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PostSubject: PHANTOM OF THE OPERA ALW's version   Tue Dec 29, 2009 8:56 pm

I don't know if there was a thread for the original stage production, but there should be. Some of us still love the stage version and I was blessed to have seen it twice this year; once in Los Angeles at the Pantages Theatre and again in Las Vegas at the Venetian Hotel.

I hear that one of our dear members got to see it recently in Florida. Let hear details....
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PostSubject: Re: PHANTOM OF THE OPERA ALW's version   Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:15 am

I first saw ALW's Phantom of the Opera in Regina in the mid 90's, and that started my lifelong love affair with Phantom. I got the most fabulous Christmas gift this year, which was to go see the opera in Fort Lauderdale on the 27th. It was PHENOMENAL!!! I know many people haven't had the opportunity to see the Opera itself, but if you ever get a chance, you should. It's a very different experience to see the Opera versus reading the books or seeing the movies.

In this version, Tim Martin Gleason played the Phantom. He was excellent. One thing I noticed compared to the 2004 movie (which will be the movie I reference unless otherwise noted) was that in places, he played the Phantom to be much more sensitive, which is neither better nor worse, just different. One thing that I really enjoyed was during masquerade, he arrives as the true Red Death, not the smoking hot death that Gerard plays, which is truer to the book. An interestin tidbit.....Tim Gleason actually holds the record for the longest stint as Raoul, before taking over as the Phantom.

Trista Moldovan played the role of Christine. Now, I may get shot here, but here's my opinion. Firstly, I've never been a huge Sarah Brightman fan (don't shoot!). That's just me. I saw Phantom the first time with the canadian cast version, and that's what I got used too. Then came Emmy Rossum in the movie, and I love her voice. I found that Trista was very similar to Emmy, which was great for me. She had a phenomenal voice and played the role extremely well.

Sean MacLaughlin played the role of Raoul. He was also quite good. I did find the role of Raoul seemed smaller in the Opera than in the movie, but maybe that's just me. He also had a fantastic voice!

Compared to the movie, I was quite surprised at how similar the opera was. I guess I shouldn't be since ALW did them both. The whole first act was nearly the same, except of course that the chandelier falls at the end of the first act, right after All I Ask of You (reprise). Now, the chandelier fall was pretty cheesy. Mom says that she remembers out west that it was much better, but I suppose with safety precautions and stuff, it can't be like the movie.

In the second act, the big difference for me was between the masquerade scene (or actually right after) and the "Notes/Twisted Every Way". In the movie, Phantom gives his instructions on his opera right after masquerade. In the opera, he sends notes like in the first part, giving his instructions. They also show them rehearsing Don Juan. And of course, no swordfight in the graveyard

Overall, I couldn't have been more pleased. I was actually rendered speechless at the end, which my mom said she was going to write on the calendar, cause I always have something to say Smile I would love to see it again next year, but mom says she doesn't want to see it that soon again. So, I may have to go by myself, but I wouldn't care. I would love to see it again.

I'm curious to what other people who have seen the ALW opera think, compared to the book, the movie etc. PhantomnessFay, I know you've seen it recently so you must have some input. I'm curious to know how many Phans have seen the actual Opera!
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PostSubject: Re: PHANTOM OF THE OPERA ALW's version   Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:38 am

Well, technically no one has seen the "opera" because one doesn't exsist. ALW wrote a musical, dear, and then he produced the same movie of said musical. Yes, there were many differences due to budget and Hollywood.

For me, or at least currently, is the stage version. I'm in love with ALW!Erik right now and I can't bring myself to stop watching videos on YouTube.

I saw the show twice. Once when it came to Philly and once in NYC. Both times were amazing but I got to see Howard McGillin's last performance in New York so that time was a little more special.
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PostSubject: Re: PHANTOM OF THE OPERA ALW's version   Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:17 am

Opera, play, stage production, same difference to hear my 79 year old cousin describe them. First of all, she'd never heard of Phantom, let alone the stage production. Secondly, she thought the 2004 film was an opera. I told her they were not really singing opera. She insisted they were and that she couldn't understand them. What could I say?

Anyway, I loved both the 2004 film and the stage productions. The one that travels is different from the one in Las Vegas. Of course to make the movie more dramatic, the sword fight replaced the Phantom tossing fireballs at an unarmed Raoul. The chandelier falls as a climax of the film and then of course the results in the final lair scene.

Now in the Vegas production things move much faster since the casinos want people back at the gaming tables ASAP. One major difference between the 2004 movie and the traveling stage version is in the final lair scene. Instead of the Phantom tying Raoul to the portcullis, a cage emerges from the floor around and envelopes him. This displays the powers of the Opera Ghost.

I loved the movie for what it was; especially since Gerry starred. Yet all the stage productions were excellent. Each Phantom was excellent and unique in their own way.

As for the rest of the cast, well done. Superb acting. I saw Phantom many moons ago when it first came to Los Angeles, and the chandelier looked like a real one and the one in Vegas not only appears real, it has three tiers which separate later in the show to reveal an eavesdropping Opera Ghost. Yes, he dangles from the chandelier, somethng the other stage productions did not have.

So happy to hear of the wonderful experience Gabby had attending the Florida productions. Brava! Phantom rules!
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