The Phantom of the Opera Review – Blogmas Day 19

Hi everyone! As promised, I’m going to do a review on the musical The Phantom of the Opera.

I saw this musical this past Saturday and I kinda went over my whole day in my post yesterday which you can read here. That was quite an adventure!

Essentially I was able to get access to tickets to a few musicals before they went on sale though a promotion done by Broadway in Chicago. So I bought these tickets back in August I believe.

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My mom, sister, and I arrived about 20 minutes early as we were right down the street at the Christmas market and entered the theatre. Our seats were in the dress circle so we headed up and found our seats. By the time we entered almost everyone else was already seated.

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In short, it was truly an amazing experience. The costumes were really good, the set design was astounding, and the singing was, of course, perfect.

More in depth, there was so much I wasn’t expecting! The opening scene was the auction, and as you can see in the picture, the mezzanine level blocks the top part of the stage and the chandelier but the chandelier was lowered for the scene when it is lit up so we still go to see it.

I was blown awayΒ  by the level of detail put into the scenes where the cast is performing as the casts of various operas being performed. They have full costumes and props and everything for each opera and two pillars at either end of the stage were the boxes and I was surprised how often the actors were off stage as well. A few times there were actors out on the orchestra level, in the actual boxes, or in the pit. I was also surprised by how much Meg was on stage. She appears more often than I expected.

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The set design was incredible. In addition to the boxes on either end there was a giant rotating set as well. It would open up in half and separate in certain scenes or move closer to the end of the stage or back. The part that would open to the audience was constantly changing, serving as the background for the dancer’s dressing room, the Phantom’s lair, the cemetery, etc. Then it would turn around to be a tall wall with a section close to the top where you could see what would either be the rafts of the stage, or backstage where the Phantom enters his lair. Unfortunately because the mezzanine blocked the top of the stage we were unable to see what was going on when the actors were higher up in this section but one really cool part of this section was that the stairs would come out when needed and then retreat back into the wall. And further, a part of the rotating wall would open up with two huge double doors and it became the managers’ office.

It was such an intricate design for the stage. The costumes were also pretty nice although my mom and sister were not impressed. My favorite was actually the costumes during the masquerade scene because the women’s skirts were bedazzled and would sparkle when they turned.

There were also so many scenes that I didn’t even realize existed because the cast recording doesn’t have everything in it. It really rounded out the musical and the talent of the cast was amazing. The actress who played Christine, Katie Travis, sang beautifully and I thought her acting was really good as well. I didn’t realize how much time Christine spends on the floor but she really seems to be well acquainted with it.

The Phantom actor, Derrick Davis, blew me away. In the playbill his background included that he had been Scar in a past production of The Lion King and I could see why! His singing was absolutely magical and fit the role perfectly. He also spends some time on the floor.

Raoul, played by Jordan Craig, does not spend as much time on the floor but he spends a lot of time in a box. I liked this actor as well, definitely energetic and gave a great performance. I always felt that the role of Raoul was so dwarfed by the Phantom and Christine, and indeed his role is smaller than theirs, but when they’re all onstage together he really held his own and gave a lot to the scenes.

Of course the other actors, the dancers, Carlotta, the managers, Madame Giry and Meg, and the rest of the cast were really good as well. Carlotta’s actress, Trista Moldovan, had actually played Christine in the past, which I found to be really cool as she had been such a great Carlotta and the two roles are completely different. That must be really awesome to get to play multiple roles in the same musical! (Just different productions, of course!)

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Oh! A few more things about the set. And the production used a lot more fire in the performance than I expected. For a particularly dark set, there would be jets of fire that would come out of the floor and it was absolutely exciting and almost blinding at some times. It definitely brought the danger onto the stage. I’m curious about how they got the boat to move across the stage. And the part of the masquerade was absolutely beautiful. The tall mirrors behind the actors was amazing.

Overall the musical as a whole was mesmerizing. If any member of the audience misbehaved I had no idea because I was too focused on the stage. If I had to do it over again I would either sit in the orchestra section, preferably under the chandelier, or in the mezzanine where I’d see the top of the stage. But the performance itself was beautiful. I am so happy I had the chance to be able to see this musical this year and in such a great venue!


So that’s my thoughts on the Phantom of the Opera! If you get the chance to see this touring cast, I highly recommend you do. Let me know if you’ve seen this musical or what your dream musical to see would be! Having seen this one, I have gotten to see all my favorites and I can’t wait to see them all again!

Thanks for reading!

27 comments

  1. I saw Phantom of the Opera two years ago with my mom. I loved it and I saw the brand new 25th anniversary touring production. It was incredible and wow those costumes were beautiful. The set piece I was the most mesmerized by was the chandelier. Mom and I sat in the orchestra about nineteen or so rows back from the stage. I love it when the chandelier fell and that was the best part about the musical. I was spellbound from start to finish and almost teared up. This musical is hauntingly beautiful and my favorite song from Phantom is “Music of the Night”

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    • Wow! That’s amazing!!! I know what you mean, it was absolutely gorgeous and mesmerizing. I had been so looking forward to the chandelier falling and I was worried I wouldn’t see it because of the mezzanine. But it all worked out and it was amazing!!! If I had to pick a favorite song I think I would pick is actually “Phantom of the Opera” but lately I’ve been loving “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again/Wandering Child” a lot too! Next time I see this musical I want to get orchestra seats under the chandelier. I was talking to a coworker who did this and we agreed that if anything went wrong, death by falling chandelier at the Phantom of the Opera is the way to go! πŸ˜‚

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      • It would be nice if I get to see Phantom on Broadway some day, but at least I got to see it. I sometimes feel like Phantom isn’t the main character despite the title. I feel like Christine is. As a matter of fact I found out I was seeing Phantom when Santa in 2013 put tickets in my stocking and my mom’s.

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      • I would agree! I always feel more strongly towards Christine’s story and although the Phantom goes through incredible character development it’s all crammed at the very end, while Christine’s is throughout the story and we connect with her throughout. Fingers crossed we can see this someday on Broadway!!!

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      • But at least I have already seen a show on Broadway, Wicked-that was ten years ago. It was just a date with me and my mom. There is just something about seeing a musical with just my mom. Like me, she also loves musicals

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      • Awesome!!! I have yet to see a show on Broadway. I’m the only one in my family that really loves musicals. My sister and mom enjoy them but they only go because I invite them. I’ve been known to go by myself if I have to! I’m glad you have your mom as your musical-seeing buddy. πŸ™‚

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      • The other two musicals I saw with my mom happened over the same summer. Literally I week before Mom and I saw Pippin she bought the tickets and luckily we found two seats together and they were like the only seats together.

        The other musical I saw that same summer was Les Mis in the West End. It was my dream to see it there and were nine rows back from the stage

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      • That’s so lucky! I saw Evita, which is my favorite musical ever, and it was amazing but I saw it in a theatre in the round so I still want to see it on a more traditional stage. I did see Hamilton this year in Chicago and that was amazing!!! I’m so happy I got to see it. I somehow managed to get tickets the day they went on sale, three together, and for the first week of performances! We were in the mezzanine so a little high up but still a good view.

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      • I understand πŸ™‚ and it’s so important nowadays to just take the time to disconnect from everything and allow yourself to focus on what is happening in that moment. I don’t make New Years resolutions but I do set myself yearly “challenges”. This year for me was doing things that make me happy so when I realized that theatre and watching a musical does that for me I went to as many shows as I could. I have to think of a new challenge for 2017 but I’ll still see musicals for sure!! I actually need to get myself a subscription to the Broadway in Chicago productions. And if I do I’ll be seeing Les Mis!!!

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      • I think living in the moment is really important. I know next year I will be seeing “Little Shop of Horrors” because my school is doing it. The musical, “Rent”, is coming my hometown and I so hope I get to see it. When it comes to my blog, I have a partially musical theme to it.

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      • That’s really exciting! I’ll have to check out your blog πŸ™‚ but thank you for reading my post and chatting with me about musicals!!! I’m glad there’s other young people going out to the theatre and having a good time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been to a musical and am one of the youngest in the crowd!

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      • The musicals I grew up with basically formed the foundation of what I expect from a musical. All musicals were happy at that point. I discovered the dance, the spectacle, the positive and negative emotions, and the emotional connection through them. I feel like all musicals are interconnected to each other

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      • I’m so thankful for all the musicals I’ve gotten to see this year. They’ve all been so wonderful and I completely understand what you mean! Oh and something else I love about musicals is that you never run out of things to experience. You can listen to the recordings and then watch it however many times but you’ll always see or hear something new each time. It’s so magical!

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      • I only saw two musicals I saw this year, which were Wicked (fourth time this year) and my first time seeing Newsies.

        2015 was spent with four musicals, which were Music Man, Pippin, Les Mis in West End (seen it at my community college before three times), and Sound of Music

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      • Last year I only saw two, Wicked and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. This year I managed to see Evita, Beauty and the Beast, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Hamilton, Book of Mormon, the Addams Family, Singin’ in the Rain, and the Phantom of the Opera. I went a little musical crazy this year and spent a small fortune on tickets to all of these but they were so worth it!

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      • Usually I see usually see only one to two musicals per year. I know next year I will be seeing Little Shop of Horrors and my next one I badly want to see is Rent. Over the summer, King and I is coming in summer of 2017 and I would love to see it than

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      • Oooo, that would be a good one as well! Fingers crossed you get to see all of them! I haven’t quite settled on my musical goals next year, but I have tickets to Aladdin so that’s one so far! πŸ™‚

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      • If all of time work out, I could see three musicals next year. Little Shop of Horrors is already known. When it comes to musicals, next year Rent would be the ultimate so I wouldn’t mind if King and I doesn’t happen

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      • Fingers crossed for you!!! If I get a subscription to Broadway in Chicago for next year I’ll see the King and I as part of it but I’m still thinking about it! I can’t decide if I do want it or not.

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  2. […] Then my mom, sister, and I spent a very cold and snowy day downtown in Chicago. I did a whole post on my Christmas Inspired Day in which we saw the Chicago #Ham4Ham performance, stopped by the Christkindlemarket in Daley Plaza, and then went to Phantom of the Opera at the Cadillac Palace Theatre which I also reviewed. […]

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  3. Wonderful review! I loved all the detail you put into describing the costumes and staging. I am a huge Phan of all things relating to “The Phantom of the Opera,” and although I’ve only seen the show performed live twice, I can still remember the wonder at my first time seeing it live. πŸ™‚

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