If this production is based on the last Broadway revival, then the Spanish translations were done by Lin-Manuel Miranda, author of "In the Heights."
You didn't mention the lighting. It was SO frustrating to so frequently not be able to see the actors or their faces, especially when compounded with the sound issues. I agree with your comments about the orchestra. The sets were uninspired. All in all, I felt that the talented people on stage were let down by the production side of things, as was the audience. Even the ushering was weird - did no one meet with the ushers to explain the numbering system?. And one usher opted to disrupt the opening number by bringing a couple down to the very front, only to return up the aisle with them (noisily) because they were on the wrong side. I was very excited to return to the Kodak Center to see a show as I often went there when Greece Athena did their shows there. The Athena production staff did not seem to have these same issues with the venue. For the price RAPA is now charging for tickets, one expects more...
Excellent write-up, looking forward to the interpretations.
Bravo! Looking forward to it...
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Nick, I couldn't agree more. It isn't the story that's flawed. As you say, the original production has lasted since 1986.
Doglanta, on November 25 in Fort Lauderdale, FL, the principal actors will be replaced, INCLUDING Cooper Grodin.
The Phantom will be played by Chris Mann
The principal Christine will be Katie Travis
Raoul will be played by Storm Lineberger
OK, just got back from the Phantom show tonight in Atlanta and I have to say I hated it. Well not all of it but a lot of it. I thought Julia Udine did a good job as Christine, and I thought the stage scenery was better than I thought it would be for a touring version of the show. But, the actor playing the Phantom, Cooper Grodin, was absolutely terrible. It was almost as if he had never actually heard the songs before. He seemed to rush through his lines and songs. Sometimes the songs sounded like he was just shouting words instead of singing. He really ruined the show for me. My daughter said he sounded like he was doing a Saturday Night Live parody of the Phantom, and not a very good one either. The show was not a total loss but it was by far the worst of the 6 version of it I have seen. Disappointing. Plus, unfortunately the sound at the Atlanta Fox Theater was really bad. Many people were commenting out loud that they could not hear the actors let alone understand what they were saying. There were also some key Phantom elements missing from there show such as Christine de-masking the Phantom. How can you remove that from this show? This version of the show may not seem as bad for someone who has never seen the show before but if you have seen the original show chances are you will feel cheated.
RocTheStage, thank you for the note. The story has been updated.
Great review! Just one thing - Chai is NOT a Hebrew letter - it's a Hebrew word consisting of two Hebrew letters. Important distinction in the play and otherwise.
Great to hear that. Saw Sister Act in germany in oberhausen and it was such a fun to watch. Left theatre as a very happy person with my friends and a kind of easy living-feeling. This site provides much information and material like photos and videos, enjoy: http://www.musical-72.de
I think it is actually the production that is flawed, not the story (if it were the latter, why would it have lasted over a century?). Go and watch Hal Prince's original production if you haven't already, and you'll find yourself completely immersed. It is far superior than this poor attempt at money-saving.
Had the pleasure of catching the show on opening night....truly outstanding acting by these three terrific actors. A very though-provoking, moving, emotional show to be sure!!
Yes, I noticed the wobbly statue. The critics almost all seem to be raving about the new production, and although some of the new sets/scenery are quite good, the big multi-purpose drum, the "Masquerade" Ballroom (although the red-uniformed Phantom is completely unimpressive and not frightening), the show is clearly a down-sized, cheaper version.
Sorry, I forgot to say "YIKES" before!
Yikes, some people take this show WAY too seriously, but I also kind of understand the obsession, having a slight case of it myself. I would just like to add that I was disappointed by some of the updating/downsizing, and distracted by the thought that producers were motivated by saving money. Did you happen to catch the statue that wobbled as The Phantom climbed aboard? ? I say again: Yikes.
You get some things right in your breezy analysis of the restaged, touring Phantom of the Opera. For instance,
The show has been and is massive successful.
The plot is a long way from being, say, Hamlet.
Cooper Grodin isn't a very good Phantom.
The secondary characters are better done than in the original production.
You just "don't get it" with your inability to grasp that there can be a love triangle. You don't see or understand it, but audiences for over 25 years have seen it and understood it.
Some people undoubtedly come to the show for the spectacle, but the repeat customers, who have had a big part in keeping the show a success (some of whom are now bringing their children to see it) are led with great theater craft to care about the Phantom in the last scene of the show---as does Christine---probably because we all are given some insight into what has made the Phantom the dangerous and angry man he is (a life-time of rejection, beginning with his mother).
In the last scene, both Christine (and most of the audience, minus you) see his pathetic situation and sympathize. During the rest of the show, we see the danger and mystery and---in the original production---the elegance and magic of the character.
At the end, he is stunned when Christine willingly kisses him. Something happens to him. If he were the madman you think him to be, he would have been very unlikely to have undergone a change of heart and let Christine go with her young man, despite knowing he is losing his last chance at the kind of happiness most ordinary men know (HE believes it is, as unlikely as it might seem to a cooler, clearer head). It might well be the first really unselfish thing he has done. Real love is unselfish.
You apparently do not see these things or just can't believe they could happen, even in a musical, but audiences mostly CAN believe it, and the touching emotion of the final scene, I believe, does more to sell the show than the falling chandelier.
It probably wouldn't if it weren't for the music.....but Lloyd Webber has written beautiful music for flops.
The fact that you don't "get it" doesn't mean it doesn't happen.
By the way, Grodin's Phantom (I would bet it's more Macintosh and Conner's Phantom) is soft in some ways, probably an attempt to make him seem more "human," but he is the most violent Phantom I've seen in several times I've seen the show (several, NOT hundreds or anything like it). He pulls her hair, chokes her, throws her on the bed, and climbs on top of her.
--And the show still works!
thank you for bringing David Raymond's reviews back to City.
I think this is a very important play. It raises issues we should all be thinking about. I really think it is less about science and religion than it is about who we are, how much of our own identity is in the stories we live and tell. This has universal application. Are we living the story we want? Are we telling our family members our stories now? Can we find ways to make our stories vital to our communities? And....when our own story conflicts with another's...then what? How do we act, or react, or tell that story? A very, very important play that raises these topics in a way that allows us to think about them in new ways. Please go and take your friends and family.
Several young performers have been on national touring shows. Alizabeth York (Gananda) was in The Music Man; Colin Nims (Gananda) was in Oliver; Tim Mitchum (Rochester) was in Lion King; Clay Thompson (Gananda) was in several tours and is in Matilda on Broadway. There are many many others too!!
- John Barthelmes (who had the privledge of working with each of those amazing performers)
I just saw Rob Campbell, Penfield High School Class of 1987, in the Broadway show ALL THE WAY. He plays George Wallace. Amazing actor and guy!
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