Sally Scheef 
Member since Apr 23, 2014


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Re: “Theater Review: RBTL's "Phantom of the Opera"

@Sally Cohen,
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!

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Sally Scheef on 04/23/2014 at 11:24 AM

Re: “Theater Review: RBTL's "Phantom of the Opera"

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!

4 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Sally Scheef on 04/23/2014 at 6:33 AM

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