next to Normal,’’ Tveit went on to star as Frank Abagnale Jr. in the Broadway production of “Catch Me If You Can,’’ as Danny Zuko in the TV musical “Grease: Live,’’ and as commitment-phobic bachelor Bobby last summer in Stephen Sondheim’s “Company’’ at Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield.

Burstein will play Harold Zidler, the owner of the Moulin Rouge. A theatrical jack-of-all-trades, Burstein has been nominated for Tonys half a dozen times, including for his performances as Tevye in the 2015 revival of “Fiddler on the Roof,’’ as Herr Schultz in the 2014 revival of “Cabaret,’’ and as Buddy in the 2011 revival of “Follies.’’

Portraying Toulouse-Lautrec in “Moulin Rouge!’’ will be Ngaujah, whom Boston audiences may recall from his sensational 2012 performance at the Cutler Majestic Theatre in “Fela!’’ as Nigerian dissident and musical pioneer Fela Anikulapo Kuti. The role of the villainous Duke of Monroth in “Moulin Rouge!’’ will be played by Mutu, who starred in the title role of the short-lived 2015 Broadway production of “Doctor Zhivago.’’ Ricky Rojas (“Burn the Floor’’) will portray tango dancer Santiago in “Moulin Rouge!,’’ while Robyn Hurder (“Nice Work If You Can Get It’’) will play the dancer Nini.


As previously reported, the musical will be directed by Alex Timbers (“Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson’’), with a book by John Logan, the Tony-winning author of “Red,’’ and a score consisting of pop songs used in the film along with some newer tunes.

“Moulin Rouge!’’ is scheduled for June 27-Aug. 5 at the Colonial, which is owned by Emerson College and operated by Ambassador Theatre Group. Representatives of “Moulin Rouge!’’ have previously said it is headed for Broadway after the Boston run.

Don Aucoin can be reached at aucoin@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter@GlobeAucoin