“The Phantom of the Opera” at the Orpheum Theatre: The Music of (Last Friday) Night

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Everyone loves the story of The Phantom of the Opera. It was very apparent as the crowd packed into the Orpheum theatre on friday night, leaving only single tickets for the reviewers. Often, when musicals that have been produced into a movie come to town, audiences expect certain things they’ve seen on their screens, when live theatre is a very different story. This production of Phantom, however, can barely be compared as it has been completely re-vamped. Although it had the same plot and classic songs, I thought the additions and cuts made the show stronger.

The music in this genre isn’t exactly my taste. Everything sounds a bit screechy at points, but I could tell they did a good job with it, even though I wasn’t the biggest fan. The live orchestra fit the style of the show and sounded beautiful. There was wired surround sound that went around the theatre for when the Phantoms voice was heard which I thought worked very well and sounded eerie. I thought Christina had a great voice, Raul sounded very classical which made sense, but again isn’t quite my feel, but it was the phantoms voice I wasn’t too sure about. He sounded great towards the beginning of the show and I’m not sure if he got tired- or tried to make his voice sound more vulnerable for emotional effect- but I wasn’t very impressed. When it comes to acting, however, I did really like the phantom. There was so much character development throughout the show and in the end an absolutely touching moment at the end as he sits onstage singing “Masquerade” with the wind up monkey toy. The dancing was beautiful from the ballet girls. There were points I found it to be a little too much-too distracting, but I loved how ambitious it was and how graceful it felt.

With the current era of flashy and  bright everything, our teenage eye isn’t typically as drawn to the old fashioned victorian opera house type look. In this case, the set blew me away. I have no idea how so many different scenes and places could be created in one show! With each rotation of the turntable stage, the set got more and more beautiful. From the opera house, to the offices, to the courtyard, I fell in love with the set. The lights helped to move the show along without being distracting and the costumes looked beautiful and fit the era. The stage magic was breathtaking in this production. It didn’t look tacky- like a magic show but between the stairs appearing from the side of the set and the flames the phantom throws to of course the chandelier magic, the effects felt effortless.

Overall I thought the show was a beautiful and unexpected. I believe this new version will stick for years to come. All of the elements felt cohesive and the show took me away as the night went on. Phantom of the Opera is a dollar well spent.