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.
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.
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 away 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.
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!)
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!