Saturday, February 5, 2011

Phantom of the Opera- the review

For those of you that are not familiar with the story of The Phantom of the Opera I will give a quick synopsis:

As the show opens, we are witnesses to an auction where old posters, set pieces and other items from the opera house are being auctioned off- such as an old, still working music box and pieces of a magnificent, yet broken chandelier that featured prominently in a debacle that occured 70 years before, when the Phantom haunted the opera house.

We are then transported 70 years in the past when the debacle took place.

The cast and Corps de Ballet are practicing for the opening of Hannibal when they are interrupted by the new agents of the new owner of the opera house. We are treated to a sample of the evenings performance when the show's star is asked to sing an aria. It is then that the Phantom makes his first apperance and the star storms off, refusing to continue perfoming.

Christine, one of the Corps de Ballet is asked to step in and take over the role vacated by Carlotta. She sings for the agents to prove that she is up to the task. Everyone is stunned by her performance. When questioned, we find out that she has been secretly taking voice lessons, but does not know who her tutor is.

During the evening performance, Christine is stunning and the new owner of the house. Raoul, vicomte de Chagny, is in attendance. He recognizes Christine as his long lost childhood sweetheart and immediatly seeks her out after the performance is over.

Eric lives in the catacombs under the Paris Opera House. He has been disfigured since birth, lived and studied and designed secret passages for the sultain in India and learned the art of illusion while there. Since he has been living in the opera house, he has been secretly giving voice lessons to Christine Daae.

You can see where this is going Raoul loves Christine, Eric loves Christine, Christine love Raoul but owes her career and talent to Eric who has a strange and mesmerizing hold on her mind.  In truth, if it were real life, Eric would be considered creepy and a stalker, but as a book/play/movie it works and he is just creepy enough to keep us from liking him, but human enough for us to feel sorry for him.

So that is my synopsis, now on to my review of the high school production of Phantom of the Opera

Wednesday night was opening night for The Phantom of the Opera at the highschool. Normally I would not attend on a Wednesday night because I have school, but I only have 15 more weeks and haven't missed a night of school, Jake helped build the set and is running the sound for the play and the drama department was holding an opening night gala- just like in the play- which I donated some jewelry to sell, and I just plain wanted to dress up in one of my fancy dresses, sparkly jewelry, wear my fur coat and bask in  the feelings and energy that surround a production again.

I am speechless, yet cannot stop talking about this production. Wow, wonderful, amazing, holy cow, spectacular.. I need a thesarus to find more words to describe the experience.

First the set. Now Jake helped build the set but that aside, the set is!! The props and backdrops are breath taking. We did share the cost and set pieces with Dixie High school so both schools could afford to do this show right, but even so...

Casting- Broadway should be so lucky to have this talent. We did Les Mis last year and I thought the talent could not be topped. I was wrong. maybe. I don't know how to compare the two. I have had conversations with people that have seen both shows on Broadway and said that our production was better in every way. I have the Canadian cast recording of the sound track that I have listened to for years and I wish I had a recording of our cast instead. 

This is the first production our phantom has ever been in, you could not tell. He is Mr. Amazing.
And the choice for Christine- oh, wow.  I worked with her mother in HMS Pinafore, back when I did choreography, and she looks like her mother and sounds like her mother and it is so hard to believe that she is only a junior in high school.
Raoul- I would have never guessed this caliber of a performance, excellent choice
Carlotta- does not need a mike at all. Her range is amazing- and don't bring any crystal goblets with you or you will go home with shards.
The rest of the cast- because if I went through them individually you would get tired of me saying amazing, is just, well, amazing.

I am very stingy with my standing ovations. I don't think that every single kindergarten rendition of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star deserves a standing ovation and I also believe that they are handed out too freely here. I was the first one on my feet at the end of the show. It brought chills to my skin and tears to my eyes and I cannot effuse enough about the wonder of this production.

If you get a chance to attend- then run, don't walk to the highschool to get tickets because last night was sold out, tonight will be sold out and I am sure every other night will sell out as well.

A few show stats:
  • We are the 4th school in Utah to perform Phantom
  • Work began on Phantom in July 2010 and has been ongoing to the present
  • Over 20,000 work hours were invested to get the show ready
  • 3 trips to St. George were made as they collaborated closely with Dixie High School
  • Approximate cost of production $55,000.000 (non-tax payer dollars)
  • items for this show came from: Denver colorado, Brooklyn New York, Louisville Kentucky, Los Angeles California, Canada, Florida, Oregon, Texas and many other places far and near
  • The candelabras in the Phantom's lair are the same as seen in the Broadway production
  • Several wigs in the show were actually used in the national Touring Production of Phantom
  • Approximately 24 cans of gold spray paint were used for the set
  • The Chandelier weighs 440 lbs
  • There are 7 additional curtains/backdrops used in this production, while 4 standard blacks were removed to make room for the new
  • There are over 100 candles used in the production
  • There are 5 high E's sung in this production
There will be pictures from Gala night and I will post them later, but now I need to get ready to head out for tonight's production where Jake will be working and I will be selling tickets and then enjoying the show for the third time. (and I get to enjoy it 4 times next week. be jealous)

Indeed. add to kirtsy

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