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Between the popularity of the can-can, the appearance on stage of such performers as Frank Sinatra and Édith Piaf, and the madcap spectacle of director Baz Luhrmann's 2001 hit Moulin Rouge!, the historic Moulin Rouge cabaret in the Parisian red-light district of Pigalle has fueled the imagination since it was built in 1889. Named for the facsimile of a large red windmill situated on its roof, the Moulin Rouge served as inspiration to countless artists and provided a means of escape — into the arms of courtesans — for innumerable men seeking a night of pleasure.

Ballet Nouveau Colorado chose to draw inspiration from the famous bordello for its Valentine's Day production of Moulin Rouge. Created by Garrett Ammon, the troupe's version follows the story of a young woman who's captivated by the dance master at the most infamous nightclub in Paris.

Moulin Rouge opens tonight at 8 p.m. at the D.L. Parsons Theatre, 11801 Community Center Drive in Northglenn (303-450-8800); tickets are $22 to $26. Additional performances are tomorrow night at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 4 p.m.; on Valentine's Day, catch a special engagement at the Paramount Theatre, 1631 Glenarm Place (303-405-6080), at 8 p.m.; tickets are $38 to $55. Visit for information.
Feb. 8-9, 8 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 10, 4 p.m., 2008


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