The Broadway tour of Moulin Rouge! The Musical at Denver’s Buell Theatre will be a spectacular homecoming for Andrés Quintero. Quintero is a 2006 Aurora Rangeview High School graduate. When his family moved to Aurora from Caracas, Venezuela, he found himself in a “magical High School” that put him on a path he never expected.
“I really did have an incredible experience at Rangeview. and started doing theater my freshman year there. And we just had an incredible theater department,” Quintero said. “I mean, I'm telling you I do what I do because of what I did there and because of the teachers that taught me theater.”
Quintero said students at the school would often attend musicals at the Buell — the complete submersion into the theater helped him choose what to do with his life.
“That was so impactful to me that when I was a junior in high school, I decided that that's what I wanted to do with my life. And I get to do it today.”
Moulin Rouge opens in Denver this week. The touring production has made stops in Chicago and Minneapolis and will visit Los Angeles and San Francisco later this year. The 2021 Broadway version of the show won 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
Long before he moved to New York City to pursue his dream of acting, however, Quintero started on a significantly smaller stage: His first show at Rangeview, his first show ever, was Les Misérables in 2003 where he was an understudy, but ultimately took over the role of Marius.
“I was doing the finale for act one, and I had never sang in public,” he said. “My parents had never even heard me really sing. And the night before it was like, ‘Hey, I have to do this tomorrow in front of people during rehearsal. Can I, can I sing this for you guys?’
“And my parents [said]: ‘But you can sing’ and I'm like, ‘I guess I can.’ And the rest was history. I never stopped singing.”
Moulin Rouge! The Musical opens with the four Lady Ms, who bring the audience into the world of the Tony-winning show. Andrés Quintero as “Baby Doll” is one of the dynamic quartet. Quintero said his role gives him a special moment to share with his large number of family and friends who still live in Colorado and will come to the show.
”Can you imagine a more iconic opening? And it being me,” he said.“There were moments where I would just play the opening in my mind and just imagine what it would be like to do that at the Buell theater in front of these people who have grown with me and who have been through the ups and downs of this career.”
Quintero also plays several other ensemble parts in his track and hints at the scope of the musical number “Spectacular Spectacular.”
“I think that they should be prepared to have a wild night — but beyond just the explosion of sound and visuals, it's what our creative team has done with the story.”
Quintero said the core of Moulin Rouge lies in the story’s commentary on what it’s like to be an artist engaging in the artistry of your craft. It’s also a perfect time to stage a show like this, he said, as society opens up more while the COVID-19 pandemic wanes.
“Considering what we have gone through when we went two years without live entertainment, human beings on stage put in all that they got every single night,” he said. “I mean, I'm just, I'm ecstatic, to be in Denver, to do the show in Denver — being able to perform on stage for the first time in such an iconic theater, a theater that I grew up [with].”
The Denver Center for the Performing Arts presents Moulin Rouge! The Musical is at the Buell Theatre through June 26th.
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