“Moulin Rouge!” Forced to Evacuate After Elephant Statue Shows Signs of Sentient Life
by Daniel Tepper. @tanieldepper.
NEW YORK, NY - Moulin Rouge! The Musical faced a Broadway first this week as they were forced to evacuate the Al Hirschfield Theater in the middle of the Act One closing number, as it became clear that the set’s signature, glowing elephant statue had begun to show signs of sentient life, concerned sources confirmed.
“When the statue started shaking its trunk during the confusingly placed Postal Service portion of the mega-mix-medley that closes Act One, I thought I was just seeing things,” noted veteran stage manager Matthew Lincer. “A minute later, the Elephant opened its mouth to exclaim ‘Karen Olivo… she… she still has it!’ and I knew I had to get everyone out of there ahead of intermission to ensure the safety of the audience, cast, and crew.”
Tim Callaghan, an intern for Global Creatures, the show’s production company, was deemed “expendable enough” in case things went the wrong way and was tasked with approaching the elephant after the audience was escorted out of the theater.
“Of course I was scared at first, but Karen - that’s his chosen name, based on the person he spends the majority of time with - couldn’t have been kinder,” noted Callaghan. “He quickly understood the situation and agreed to continue his journey of newfound self-awareness only during dark hours and Wednesday matinees. Otherwise, he’d honor his part in the show and stoically pose in the background of people's pre-show selfies.”
Ensemble member Melanie Dirstoff has quickly grown close with Karen, citing that the elephant’s penchant for seeing the world with fresh eyes has had a positive effect on the show as a whole.
“People might give jukebox musicals a bad rep, but our show literally helped bring an inanimate object into consciousness,” stated Dirstoff with pride. “You don’t see the stairs in Hamilton having conversations with each other, do you?”
At press time, producers added that they would be keeping a closer eye on Karen for any unsanctioned movement. Lincer noted that this has become more difficult than he thought, as “that darn elephant cannot keep it still for The Postal Service.”
Producers refused The Broadway Beat’s request for Karen the Elephant Statue to comment directly, as he’s a “loose cannon” with “truly no filter” and recently learned to curse after overhearing a stagehand drop and break a lamp backstage.