The Life of a Lady M: Interview with Libby Lloyd of Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Libby Lloyd is embracing the dance heavy role of Nini in Moulin Rouge! The Musical. The Utah native started dancing at age 10. Lloyd went on to earn a B.F.A. in the music, dance, and theater program at Brigham Young University. Lloyd spoke about the musical and how she continues to evolve in her role.

[Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St.] July 5-23, 2023;

Harper Miles, Libby Lloyd, Nicci Claspell and Andres Quintero in the North American Tour of Moulin Rouge! The Musical
Harper Miles, Libby Lloyd, Nicci Claspell and Andres Quintero in the North American Tour of Moulin Rouge! The Musical, photo by Matthew Murphy.

Debra Danese: How would you describe your character, Nini?

 Libby Lloyd: Nini is feisty. She is determined. She is blunt. She is loyal. She is sexy and sensual. I like to think of Nini as the smartest person in the room. She knows the ins and outs of what is going on at the Moulin Rouge and uses information as power. She will do anything for her Lady M’s and those who are closest to her. Nini is a fighter who loves to perform and loves a challenge – in life and in love.

DD: What has been the best compliment you’ve gotten on your performance?

LL: A compliment that first popped into my head was from a review in Chicago, where I was dubbed, “the limber Libby Lloyd.” That has stuck with me and friends in the cast say it all the time.

On a deeper level, a partner of one of my cast mates has been following the tour; popping in and out from city to city. He has seen the show so many times! He stopped me recently and said, how each time he sees the show, my performance evolves. He said he didn’t realize it had any room for growth because he loved my performance from the beginning. Every time he sees it, I stand out and somehow make a new, more grounded choice that affects him. I really appreciated that because I have felt the growth and change over my time on tour. As I gain new life experiences, my depth of understanding Nini changes. I also feel more confident in my choices. It’s been such a beautiful experience to be able to play and find new things through so many performances as Nini.

DD: What has been your favorite stop on the tour so far?

LL: I really loved stopping in Los Angeles last summer. I am a sucker for the beach, so that is hard to beat! And we were able to finally celebrate our hard work with a proper opening night in LA. It was nice to be able to stay there for two months and see the fan base grow with each passing week. Lots of people came to see the show multiple times in LA.

I also really loved New Orleans. I’ve never been there before and I already can’t wait to go back. Good food, beautiful architecture, and such deep culture. It’s a special city!

Libby Lloyd

DD: What is the last thing you do before stepping onto stage?

LL: The four of us Lady M’s (Nini, La Chocolat, Arabia, and Baby Doll) love to catch up and chit chat before the top of the show. We put on our final costume touches of head pieces and drapery, then we gather in the stage right wing ready to step up onto the platform behind the curtain. In those five minutes, we connect and truly create a type of sisterhood so that we can stand up on that platform and start the show. No one told us we need to do this. We just like spending time together! We laugh, we support, we banter, we cry, we breathe, we hype, we over share, we improv, and ultimately, we connect. I absolutely love it.

DD: Have you ever been to the Moulin Rouge in Paris?

LL: I went to Paris when I was 18 on an art history tour. I remember standing in front of the Moulin Rouge and taking a picture because I loved the movie. But, I didn’t make it inside. I was too nervous!

Moulin Rouge! The Musical plays at the Academy of Music, on the Kimmel Cultural Campus, from July 5-23, 2023. [240 S. Broad St.]

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