Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall (2011) Review: Part One

"But his voice filled my spirit with a strange sweet sound, and that night there was music in my mind.  And through music my soul began to soar..."
~Christine Daae

I'm really, really going to try to get through this review without going full-on Gushy Fangirl.  No, honestly, I am.  Because though I love this production with a love great and fervent, it deserves a thoughtful and objective review that clearly outlines--

--oh, forget it, I'm just going to do things my own merry way.


I'm going to do something a bit odd here and start with the venue, instead of the main characters.  Because this movie, after all, is a bit different from those I usually review.  It's an actual film of the entire play-- in other words, every musical theatre geek's dream-she-dreamed come true, live in living color.  If the people who are in charge of such things did something like this for every great musical there's ever been, fangirls everywhere would freak out.  And then go broke.  Because they'd be spending all their money on DVDs, ya know.

The fact that this show was staged and filmed at the Royal Albert Hall was very exciting for me, because the RAH (as it will hereinafter be abbreviated) was also the location for the Les Mis 10th Anniversary Concert, which as you all know is very near and dear to my heart.  So it was quite interesting to see it all lit up and beautified for Phantom-- you can almost imagine you're watching the story unfold in the Paris Opera House itself.  Well, except when the camera randomly zooms up to the sound-muffling mushrooms.  Those parts kind of break the mood.  Heehee.

The only real downside to the show taking place at the RAH, really, is that some of the technical aspects of the production were not possible in this location.  The RAH stage is designed for concerts, not plays, so the "scenery" had to be arranged in quite a creative way-- all of the backdrops are actually projections on a LED screen or whatever it's called.  (If someone more knowledgeable about such things would like to comment and elaborate on how this was done, please do so.)  And of course there was another big difference between this production and the staging at a traditional theatre, but we'll get to that... when we get to it.

Okay!  Characters!

I was about to start with Christine in my List of Important Characters, but decided to begin with the Phantom himself (whose real name is Erik, in case you didn't know that, and I'll probably use the two interchangeably) because after all the play is called Phantom of the Opera, not Christine of the Opera. Nor is it called Carlotta of the Opera, though I'm sure she would enjoy that... wait, I'm getting ahead of myself again.

Ramin Karimloo plays the Phantom, and a very good job he does-- jum-jills.

(Um, sorry. Private sister joke.)

In all seriousness, this guy is my absolute favorite Phantom.  He's the first one I saw/heard all the way through, true, and you know what they say about your first being your favorite, but he really is unbelievably good.  He blends just the right mix of gorgeous-voice-and-entrancing-charismatic-what-have-you with creepy-stalker-who's-seriously-disturbed-but-everyone-pities-him-anyway.  And the voice, did I mention the voice?  THE VOICE.  Is this man my favorite singer?  He very well may be.  (Oh, but wait, there's also Michael Ball... and Alfie Boe... and all the Irish Tenors... and, um, yeah, I'm basically Philippa Gordon when it comes to music.)  Am I going to write the rest of this post as if I were Officer Tomilello?  Perhaps.   

Sorry.  Another private joke.  I'll stop, really I will.  (And hey, if you "got" the references in either of these private jokes, you are either one of my sisters, Margaret Hale or Marie--who are almost sisters anyway--, or else you're just exceedingly well-versed in children's literature.)

Anyways.  Ramin Karimloo as the Phantom.  Most excellent.  Yes.  Good.  

Sierra Boggess is absolutely gorgeous, people.  She's either the most beautiful Christine Daae I've ever seen or else very high on the list (Anna O'Byrne and Gina Beck are some other top contenders) and her voice, though not picture-perfect (or would that be record-perfect...?) is really, really good.  She's also a very talented actress, and puts more pathos and emotion into the role than any other portrayal I've seen or heard.  (And yes, you can totally tell if an actor's really getting into the role just by hearing it.  That is what musical theatre is about.)

Christine is sometimes seen as a cowardly, two-dimensional character who spends the whole play whining about how she misses her daddy and vacillating between two suitors when it's perfectly obvious (to both camps-- Team Raoul and Team Erik :D) whom she should have chosen.  Whether or not this view of the character is fair to Christine (I maintain that it's both unfair and inaccurate), Sierra Boggess' portrayal can't be accused of any of it.  She makes Christine relatable and likable, pitiable and admirable... and also, of course, totally enviable because hello, her CLOTHES.

Well, actually, that credit belongs to the costume designer, but still.

Sierra Boggess has been called a real-life Disney princess, and I heartily concur.  She was pretty much born to play Christine (yes, I know Christine isn't a Disney princess-- shush) and though she occasionally goes off-key just a little bit and her fake transatlantic slash posh-British accent in the spoken lines gets annoying now and then, she's still my absolute favorite.

(I like this cast.   In case you can't tell.)

(click to enlarge)
YAY FOR RAOUL.  You should all know here and now that I am totally, irrevocably and unashamedly Team Raoul.  He and Christine belong together, he's a great guy and he deserves a happy ending just as much as anyone else.  The End.

(Just kidding.  There'll be another whole post on Raoul-and-why-he's-awesome tomorrow.)

Hadley Fraser is another of my favorite singer/actors, and his Raoul is even better than his Grantaire (Les Mis 25th concert) or Army Captain (Les Mis 2012 film).  The aggressiveness he brought to the role has been criticized by many people, but I really like the depth he gave Raoul.  Yes, he comes across as a bit controlling at times, but if your girlfriend was being threatened by some masked weirdo who you weren't sure even existed in the first place, wouldn't you have a few anger management issues too?

Plus, the guy's got a fabulous voice (seems to be a running theme in this show... oh, wait, it's a stage musical that cast real theatre performers and not pop stars or movie actors, so I really shouldn't have a surprised feeling) and though his "guyliner" is a bit giggle-worthy now and then, at least he knows it.  Heehee.  And you need only see the picture above to realize what a good actor he is.   Much better than certain wooden or wimpy Raouls who just stood around in their long hair and sang their songs in stellar but limp voices...


Get on with the review, Amy.  Don't even dare any more to compare, say a prayer for your sorry--

I'm not going over every character in the show (not that there's THAT many of them, but I do have a finite amount of space here) in this review, but I do want to briefly mention Wendy Ferguson as Carlotta-- she's stinkin' hilarious and her voice is amazing and she has really great stage presence.  Most excellent.  Again.

Okay, done, now we can talk about the story.

The opening is spine-chilling, as I'm sure you all know.  No, not the auction-- that number isn't exactly boring, but neither does it pull you to the edge of your seat.  I'm talking about the chandelier being revealed and the orchestra plunging into that overture.  (I'm a sucker for overtures.)  Y'all know at least the first six notes even if you know nothing else of the music.  It's the big DA! Da-da-da-da-a! and boy, is it ever big.  (One of my wee minor complaints about the RAH concert album is that the sound mixing could have been done better-- in some parts it's really quiet and in others eardrum-blastingly loud.)  

"Hannibal" is kind of boring as well, unfortunately, and I'll admit that when I'm watching the film I tend to skip it.  I mean, it's a bunch of people prancing about in grass skirts and embroidered corsets and sometimes not even that, and Carlotta's swinging a skull around and screeching and Piangi's messing up his pronunciation.  Well, okay, that part's funny.  And that's where it gets good-- because that's where Andre and Firmin, the new managers, come in, and they're hilarious.  Barry James and Gareth Snook are indubitably the best managers POTO has ever seen.  

Sierra Boggess' version of "Think of Me" isn't my favorite, to be honest.  I really like the song, and she sang it beautifully as far as tune and everything goes, but she sounded too happy overall to really communicate the wistfulness of the piece.  And that outfit is stupid.  Sorry, but it just is.  She looks like she's wearing a brocade circus tent.  (Not to be confused with Carlotta's "Think of Me" outfit, which consists of two brocade circus tents.)

Raoul's reaction to Christine's performance is THE BEST, though.  Well, almost the best.  The best is really Andre's reaction to Raoul's reaction.  You can't see it too well in the gif below, but in the next few frames he kind of makes this "what on earth is going on here? Is this a sing-along? NOBODY TOLD ME," face, and it cracks me up every time.

Daisy Maywood plays a great Meg in "Angel of Music" (and in the rest of the play, too, of course)-- she seems genuinely concerned for Christine's well-being and isn't just pirouetting around the stage shrieking that she saw a monster under her bed.  Or whatever it is that she's always saying.  I mean, she does do that, but you get the impression that she actually has a personality underneath her ballet moves and paranoia/anxiety issues.  

Also, can we pause just a minute and gush over Christine and Meg's hair?  Because this is when their hair looks best-- yes, I know those are both wigs, and curly wigs made of human hair tend to kind of melt as they're exposed to hot lights and whatnot.  (Christine's hair by the time "Final Lair" rolls around, for instance, is quite straight and stringy.)  Anyways, I just want to have either of their hair (hairs?).  For my own.  Please?

I'll admit, "Angel of Music" and its segue into "The Phantom of the Opera" (minus Raoul's interruption, of course, which I love-- it's so cute) is kinda-sorta creepy.  I mean, this masked man shows up in a girl's mirror in her DRESSING ROOM after singing to her (supposedly inside her head, at that) for quite a while leading up to this, and she has no qualms whatsoever about following him into the mirror (Magic Attic Club vibes, anyone?) and down into his lair, singing all the way.  Yeah, his lair.  The dude has a lair.  Is this spooky?  Yeah, kind of.  Would it freak me out if it happened in real life?  Totally.  Is this a musical and therefore not real?  Yep.  Does it make for a really awesome pair of musical numbers?  Indubitably.  Let's say no more.

"The Phantom of the Opera" is a really cool song, and it's incredibly fun to sing dramatically with one's sister while doing the dishes, and this rendition of it is almost the best one ever.  The only things keeping it from utter and complete awesomeness are a) the absence of Ramin's signature "grows stronger yet" part (see it here and try to ignore the beard-- he was playing Valjean at the time and it's a role requirement) and b) the annoying electric guitar and synthesizers and all the other things that are making that horrid racket in the background.  I know this was composed in the 80's and has rock vibes and blah blah blah, but that doesn't mean I have to LIKE it.

Then there's "Music of the Night" and while I like the song well enough, I personally feel it's over-hyped, and to be honest, it bores me at times.  Ramin's version is great and all, but the song itself doesn't really thrill me.   (Sorry, MOTN fans.  Put the nice lasso down, Ally.)

One thing they left out of this version (and I'm really not sure why) is the life-sized doll in the wedding dress-- and because of this, Christine's swoon seems kind of random and out of place.  Doesn't detract from the scene-- it's just funny.  So is the Phantom's extremely historically-inaccurate tattoo peeking out from  under his sleeve cuff when he reaches for the candles at the end. AAAAHEEEEEEEEEEM.

(Also, this screencap is kind of hilarious.  Heehee.)
"I Remember/Stranger Than You Dreamt It" kind of reminds me of that little-kid song about the tree-- you know, the one about how the branch was on the tree and the tree was on the roots and the roots were in the ground and the green grass grew all around and around (and the green grass grew all around).  "And on the lake there was a boat and in the boat there was a man... and the green grass grew all around and--"

Stop it, Amy, or no one is going to take this review seriously.
Not that they really did in the first place.

Anyways, the part where she rips his mask off is admirably done, though I wouldn't have complained if there was a little less swearing.  Phantom honey, there are many other ways to express your feelings than just using the d-word.  Consider telling Christine that she is a meanie-head, or announce your desire that she grow like an onion with her head in the ground.  Oh, and the way you switched abruptly from cursing at her to pouring out your desire for her to love you is not really the best method of charming a girl.  Just thought I'd give you a heads-up.

If it weren't for the fact that I already have so many other favorites, "Notes" might very well be my favortie song.  It's just so hilarious, and Andre-and-Firmin really get a chance to shine here.  "And what is it that we're meant to have wrote? ...Uh.  Written."

My only complaint is that everyone sings over each other way too much.  If you thought "Confrontation" in Les Mis was bad, you should listen to Phantom.  Sheesh.  Of course most of what Carlotta sings is unintelligible anyway (she's just complaining in Italian with a lot of trills) and all Piangi's doing is repeating whatever Carlotta says (does that man ever do anything other than follow Carlotta around and mispronounce stuff...?) but I wouldn't mind being able to hear Raoul more clearly.  Of course, that's what online lyrics are for.  :D

Oh, and by the way, I really love how Madame Giry's voice kind of meshes in with the Phantom's as they read the notes aloud.  Very cool.  The notes themselves are great too.  "Every note's overblown and the third trombone HAS to go-- the man could not be deafer so please preferably one who plays IN TUNE!"

(Hasty insertion here that Liz Robertson makes a great Madame Giry and I apologize for not mentioning her before, and she might want to lay off the black lipstick and all because it kind of makes her look scary, no offense.  And there are practically no pictures of her to be found on the Internet, so go watch the film and you'll know how she looks.)

And for your random information, PTO does not mean, as I thought it did, "Phantom [of] The Opera."  It means "turn the page over."  Melody quite kindly pointed this out to me, and though I never would have thought of it myself, it makes perfect sense.  Why would he sign the note as the Phantom and then again as the O.G.?  O.G.?  Who the Halifax is he? ... *loud huff* OPERA GHOST.

"Poor Fool, He Makes Me Laugh" was never very high on my list of favorite songs-- that is, not until I spent a week with Melody and for some inexplicable reason it became Our Song.  The tune we hummed while making lemon squares, the snatches we sang while hiking in the woods, the lyrics we whispered to each other while other people were having dinner and making sensible conversation... it seriously never stopped running through our heads.  And now I have fond associations associated with it.  The song itself actually is kind of hilarious, and Wendy Ferguson's Carlotta really hams it up.  The whole opera-within-an-opera is really funny, too-- everything's so exaggerated and silly and some of the lines are just comedy gold.  "I shall not leave, but shall hiiiii-iiiiide.  Over There."

Also Sierra Boggess manages to look gorgeous in a page boy outfit.  Which really shouldn't be a surprise.

Annnnnnd that brings us to the end of Part One.  Because if you thought I was going to squeeze this whole movie into one post, you thought mistakenly.  Tune in tomorrow for Part Two!


Melody said...

*sees post*
*scrolls down and clicks on comment box*
*moves comment box conveniently to the side so it's nice and accessible*
*scrolls back up*

I feel REALLY proud of myself for knowing about the stuff to do with them having to change things a bit to fit in RAH. Because usually I don't know these bits of trivia until I read them on your blog. Haha. ;)

No FAIR. You shouldn't reference private sister jokes unless you're going to tell us all.
Oh, wait, you sometimes reference private Tween jokes and I never seem to have a problem with that.
Well... *sputters* STILL. ;P

*cough cough* Gerard Butler was the first Phantom *I* saw, and his he my favorite?

I'm shocked and awed that you didn't mention Aaron Tveit with your list of favorite singers there. Hahaha.

Nope nope, those other girls aren't possibly as beautiful as Sierra Boggess. Hahahaha. She's practically perfect. (But beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all that. And now you are quoting Sir Percy in your head, I know you are.)

Haha, her accent never annoys meeee. :P Examples?

BAHAHAHA about the wimpy Raouls... ;)

Why did that make me so excited... ?

Carlotta is hilaaaarious. :D

Yep. THE OPENING. Oh my word. As soon as you hear the word "illumination" and then the sparks flying (literally) and the music suddenly bursting and booming... if I was in the habit of doing such things I'd probably bounce up and down on my seat and squeal loudly. :D

Oh, but YES, I agree about the sound mixing.

YES about Think of Me!!! Exactly right. Quite so. (Is my comment boring? :P Haaa, okay, that was a reference to something so old you probably don't even remember it...)
To brocade circus tents... BWAHAHAHA.

I toootally didn't notice Andre's face during Think of Me until Lily commented on it... hahaha!

Um, yeaaah! You can have Meg's wig and I'll take Christine's, thank you muchly. :) (They are the closest to our hair colors, after all, and since you said you want either, I quite decidedly want Christine's, so you know. *holds out hand expectantly*)
And it does look rather stringy and strait(er) during Final Lair... but at least that's realistic. I mean, I wondered because of that if it was her real hair, haha.

Hahaha, yep, agree agree about the freaky-ness but it still being good for the musical... althouuuugh I don't like all the percussion that starts up during the percussion and then after that electric guitars?!?! What the Clemens... :P

*cough cough*
Erm, in point of fact, I like the normal "grows stronger yet" better than the one you linked to

Um, yeah, rock vibes mean one should *dis*like it in my extremely humble opinion. ;)

YESSSSSS about Music of the Night!! I love you! I was right to think I'd agree with an astonishing amount in this post... and this comment will proberly be so long I'll have to split it...

Oooh! Is the life-sized doll usually in the other plays??? I DID NOT KNOW THAT. I thought it was just from the movie.
Don't look at me like that. I mean, how was I to know otherwise. *huffs*

Yeah, but the lake to the boat to the man is the only succession it has and the other bits of the song aren't like that. :P Besides, it's fun to sing. HAHA. ;)

Okay, I'm gonna have to split this up... heh, heh... sorry about that, everyone-except-Amy...

Melody said...

I'm baaack. Did you miss me?

Oh my word, you think there's too much singing over each other toooooo??? I didn't know you thought that. I totally agree, but I didn't know you thought that. Hahahaha. The only thing I ever heard you say about singing-all-at-the-same-time was about Wandering Child and that it gave you chills. LIMM.

I thought the voice switching to the Phantom's during note-reading was a little odd, tbh... especially since once he starts, the other person (Madam Giry or Firmin) just stand there holding the paper as if they're reading from it but their mouth isn't moving... that was very badly-worded, but you get the picture.

YES about the black lipstick. She was kind of black in general. And a little too fond of banging her stick. :P
(BTW, it's so FUNNY to see her Normal-but-still-costumed self talking in the behind-the-scenes...)

OOOOOH you thought PTO was referring to Phantom of the Opera TOOOO? Oh my word! Now I don't feel half so STUPID! Hahaha. ;) I guess it must be "page turn over"? Although that doesn't flow right...
"Who the Halifax"--SQUEEE RTA reference!! *dances* I guess "who the Hartford, Hereford and Hampshire is he" wouldn't quite work...

Squeeee visit reminiscing. *nostalgic but happy sigh* What was it, Friday morning, I think?
You: Pooooor fool, he makes me laugh, hahah--
Me: NOOOO NOT AGAAAAAIN that actually was out of my head until now, you GOOSE!
*moment's pause while you stand there giggling and then I'm like, eh, whatever...* POORRRR FOOL, HE DOESN'T KNOW! *in unison* HOHOHOHO-HO!


I think our craziest day for that was Saturday, though. Remember getting ready for the party? Seriously, it was ridiculous how much we were singing that. And making up other words and everything. Hahahaha. :D


Looking forward to Part Twoooo!

Miss Jane Bennet said...

Um. This comment is going to be really long. Just thought I should warn you. :D
Okay. I see the title and I'm like, SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP! 'Cause I haven't watched the complete version of it yet, and I'm really curious about it.
Then I see the words "Ramin Karimloo" and I let out another squeal that I'm not going to type because it would take up too much room in the comment box.
(And HAHAHA! Very good they are- jum-jills. I make that joke with my sister, too! Aminals are such fun.)
OK...I am not one of your sisters, therefore I am exceedingly well-versed in children's literature. With six younger siblings...yep. :D
Sierra Boggess...to be honest, I haven't been very impressed with what I've seen of her. But I haven't seen very much, so maybe my opinion will change...and Christine is most assuredly not a doormat. I love her character in the book especially. :)
Hadley! And I love Raoul! And that picture is so funny! And he is not a wimp! And I need to stop and move on or I'll have to split this into two parts!
...Moving on. Sorry.
(But ohhhhh, yes. What's-his-name who played Raoul in the movie was the woodiest of wood blocks. Indubitably.)
Woohoo! (And the POTO overture is so awesome. Just sayin'. And also, I am a complete fangirl of POTO. So forgive me if I use excessive capitals occasionally.)
HAHAHAHAHA (poor fool, you make me laugh), "a brocade circus tent. Not to be confused with Carlotta's..." that made my day. :D
Yes! I need to watch this...Meg is one of my favorite characters, and too often she gets (mis)labeled as a wimp. And those wigs are to die for. As are some of Christine's outfits.
Ahhhh those pieces! I love them!
Um. Heehee. That screencap is hilarious! :D
Heehee…I love this review!
Can’t wait for Part 2! (Sink me, the lady’s a poet! :D)

Indigo Montoya said...

I know you've already read my review of this concert so you'll already know my views on it. But I will make a few points : D

- That view that Christine is a cowardly, two-dimensional character is absolutely NOT true but it has to be said that Musical Christine isn't a terribly well-developed character either. I actually came to ALW's Phantom after reading the Leroux novel - which you MUST read! : D - and that book's Christine has definitely got more depth. On paper Musical Christine isn't a particularly strong character but if she's being played by a really great actress like Sierra then she is. Was that unnecessarily long-winded? LOL.

- Barry James and Gareth Snook were my managers when I first saw POTO live. I know I'm immensely privileged : D

- Sierra is at her best for me in WYWSHA, the Point of No Return (sorry!) and in the Final Lair scene. Her Think of Me is really nice but it's not the best I've ever heard. Have you heard Gina Beck's version of that song? Her cadenza is amazing!

- Looking forward to your other posts!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review. I saw Phantom for the first time on stage (gasp!) last Thursday in London. Considered buying this DVD, but wasn't sure how the video-recording-of-a-live-show would work out, so I just bought the Highlights CD (London Cast). Will probably buy this in a few weeks when the highlight CD fails to feed my Phantom craving.

Mykaela said...

OH MY GOODNESS, I ACTUALLY GOT THAT PRIVATE SISTER JOKE! And laughed my head off too! (well, not literally). That was hilarious, because I love that random story popped into a very wonderful post about my favorite musical ever. :D I was sooooo excited to hear that you were doing POTO for musicals week...:) By the way, is it ok to put my answers for the quote quiz into the comment box? Just wonderin.

Melody said...

*TWO brocade circus tents.
(I knewww I should have proofread my comments...)

Katelyn said...

Loved this production! I bought it last year not long after it came out and have watched it twice. Sierra and Hadley are wonderful. Sierra is my favorite Christine.
And Ramin, he's just fantastic! Perfect displays of emotion during the whole thing.
I'll post more on them on my blog this week.

Caroline L. said...

YESSSS!!! *squee*

I LOVE Phantom, especially this DVD, so very much. My wonderful younger brother bought my the DVD for Christmas, for which I am very adoring and grateful.

OH YES. Musical people really should make DVDs for more stage shows. Think of all the money they would make from girls like me who live in the midwest, nowhere near a real theatre! I'd make them rich!

RAMIN. This guy. O my. He is the reason I discovered Phantom in the first place. I adored him as Enjolras in LesMis25 and immediately became completely obsessed. I was down for a week after having my wisdom teeth out last year, and I spent most of my nights on Youtube since I couldn't sleep for the pain. I was on a HUGE Ramin kick, watching/listening to ever clip of him I could find. And one night, around 4 in the morning, I clicked on some video called "POTO theme song" and there I went. Off the cliff of phantom-obsession.

But anyway, Ramin is an AWESOME phantom. And he and Sierra have such amazing stage chemistry and rapport - they are a pure joy to watch! Sosososo good they are.

*snicker* Carlotta of the Opera. Hehehe. Good one.

SIERRA. If it's possible for anyone to be as fabulous as Ramin, Sierra most definitely is. She IS Christine. My favorite Christine now and always. She truly does sound like an angel.

Hadley! Okay, he actually makes Raoul likeable. Yes. I'm not team Raoul. At all. In most cases, I'm quite anti-Raoul, but who could dislike Hadley Fraser? Actually, in POTO 25, I think he is quite cute, and while I do not think he and Christine a good match (incompatible personalities. They make cute friends, yes. Lovers, no), I quite heavily ship Raoul and Meg. I think Meg is secretly in love with him! Her eyes follow him when he is onstage, and when he is going to go down to the phantom's lair at the end, her "I'm going with you!" is so heartfelt. Meg would never have wanted to sally down to the phantom's lair just out of curiosity. I mean, we saw how much just the idea of him freaked her out! But she wanted to go with Raoul to make sure he would be all right. Meg and Hadly-Raoul would be so cute together!

Carlotta. Hee hee! Wendy Ferguson is fabulous.

Overture! I love me a good overture, and POTO's has to be one of the bestest ever!

Yesyesyes! When the managers arrive! Hee hee! Those two are something else!

*GASP* You no liketh the rockiness of "The Phantom of the Opera"? *speechless* *mouth agape*

*GASPS SO BIG SHE CHOKES* WHAT??? Music of the night OVER-HYPED??? BORING???? THESE WORDS DO NOT GO TOGETHER! *cannot comprehend* *pulls MotN up on Youtube and begins to listen ardently*

Well... I personally was happy about the absence of the dollie. Ug! That was always just plain odd. And I think it works without it quite well (I didn't even notice it was gone for the first few times).

*giggles* Andre and Firmin in notes! They are such a hoot!

POOOOOOR FOOL HE MAKES ME LAUGH! HahahahaHAAAAA! *snigger* OH! and Andre's "The ballet. Ladies and gentlemen: the ballet. Yes, the ballet..." hahahahaha! Cracks me up every time!

What? The post is over? So soon? Aw. Well, I'll be back tomorrow then. ;]

Alicia Showalter said...

This was so perfect and haha - that dress actually DOES look like a brocade circus tent haha :) Where do you come up with these things? :D I love Christine's hair (or wig, whatever- let's pretend it actually is her hair :) ) Looking forward to reading part 2!

Alexandra said...


Okay. So. Ramin *IS* awesome. Second favorite Phantom EVER. Third is probably John Owen Jones. Look 'im up. I need to get you a list of Final Lair performance bootlegs to watch. Anyway.

Sierra is, of course, perfection. I've loved her stuff since I saw her Part of Your World yearrrrs ago. So awesome. And she is PERFECT here. Not too young (HELLOOOO, Emmy Rossum!!!!), has a GORGEOUS soprano voice that doesn't get all squeaky and pinched when she goes high...yup, LOVE her. And how funny...Gina Beck and Anna O'Bryne are my other favorites, too. Whoda thunk. :D Gina and Anna are kinda more my mental pic of Christine, I think (although I've never established quite an actual mental pic), but Sierra is SO AWESOME...yeah. Just...yeah.

And by the way...she *IS* a Disney princess, and she *has* played one. So. Yeah.

Hadley is a good Raoul. Not my fave, but he's good. I actually *ducks* kinda love Patrick Wilson's Raoul. Yeah, he's floppy, but he's sooooo compassionate, especially in AIAOY, which I feel like Christine needs. Raoul can get a bit too shouty sometimes here. But I don't hate him AT ALL.

And while there was a time that I was a team Phantom gal, I have since come to the fact that it would have never worked and accepted Raoul. :)

Yes, yes, yes, everyone was awesome here...

LOL about Hannibal...and yes, Think of Me is always awesome. And in the costume's defense...it's supposed to be a costume in a play. As much as I love the film's version, it doesn't really fit in with a play about Romans and stuff.

AND NOW MY PET THINK OF ME THEORY. She sings it that way because it's the beginning of the play and she's this innocent girl who has no idea about love and how painful it can be and the depth of it and everything. It's this super-deep song and she's just singing it blithely away. It just shows the character development through the show. I like to think that if she sung the song at the end of the play after she leaves the Phantom, it would be sung a lot different. In fact, the song is kind of symbolism for the whole play...it could be written by the Phantom for Christine as far as how perfect the lyrics are. I mean, ya know?

"Think of me,
Think of me waking
Silent and resigned...
Imagine me
Trying too hard
To put you from my mind.
Think of me,
Please say you'll think of me
Whatever else you choose to do,
There will never be a day
When I won't think of you."


Anyway. The mirror scene IS creepy in an awesome way. It's supposed to be, ya know, because they've been talking about this ghost and at this point you're like, IS this a ghost? What is it? Anyway.

LOVE LOVE LOVE the title song. So awesome. Okay, so the electric guitar wasn't in the original recordings and wasn't added until the movie (to modernize it, maybe? BLAHHHHHHH). So yeah.



*breathes heavily as I put down the lasso*

GIRL. How dare you. :P It is my FAVORITE song in the whole show. It's so DEEP and PASSIONATE and so GORGEOUS and so...amazing. Of course it's Michael's song and only He can do it Full Justice...but Ramin's is pretty cool. And the CHEMISTRY in this scene. And just...sigh, girl. Sigh.

Stranger Than You Dreamt It...so cool and creepy. And yes, pooooor Phantom has major issues. Did you knowww that Raoul's personal twist on the Phantom was that he played him as having Asperger's Syndrome? Look it up, but it's basically a highly functional form of autism and the symptoms fit perfectly with the Phantom's social issues, lack of anger management, genius, etc. Also makes it all the more tragic. Anyway.

Notes, yes. Hilarious. Also Prima Donna, although, gotta say...the movie version is pretty hilarious. :D

And LOL about Sierra as a boy. :D

Anyhooozies, GREAT review!!! Love!!!!

Katy said...

This is the best review I've read of the 25th anniversary. I'm totally Team Raoul too. Hadley is amazing! (As are Ramin and Sierra and pretty much everyone else.) Stranger Than You Dreamt It reminds me of that song too, by the by. xD