Tuesday, March 8, 2011

ALW's Phantom of the Opera, Majestic Theatre - March 7, 2011 - REVIEW and Phan Nerdiness!

Pre Show Stage Shot 
Shawn, Janette and myself with an awesome cast member
Janette and myself meeting Elizabeth Welch and Paul Shaefer (Christine and Phantom)
In our seats before the show! 

Last night I finally went to see Phantom of the Opera on Broadway....again! Okay so you're not surprised! It's actually been quite a long gap since I've gone to see the show, the last time I went was in July when I took Shawn for the first time. By that point the apartment stuff was kind of killing me financially and I only was able to go because Louise gave me some birthday money and I bought cheap seats. These seats were courtesy of my tax refund! I had been promising to take Janette to the show since we met last year - it's exciting to have another Phan PHriend a mere few miles away from me.

The show was pretty terrific as usual. Our seats were awesome - I have sat in every location of seats throughout the various times that I've gone to see the show and my prime choice of seating would be the area that we sat in last night (which is mid-orchestra) or front mezzanine. Both of those seats provide optimum viewing for every single thing going on during the show. Our seats were off to the right but it was okay (I knew that there was the most phantom action there - hehehe).

The cast was very good. Hugh Panaro was not performing for the night (I felt a little bad because Janette was so excited to see him) instead his understudy Paul A. Schaefer took over the role. At the beginning of the show he seemed slightly nervous (the phantom's role and Hugh Panaro's interpretation are very hard shoes to fill) but he gained confidence as the night went on and ended up doing a very amazing job. He had me blubbering into Shawn's arms at the end of the show - I usually cry anyway but he made me lose control with the tears. Elizabeth Welch performed Christine, it was her first night performing the role at the Majestic. She was absolutely positively wonderful. Her voice and her acting was superb. Sean MacLaughlin was Raoul, it was good to have the chance to see him perform the role. He definitely took the role in the direction of Raoul the jerk - which is how I will always view Raoul anyway, in doing so I think he left it open for the phantom to be more understood and gain more pity from the audience.

The music was interesting. It seemed they changed the orchestration for the title song, it sounded like it was a kick back to the Sarah Brightman/Steve Harley video. I kind of liked it though, it added some spice although the classic orchestrations during the title song were good as well.

After the show was over we took off to the stage door to meet actors. They actually let us in past the double doors in the alley to wait right by the stage door. We collected many signatures, took a few pictures, I gave my business cards out so that I can connect with some of the cast on facebook, hopefully they will read this blog too. We met Kris Koop (I think she might actually be on my facebook already) and she promised to hook us up to meet Hugh and go backstage when we have a chance - much YAYNESS!

So #43 was a terrific evening one of the best POTO experiences I've ever had even though every POTO experience is  great for me.