Friday, December 6, 2013

Phantom of the Opera #52 NOTES

My new prized possession! 
I thought on September 26 my performances of phantom were over for 2013, but I was wrong. My little brother wanted to take me for Christmas and in return for Christmas I'd treat him to dinner and drinks. Together we'd have a nice memory of the city at Christmas and seeing phantom and that would be our gifts to each other. I couldn't turn down phantom so off we went on December 3 for my 52nd time, possibly my brother's third time, and my fifth time this year! Can I re live 2013? I'd like to see phantom 5 times each year!

My brother and I in our seats, I look half crazed my brother has some swag!

The main cast members were Hugh Panaro (the phantom), Jeremy Hays (Raoul), and Mary Michael Patterson (Christine). I was really excited to see Mary Michael Patterson because I haven't gotten to see her in the role of Christine yet. In comparison to Marni Raab I think her acting is better but I feel she lacked luster singing the very high notes. Our seats were up in rear mezz though, so it's possible the seating affected how I heard her sing. As I've said in prior entries I'm also not the best judge of singing/acting capabilities for cast members so I just say how I feel without giving an authoritative review. 

Matt with Hugh Panaro

My other note has to do with the actor who played the conductor during the Don Juan rehearsal. I am not sure who this actor was but during the rehearsal after Carlotta and Mme. Giry have their mini - tiff about Piangi's singing and if the phantom is possibly present at the rehearsal, this actor looked at the rehearsing cast and nervously said "so, so, so" before continuing. The whole audience laughed at that point, I don't recall seeing that done before during a performance and thought it was an excellent and humourous touch. 

Latest photo of myself and Mr. Hugh Panaro
Besides those two notes, my brother and I had a great time. I impressed him with my red scarf and extensive knowledge of the show's lines and Masquerade choreography...okay so maybe he wasn't impressed maybe he just shook his head in disbelief! After the show we bought some broadway cares memorabilia, my brother bought me the autographed cast poster, I bought a phantom aids pin and the carols for a cure CD. After the show I bought Matt more booze and we rode the train home remembering an awesome show and I drank a coffee in phantom's honor from my new phantom of the opera travel mug (which is a very cheap travel mug that's overly priced but I bought it anyway because it's a phantom travel mug!). 

Saluting the phantom performance with my mug and wearing my new phantom pin!


Friday, September 27, 2013

Phantom of the Opera # 51 Notes

pretty theatre!

As of today my reviews/thoughts about anything phantom that I've seen, heard, or read will be titled notes. I figured this was most appropriate as my reviews sometimes aren't full reviews but are more of a review/thoughts combination.

Jen and I outside of the theatre with some random man in the background. 

This past Wednesday night on September 25, 2013 I had the luck of attending Phantom of the Opera for my 4th time this year (51st time in total) with my friend Jen. She had gotten a bunch of tickets at the Broadway Cares flea market including a voucher to see Phantom of the Opera this week. She had asked me at the flea market if I would be willing to take a ticket and I said I would if we can go on Wednesday night. I traded her dinner for the ticket. I'll feed someone giving me a phantom of the opera ticket anytime!

Pre-show excitement!

Hugh Panaro made this performance amazing! He's back in the role of the Phantom right now. He did some new things I've never seen him do when he performed the role before, he blew Jen and I away with the new stuff he's come up with. Right after MOTN before Christine wakes up from her boat fainting and spending the night in the phantom's lair while Hugh is banging away at the organ he has a new head shake dance move. Adds a great touch to that part of the show. During the final lair scene he whispered "You try my patience," to Christine, which gave the scene a shuddering touch that took my breath away.


Jeremy Hays needs to grow into the role of Raoul a little more and I'm sure he'll be just fine. Towards the beginning of his performance he seemed to just be reciting his lines but he's new in the role of Raoul so I'm willing to cut him some slack and say he'll definitely be better with a little more time.

Jen hiding behind her t-shirt purchase

Once the show was over Jen and I stage-doored. I haven't gotten to a have a real stage door experience in awhile. When I tried stage-dooring the night before the 25th anniversary things were a mess because everyone wanted to meet Sierra Bogess. I didn't bother for the 25th anniversary and even though I wanted to stage door when Joback was in I didn't do it because the two friends Shawn and I met after the show really didn't want to do the stage door thing. Notable actors we met while at the stage door included Jeremy Hays and the very lovable Jeremy Stolle. Stolle is incredibly awesome he cares a lot about the phans and is so easy going with anyone he meets.

A blurry bad photo of Jeremy Stolle and I but I still need to post it!

So those are my notes for performance # 51. Go see Hugh, even if you've seen him before! My next mission is to hopefully see Mary Michael Patterson in the role of Christine. (I ended up missing Sam Hill unfortunately. I heard she was quite good.)

Broadway Cares Flea Market 2013

MC autographs for sale!

Broadway held their 27th annual Broadway Cares Flea Market this past Sunday on September 22, 2013. Even though this flea market has been held for 27 years this is the first time I was able to check it out. I arrived at the Flea Market with a budget of $100 cash and I really didn't think I was going to get anything because I thought all the items for sale would be ridiculously expensive. I ended up getting quite a haul for my $100 cash budget.

shoes for sale at the Wicked Table

When I first got there I headed straight for the Phantom of the Opera table. Before I got to the phantom table though I came across the MC fan association table. Surprisingly I snagged an autographed framed picture of Michael Crawford for $35.

I got to talk some more with Kimilee Bryant I met her a few years ago and she remembered me!

I walked toward the Majestic after that and ended up meeting some new PHan girl PHriends at the Phantom of the Opera table. This year POTO sold prints for 25 cents each, actor and character nameplates for $1 each, Phantom of the Opera jackets for $150, Pillows from the gondola for $125, various costume pieces at various prices, pieces of the majestic theatre stage, posters from outside the majestic for various prices depending on which actor was featured, artwork by the cast of phantom, and other goodies which I was too late to snag or can't remember off the top of my head.

Some new and incredibly awesome phantom buddies! 

I spent the day going back to the phantom table and walking around different parts of time square with my new found girlPHriends. At various stops to the phantom table I picked up a little more merch each time. There were also a bunch of cast members from each Broadway show manning the tables at various times.

The Majestic will always have a piece of my heart.

The flea market was listed as being open 10 to 7 but some tables starting shutting down earlier than that. Some tips about the flea market, if you've never gone and plan to go next year. If you want your choice of all the items offered get to the flea market early, you'll pay top dollar but you'll have what you want. If you are a bargain hunter like me it's best to come later, sometime in the afternoon a lot of merch becomes marked down just to get it sold.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Phan Cruise!

During the month of August I learned about a phantom of the opera phan cruise being offered through World Yacht Marina in Manhattan. I wanted to go on it and be a part of it so Shawn agreed to buy us two tickets as a first anniversary wedding present to me. Can't argue with any presents that are Phantom related! (Especially when they were at my suggestion.)

Boarding the boat!

The Phan cruise was arranged to be a two hour cruise sailing through Manhattan. The ad for the cruise promised (or at least I thought it promised) Phantom of the Opera music for two hours and a brunch. The cruise took place on September 15, 2013 leaving the world yacht marina from Pier 81. The weather was pretty nice that day, sunny and beautiful! Perfect for sailing a on a yacht. Boarding began at 11:30 and the cruise set sail at 12 PM.

Hanging out and pretending to be rich on the upper level of the yacht

We explored the boat, scrambling to the upper level to get away from everyone for a few minutes after we boarded. A few minutes later we entered the cabin of the ship, we gave our names and waited until our brunch table was ready. Once our names were called we were shown to our table, we ordered some coffee and OJ and got a plate of food each. Normally I do care about the food I'm eating and I yelp the restaurants I go to but my mind wasn't really on the food much more on the phantom aspect of the cruise. I wolfed down one plate because I was hungry and so was Shawn and than once my belly was filled up I focused more on the cruise and phantom part of the trip.

Manhattan Skyline

When we boarded we were given group numbers and raffle tickets. While we were eating and setting sail the cast members of phantom who boarded the ship to set sail with us were introduced. Setting sail with some phans and some random rich people were Mary Michael Patterson (currently Christine on Broadway), Christian Sebek (currently Piangi on Broadway), Tim Jerome (currently Monsieur Firmin on Broadway), and Laird Mackintosh (currently Monsieur Andre on Broadway). Hugh Panaro wasn't there, I kind of figured he might not make it.

our table
 The phantom of the opera music that I thought would be played for 2 hours straight only played for a total of maybe one hour during boarding and during certain parts of the cruise. For the rest of the cruise they played random music. The cruise consisted of half rich people enjoying some time on a yacht and half mediocre and hardcore phans. During the cruise they gave away a few raffle prizes and hosted 6 different group sessions where you could meet the cast members on board. When it came time for my group to go up I stole one of the posters off the ship (they were being taken anyway), ripped off the tape from the back of it and shoved the tape in my camera bag, and pretended I had this poster all along for the cast to autograph. I got my signatures and a photo with Christian Sebek and Mary Michael Patterson. When the ship was docked and we were waiting to get off Shawn and I actually chatted fora  few minutes with Christian Sebek. Shawn predicted he'd be a pretty awesome dude to chill out with for a few minutes and his assumption was correct. Once the ship docked and we were back on land we got complimentary magnets.

Privileged and happy to meet some chill cast members!

Overall it wasn't a bad cruise for the price. Even though they didn't play all phantom music for the 2 hours I still got to cruise on a yacht, drink a glass of champagne with my husband, meet and mingle with a few cast members and obtain an autographed poster that could out value the price of two of the two boarding passes we paid for.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Phantom of the Opera #50 REVIEW + Sexy phantom retirement news

Nothing like a review of a show 3 weeks after seeing it!

On August 24, 2013 @ 2 PM I saw Phantom of the Opera on Broadway for my 50th time. Peter Joback was the phantom (it was his second to last performance in the role before leaving Broadway), Marni Raab was Christine and Kyle Barisich was Raoul.

I've reviewed other performances since I began writing and publishing my phantom blog but honestly I'm not the best judge of acting. That's probably why I didn't succeed when I took one year of drama during my first year of college. I'm just noting this because people might disagree with my opinion and although I am a fan of phantom I'm not the best judge on an actor's singing or acting ability. Also everyone has their own opinions some people love certain actors but hate other ones. That said let's move on to a few thoughts about the show.

Peter Joback has been quite the controversy on Broadway when he took the role. Some phans loved him, others weren't so impressed with him when he came on the phantom scene. I think his voice was a little too high pitched for phantom he sounded more like a cartoon character not the legendary singer that the phantom is supposed to be. His acting was okay and I wouldn't say he was an awful phantom, overall he was decent.

I have seen Maarni Raab and Kyle Barisich before so I don't really have any new thoughts about them.

I was very impressed with Ellen Harvey as Mme. Giry. I'm not sure if I've seen her before but she pulled off the role of Mme. Giry very nicely in my opinion. She was powerful when she needed to be, slightly frightened and formidable when she needed to be.

I also really dug Carlotta's Masquerade costume. I never paid attention to it before because I'm always too busy oogling Christine's star princess costume. 

Those are my few and random thoughts on performance #50, maybe this year I'll be lucky enough to get to see performance #51, we'll see.

Now for some semi-sad news. I'm retiring my sexy phantom feature. I might bring it back in the future but I missed the posting for August and I've been finding myself grasping at which phantoms to chose for each month. I feel for the time being it makes sense to retire this feature.

That's it for this terribly written blog entry might I bring you something more entertaining in the future! 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Angel of Music: Tales from The Phantom of the Opera by Carrie Hernandez REVIEW

It's definitely been a long time since I reviewed something phantom based for this blog besides the show. I finally got around to tackling one of my many phantom books sitting at home waiting to be read, or re-read for a review. Carrie Hernandez, creator of POTO magazine, wrote and  published this book. I loved POTO magazine! She writes four tales based on phantom of the opera including one I remember reading from POTO magazine. Personally I feel like two tales in this story Little Lotte and The Portal tie in very nicely together. It almost feels like those two tales could be part of a trilogy with a different story written to fit into the middle tale of a possible trilogy. This is some phan phiction worth getting your hands on IMO.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Sexy Phantom July 2013

Summer is heating up and here's two shots of July's sexy phantom for 2013 to make it even HOTTER! Ladies and gents Ted Keegan is July 2013's Sexy Phantom!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

June 2013 Sexy Phantom

Here's another posthumous sexy phantom for this month! Okay, so they aren't really all that sexy after they die...unless you're into some weird s*it, but we can still dream about them if we want to!

This month's Sexy Phantom is Steve Barton. He's more famous for playing Raoul but he did play the phantom as well. He actually died quite a few years ago back in 2001.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Phantom of the Opera Jewelry

Do you ever wonder where you can find some phantom bling? A necklace, a pair of earrings, a replica ring, any type of jewelry to show your love for Phantom of the Opera?

Here's a few sites where potential phantom jewelry is just a few clicks away!

Stephanie Piro has created an etsy store featuring some fun new phantom of the opera jewelry. If you do a search for phantom of the opera on you will see all sorts of phantom goodies including jewelry by other designers besides Stephanie (although I really do like Stephanie's jewelry A LOT!)

There's not much of a choice here but if you like this charm bracelet you can order it from

Porcelain charm pieces!
I'm not sure who this person is but it looks like they've got wonderful porcelain pieces for sale.

Recently I haven't shopped on e-bay but the site has all kinds of goodies for phantom of the opera jewelry!

As you probably know google is your best friend when it comes to searching if you don't dig what's featured here just google phantom of the opera jewelry for a wider selection!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

May 2013 Sexy Phantom

Being that the end of May is a month to memorialize veterans here in the United States, I decided it was appropriate to memorialize a phantom who recently passed away. This month's sexy Phantom is Kevin Gray. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

April 2013 Sexy Phantom

For April 2013, we LOVE Marcus Lovett! He's the lucky phantom that shall be drooled over for the month of April. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sexy St. Patrick's Day Phantom March 2013

Irish phantom magic in action

In efforts to spice up Sexy Phantom now in it's 3rd year I'm trying to do themes this year when presenting the Sexy Phantoms. So for March 2013, released on St. Patrick's Day I give you Thomas James O'Leary a nice Irish Phantom!

He's very serious unmasked

Phantom hotness with a green filter because I'm a spaz when it comes to drawing shamrocks on the computer despite my BFA in graphic design

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sexy Phantom February 2013

Here he is ladies and gents! The sexy Phantom for February 2013 and also for Valentine's Day! Cris Groenendaal, one of the Broadway Phantoms! Personally I think he's much more drool worthy with the mask on so maybe my graphically enhanced Valentine's Day Photo will make up for not wanting to hop into bed with him after seeing his unmasked playbill photo. Maybe some of you will find him appealing and sexy for this holiday.

Monday, January 28, 2013

25th anniversary NYC performance recap!

Before the performance with 2 other phans
As you know from a few previous entries prior to this one, luckily I was able to buy a ticket to the 25th anniversary performance of Phantom of the Opera at the Majestic. For this entry I'm not really doing a review, just a recap of some of the memorable moments from the evening. I saw the show Friday night for performance number 49, the cast was the same so there would be no point in a repetitious review. Also I was pretty exhausted and can't fairly review anything due to the fact that my brain was slowly turning into a bunch of sleep deprived mush.

I got pretty crappy photos of Cameron Mackintosh this was one of the better ones.

One of my local phan phriends thought that the press would be outside of the majestic theatre before the performance started. Unfortunately because it was pretty damn freezing out the press was already stationed inside of the theatre before any of the ticket holders were let inside of the building. So we just took pictures and hung outside of the theatre and were on line to the be one of the first people to enter the theatre. When we got in Sir Cameron Mackintosh was still talking to the press, my friend and I ran forward with our cameras. She's shorter then me so she got better photos, I'm sure if I wasn't too lazy to go into photoshop and crop my photos I would have one or two decent ones of him. 

projection screen before the show started
When we were inside the theatre I said hello to other phans I know and ended up trading my ticket with another phan. He looked very bummed to be sitting in the last row (he got a hold of a contest ticket). YES! The RUG stuck all the contest winners in the mezz section, of course they'd do that! But at least a lot of us got to see the show. Since Shawn didn't want to see the show again with me because he would have went through phantom burn out after seeing it on Friday and I was sitting alone I offered to trade tickets with my buddy. He gleefully took my ticket with thanks, I actually didn't mind the last row except when I was photographing but it wasn't terrible with the use of my zoom lens. 

I love the chandelier it's one of the many things I love about this show
Before the show began there was a pre-show projection. A few sound and visual clips were put together and the audience enthusiastically received and watched the pre-show. The pre-show was followed by a brief respite as the stage was set for the legendary performance to begin! 

Hal Prince and Cameron Mackintosh the ant version

The performance was terrific! As I said before since it was the same cast as Friday night I'm not going to give any opinions about the actors. The actors were on fire though they were definitely putting their all into this show. 

Sarah Brightman the ant version
At the conclusion of the performance Hal Prince and Sir Cameron Mackintosh came out to speak to the audience. They were both very nice and thanked everyone who had anything to do with the show for making it special. Sadly absent were Michael Crawford, Gillian Lynne and the late Maria Bjornson. Not so sadly absent was Andrew Lloyd Webber. 

Sarah Brightman the brightly lit ant version
Once everyone major had made some speeches the audience was given a special encore of the title song and MOTN. Hugh Panaro, Peter Joback, Ramin Karimloo and John Owen Jones sang with Sierra Bogess. As another phan said although I did enjoy to have the chance to hear these three other phantoms sing I would have liked to have seen previous Broadway phantoms. Another added note not stolen from another phan I would have also liked different previous Broadway Christines. 

the chandelier and the projection screen

When the encore finished the chandelier was brought down again halfway and then gold streamers flew out of the chandelier. It was dazzling! After the performance I hung around for a short period of time to greet some phans from out of town until the staff of the Majestic started flickering lights to kick everyone out. I said goodbye to whoever I saw, the outside of the Majestic Theatre felt like New Year's Eve Phantom Style and then I hurried my sad exhausted ass back to Penn Station and fell asleep like a bum on the train dreaming about the events I just witnessed! 

Sierra with the phantom quartet

Sierra and Hugh <3 nbsp="" td="">

John Owen Jones can you be the next phantom? 

One more after thought note - It has been announced that Peter Joback will have a brief run in NY as the phantom. I will be curious to see him and review the show, also it will be nice to see a different phantom most of the time I've seen Howard and Hugh.

Ramin and Hugh

The chandelier after throwing up some gold streamers

The chandelier, projection screen and curtain at the conclusion of all the excitement!