For Paideia School alum Tamrin Goldberg, dancing in the chorus is a dream come true 

With 10 Tony Award wins, Moulin Rouge! The Musical is one of the most lauded shows of the 21st century. 

The jukebox musical, with a book by John Logan, is based on the hit 2001 Baz Luhrmann film, Moulin Rouge! As in the film, the musical celebrates more than 160 years of music—from Offenbach to Lady Gaga. 

“This show is a love letter to some of the most iconic songs of the last few decades,” said Tamrin Goldberg, one of the swings (actors available to cover any of several character “tracks” in the show) of the national tour of the production. “The movie is filled with songs that we know and love, and the musical takes it a step further, incorporating over 70 pieces of music. You can’t help but leave the theatre singing.”

Above: Tamrin Goldberg
Top: Adéa Michelle Sessoms and Jennifer Wolfe in the North American Tour of Moulin Rouge! The Musical. Photo by Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade

Flooded With Memories

The fact that the show is playing the Fox Theatre April 19 to 30 is a dream come true for the performer. 

You see, Goldberg moved to Atlanta from Seattle in the middle of eighth grade, where she somewhat accidentally found a love for musical theater at The Paideia School. “Because of the school’s elective requirements, and joining the class mid-year, I was asked to sing in the chorus, directed by the wonderful Kate Murray,” she said. “I connected to singing in a way that I never expected, having spent the previous decade focused solely on dance. From there, I performed in our junior high musical, The Pirates of Penzance, and was totally hooked.”

She was also a student at the Atlanta Ballet’s pre-professional division under the leadership of Sharon Story. 

“My time there, learning from incredible teachers including Dora Manela, Armando Luna, and Roscoe Sales, created a foundation of technique that has held me up throughout my dance career,” Goldberg said.

She is thrilled to be back at “The Fabulous Fox” for the first time in 15 years and has fond memories of the theatre.

“My eighth-grade history class was fortunate enough to go on a backstage tour of The Fox shortly after I arrived in Atlanta, and we learned about its legendary history and unique design,” Goldberg said. “Less than a year later, I was on the stage, performing in The Nutcracker and other Atlanta Ballet productions. I know I will be flooded with memories as soon as I step inside.” 

 Can-Canning Across the U.S.

Of course, it’s in the very nature of being a swing that there is no typical night on tour for her. Goldberg covers eight roles in the production—the six “heels” ensemble dancers, plus La Chocolat and Nini.

“On a given night I could be performing in any of these tracks—sometimes with as much as a month’s notice, and sometimes finding out right before the curtain goes up,” Goldberg said. “There are even times that I’ve had to go on mid-show, getting completely ready in less than five minutes! It’s wild, and we are always on our toes.”

On nights when Goldberg isn’t performing, she is working on personal projects, spending time in physical therapy with the show’s physical therapist, Natalie; watching and reviewing the show; or just catching up with the other offstage company members.

She said she’s thrilled to be can-canning across American stages now as part of the Moulin Rouge! tour.

“I have learned so much from this magnificent group of people, both onstage and off,” Goldberg said. “Our company is kind, generous, unique, wildly talented, and so much fun. I cannot imagine a better group to be surrounded by on the wild ride that is a national tour. From the cast, to the band, to the crew, to management, I feel lucky to have this group of ‘bohemians’ by my side.”

And she loves how audiences are transported and inspired by the production. Moulin Rouge! tells the story of a young composer named Christian, who falls desperately in love with the alluring singer Satine, star of a legendary Parisian nightclub, the decadent Moulin Rouge.

“This is a powerful love story—it’s a tale of passion, of friendship, it’s a wild spectacle, complete with dazzling sets, costumes and lighting design,” Goldberg said. “The musical medleys are mind blowing and the choreography is unmatched. Our show celebrates the bohemian ideals of Truth, Beauty, Freedom and Love, and our incredible company does as well.”

Pinching Herself

Goldberg vividly remembers watching the movie shortly after it came out, and as a result has been dreaming about dancing to the song “Roxanne” since 2001. “To actually be doing it, bringing this amazing new choreography to life, is something I constantly have to pinch myself over,” Goldberg said. “It also feels like a perfect culmination of my interests as an artist and activist.”

While Moulin Rouge! The Musical is a story of truth, beauty, freedom and love, it also tells a tale of a woman dying of consumption, today known as tuberculosis or TB, a disease that killed more than a million people worldwide in 2020, second only to COVID among infectious diseases. 

“I grew up learning about tuberculosis, with my father working as a TB doctor and researcher, and was always surprised to hear that none of my friends had heard of it,” Goldberg said. “Still, so few people are aware of TB’s presence in the world. 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. I am grateful for the impact we have already made.”

Gabe Martínez as Santiago and Libby Lloyd as Nini in the North American Tour
of Moulin Rouge! The Musical. Photo by Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade