Quote of the Day: Night time sharpens, deepens each sensation, darkness stirs and wakes imagination. Silently the senses abandon their defenses. from the Phantom’s solo, The Music of the Night, from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ever popular, longest running musical The Phantom of the Opera. The Broadway tour has a stop at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis, MN through Dec. 1, 2019.
The Phantom of the Opera is a mystical, magical show with haunting music, troubled characters, and impressive set. I was pleased to see that Derrick Davis was back behind the mask as the Phantom. I saw him in the tour two years ago and was blown away by his performance. What a treat to hear his mesmerizing voice again and see him bring this tortured character to life. Emma Grimsley plays Christine. Her voice is light and lovely and she gives Christine a sweetness that helps you believe that she cares for her strange tutor. Jordan Craig is back as the charming Raoul who sings the heart throbbing love song and tries to set Christine free from the Phantom’s spell and protect her from his violent actions.
I was drawn to this story from the start, when it first appeared as a musical in 1986. I read the book by Gaston Leroux. I saw a performance of it at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in 1991, in the standing room only section. I bought the cast recording, songbook, and commemorative mug. There’s something about the Phantom, his isolation from society, his longing and genius, his fear of people, and yet his deep desire to connect with someone, all create a sympathy for him. All his life, he’s only known pain and torture, rejection and abandonment. Then, he sees Christine, he hears her pure, sweet voice, and she becomes his muse, his one obsession. “You alone can make my song take flight,” he sings to her with such hope and longing. But, of course, she can’t exist in the darkness. She is a real person who belongs in the light. And, yet, she is drawn to him. He pulls her in with his music, his teaching, his admiration for her, and his sorcery. He is said to be both a musical genius and inventor. Since he lives in the dark places of the Paris Opera House, he knows every secret passageway and hiding place. He can move quickly and silently.
As the Phantom brings Christine into the light of stardom, she finds real love with Raoul. She sings the Phantom’s music, but needs to go her own way. He doesn’t know how to let her go, so he lures her into his lair, the maze and caverns of the Opera House. But, Raoul won’t let her be kept there. Christine shows the Phantom great compassion, even love, and he doesn’t quite know how to react. Perhaps, for a brief moment, he’s pulled out of his own darkness.
David Benoit and Rob Lindley play the humorous, and sometimes foolhardy, managers of the Paris Opera House. Their scenes add levity, and I always enjoy the rhythmic humor of their lyrics, especially the one about the “Notes.” Trista Modovan is a spectacular Carlotta with powerful vocals. The Phantom targets her because he wants Christine to sing the lead roles, but she is a Diva!
Sarahgrace Mariani is a darling Meg Giry. I’ve always loved her solo where she asks Christine, “Where in world have you been hiding? Who is this new tutor?” Her dancing is beautiful as she leads the other ballerinas. The entire company is strong. With all the moving parts of the set, the falling chandelier, and stunning costumes, this is a Phantom that creates all the magic and memories. Musical Director Jamie Johns leads a marvelous group of musicians that bring this gorgeous score to life.
This press release gives all the details and proper credits:
Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s phenomenal musical success, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, is now on tour across North America. Critics are raving that this breathtaking production is “bigger and better than ever before.” This PHANTOM features a brilliant new scenic design by Paul Brown, Tony® Award-winning original costume design by Maria Björnson, lighting design by Tony® Award-winner Paule Constable, new choreography by Scott Ambler, and a new staging by director Laurence Connor. The production, overseen by Matthew Bourne and Cameron Mackintosh, boasts many exciting special effects including the show’s legendary chandelier. The beloved story and thrilling score – with songs like “Music of the Night,” “All I Ask Of You,” and “Masquerade” – is performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this PHANTOM one of the largest productions now on tour.
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Journaling Prompt: Write about a magical or memorable experience.