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The Phantom of the Opera

A musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber

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The Quintessential Musical

  • Jun 12, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+4
I thought about this recently when there was a documentary on the Ovation Channel (yes, apparently there is one), recalling the difficulties of its production due to the personalities involved. When Phantom was released in London in the 80s, musicals were at their all-time height of popularity. People were getting in line overnight, camping outside the theater and fighting over tickets. Performers were like the rock stars of their time, and almost every new musical was enthusiastically promoted and attended. My parents joined the frenzy and as a 10-year old I was exposed to endless CDs of Les Miserables, Phantom, Cats... and sometimes worse.
I saw Phantom with the original cast - Michael Crawford, Sarah Brightman and Steve Barton and it was, quite simply, awesome. The staging, effects, music, performances - everything combined to create a spellbinding experience that explained why people were willing to sit for 24 hours in London's rain just for the chance to see it. It was undoubtedly one of the most memorable events, and we ended up seeing in another 3 times over the years.

My mom convinced me to write to Michael Crawford and send in my program for an autograph. I didn't expect a response, but a week later my package was returned with everyone's signatures and a personalized typed letter and photograph. Mr Crawford started my obsession with collecting autographs, and out of all of the celebrities I ever approached, he was by far the most personable to his fans. Strangely enough, I heard that Steve Barton died about a year ago, and his family in Round Rock, TX were searching for original memorabilia - the program has now found its home in their collection.

Every few years, I end up seeing Phantom of the Opera again. I'm really looking forward to seeing the Vegas performance, since I hear good things. It's one of those rare pieces of entertainment that has something for everyone.

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June 12, 2009
Great review and great story. What are some of your other favorite autographs? I recently saw Les Miserables in New York, but I have to say I was not as impressed as I hoped to be. Are you a Miss Saigon fan? One of my favorites.
June 12, 2009
Thanks! For years I hunted down everyone at the stage door - Gordon Kay from Allo Allo was very friendly, Maureen Lipman from 42nd Street was funny, and Frankie Vaugn was pretty miserable and unpleasant. Les Miserables is just hard work for me - my folks have seen it nearly 40 times and I was dragged there almost a dozen. It's obviously clever and well done, but just really taxing. Miss Saigon was excellent - it's a shame it got canned...
 
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More The Phantom of the Opera reviews
Quick Tip by . August 04, 2010
posted in Music Matters
I saw Phantom last summer on Broadway. Great story, pretty incredible effects.
Quick Tip by . June 16, 2010
One of my favorite musicals of all time. SO moving -- a total classic. If you haven't seen it, you must!
review by . January 14, 2004
Pros: special effects are amazing, awesome sets, romantic show, great songs     Cons: closing soon     The Bottom Line: This really is a fantastic show. I wouldn't recommend it to little kids, though. GREAT date show!     When you have friends that really know you, they really know what you like to do. I am fortunate enough to have someone close to me that knows me so incredibly well that he took me on my "dream date": tickets to see Phantom …
review by . January 14, 2004
Pros: special effects are amazing, awesome sets, romantic show, great songs     Cons: closing soon     The Bottom Line: This really is a fantastic show. I wouldn't recommend it to little kids, though. GREAT date show!     When you have friends that really know you, they really know what you like to do. I am fortunate enough to have someone close to me that knows me so incredibly well that he took me on my "dream date": tickets to see Phantom …
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About this product

Wiki

Winner of seven 1988 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Andrew Lloyd Webber's masterwork is a timeless story of seduction and despair. Set at the Paris opera house, a beautiful soprano becomes the obsession of a mysterious, disfigured musical genius.

http://www.cheaptheatretickets.com/phantom-of-the-opera/ - All the info you need on The Phantom of the Opera including reviews, cast info and tickets.

http://www.phantomoftheoperalondon.com/ - Details on the London production of The Phantom of the Opera. Find videos, reviews, cast info and a history of the show.
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