I haven't written in quite some time, I was waiting to finish a phan book to review it, but I have the need to write. So I will cover my first time at Phantom of the Opera. Eventually I hope to recount each of the performances I have went to, as well as future performances.
So here's the official date that the magic happened, June 8, 1994. I was 11 years old. My elementary school used to arrange field trips to a Broadway musical for the graduating class going on into middle school. 1994 I was part of the sixth grade graduation trip and the school picked the phantom of the opera! My mom was there, they asked her to be one of the parent chaperons.
I was so excited to see the phantom. It was my first Broadway musical and I was already in love with the soundtrack. A friend of my mother's from church lent me her cassette tapes, and I listened to both tapes daily, so I knew all of the music already.
The morning of the trip everyone boarded buses to be in the city for a 2 PM show. Our first stop was South Street Seaport, next the phantom. We arrived at the theatre and I was beyond excited. I took a seat with my fellow students eager for the show to start. The show started, Jeff Keller was the phantom that day, when I did some research and took some information from the phantom message boards, Jeff Keller was not the normal phantom during that time, so he had to have been an understudy or covering for a phantom that was on vacation. Tracy Shayne played the role of Christine. I was in awe the whole performance. I found it to be so amazing! The music was beautiful I was mouthing every word because I knew it by heart. The scenery and costumes were terrific. And I loved the phantom more then anything, he mesmerized me, I was under his spell so much more then Christine would ever be.
I rode the bus ride home in awe of this show and vowed that I had to go back again. My second time would not be for a few years, little did I know that this first performance would be the start of everything! That it would trigger a 16 year one-sided relationship with a fictional character that I sometimes view as my one true love. That I would spend about three years of this time thinking of nothing but phantom, talking about nothing but phantom, driving my friends and family crazy. That at one point, I was considering phantom as a possible religion! That many of my school projects would be based on phantom. That I would go through spurts, and sometimes it might be a year before I saw the show again, sometimes I would see performances two weeks apart. That I would collect so much memorabilia, and still look forward to collecting more!
That date, the date of my first performance is my phanniversary! This upcoming June I will be an phan for 16 years, more then half my life at this point. That was the date that started it all for me, that triggered this passion, this love for the story inside of me! The phantom of the opera will always be my favorite story ever, I have encountered many stories throughout my lifetime that I have loved, but the phantom will forever be my favorite!