This week, Jared Bowen reviews three world premieres in Boston theaters with “Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” “Dark Room,” and “Leftovers.”

“Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” presented at the Emerson Colonial Theatre through August 19

Moulin Rouge! The Musical
Karen Olivo and Aaron Tveit with company members of "Moulin Rouge! The Musical"
Matthew Murphy

The Emerson Colonial Theatre has reopened with the world premiere “Moulin Rouge! The Musical.” Based on the Oscar-winning 2001 film, it’s the story of Christian (Aaron Tveit), a lovesick writer who is drawn to Satine (Karen Olivo), a chanteuse at the Moulin Rouge. Written by Tony Award-winner John Logan and directed by Tony nominee Alex Timbers, this musical features a packed pop playlist, combining music from the original film with a menagerie of contemporary hits. “A show that gleefully sends us down its rapids of spectacle and wonderment,” says Jared. “It’s built on reverence for show and artistry, and it soars on deliriously delicious performances.”

“Dark Room,” presented by Bridge Repertory Theater at the Multicultural Arts Center through August 16

Dark Room
The cast of "Dark Room" at the Multicultural Arts Center
Andrew Brilliant

At the Multicultural Arts Center in Cambridge, "Dark Room" is a world premiere play inspired by the work of photographer Francesca Woodman. Playwright George Brant has created 11 independent scenes, acted by a cast of 22 women, that serve as interpretations of Woodman’s images. A RISD graduate, Woodman took her own life at age 22 in 1981. A silent protagonist in a polka dot dress navigates the audience through vignettes that range from the haunting to the humorous. “A wonderful, fascinating concept brilliantly developed,” says Jared, “'Dark Room' is an engrossing piece where the momentum comes in the anticipation — like furiously tearing through your favorite book.”

“Leftovers,” presented by Company One Theatre at The Strand Theatre through August 18

Irvin Scott, Marc Pierre, Kadahj Bennett, and Christian Scales in Company One Theatre's production of "Dark Room"
Paul Fox

What would you do if you could wish your way to a better life? In the final installment of a season focused on the black male experience in America, Company One Theatre presents the world premiere of “Leftovers.” Written by Josh Wilder, “Leftovers” tells the story of brothers Jalil and Kwamaine, two young men living in South Philadelphia who want their family to be “Cosby Show happy.” When a giant dandelion emerges from the sidewalk, the boys begin making wishes on its enormous petals — with surprising results. Eschewing regular ticket prices, the entire run is pay-what-you-wish. Jared describes “Leftovers” as “a show built around hope that, in the end, generously leaves us with plenty.”

Do you have a favorite play or musical from this summer season? Tell Jared about it on Facebook or Twitter!