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! 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Phantom of the Opera # 48 - Pre- Anniversary Celebration Review

I miss the Masquerade poster but this is pretty

Last night I went to Phantom of the Opera for performance number 48 under my belt! Today I am suffering from phanxhaustion but it's very worth it! Shawn and I got tickets to last night's show because we thought it was going to be impossible to see the 25th anniversary celebration...and then they put tickets up for sale for the 25th anniversary celebration, so I am going tonight sans Shawn because if he goes again he's going to suffer from phantom burn out, not to be confused with phanxhaustion! After tonight I will probably be dead because today I also had to show up to work 9 to 3, my boss luckily agreed to support my obsession and gave the okay to get out of here at 3 PM today (sometimes being a loyal employee is worth it when your boss can do little PHavors back for you!) Enough of this hopefully PHunny paragraph onto my review/thoughts on last night's show.

Phanxhaustion survival kit

Hugh was amazing as always! I love to see him, I'm really not a great judge of singing or tone, probably because you wouldn't want to hear me sing in real life (most likely I'm tone deaf) but Hugh has a distinctive voice which gives his version of the Phantom a unique twist that I happen to dig very much. Shawn actually thinks even though Hugh was billed it's possible that Jeremy Stolle went on for the first act and Hugh was on for the second. He might be right because I heard Hugh had a cold but I also heard that he wasn't doing performances for the previous shows as well so he might have been able to handle the whole show. I thought it was Hugh from the beginning. Eh one of us is right, this is what happens when you get married!

This was the first time I got to see Sierra perform. I thought she was much better last night then from what I saw of her during the 25th anniversary concert that was broadcasted live and later available on DVD performed at the Royal Albert Hall in London. IMO she had more facial expression live then she did during the London performance. It was interesting to see how she handled this role. She's played three different versions of Christine. Originally she was playing in Las Vegas as Christine, then she went to London to be Christine in LND, then she played Christine in London during the 25th anniversary in London, now she's here in NY as Christine for the NY 25th anniversary. Another phan said she was a fiesty Christine, which is true. I saw her shove Kyle Barisich (he was playing Raoul) during AIAOY. I felt like she was pretty much implying All I ask of you is to leave me alone.

I really don't have any thoughts about Kyle Barisich as Raoul. I was pretty damn tired last night and I'm going to be tired later too so these reviews might not be the very best to go by. All I'm saying is that didn't make me sick enough. A really good Raoul makes me sick to my stomach.

The managers were pretty cool, I like Jim Weitzer as Monsieur Andre he's pretty animated.

Ellen Harvey portrays Mme. Giry very well. She's pretty dramatic, which does well for the character, Mme. Giry is a pretty dramatic lady.

I really love Michele McConnell I mentioned her a few times before but she's a great Carlotta.

Those are pretty much all the thoughts that stand out from last night. The performance went too fast, it always seems the two and a half hours at phantom fly by for me and I spend so much time looking forward to it when I get to see the show. I can't wait until tonight if I am not dying of exhaustion hopefully I can formulate some decent thoughts for a 25th anni blog entry and performance review!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

25 PHacts about Phantom of the Opera!

This is it! It's the 25th Anniversary week of Phantom of the Opera on Broadway!

Luckily to the relief of many phans, The Majestic Theatre released some tickets for sale for the legendary performance yesterday afternoon sometime. I was among one of the lucky Phans to find out the news and buy a ticket in record time! So I'm going to the anniversary performance I'll be able to blog about it first hand! Let me calm down before I start writing an excitement rant!!!

In honor of the 25th anniversary here are 25 facts about the show (and many pretty pictures too)!

PHact # 1 - The Phantom of the Opera began previews on January 9, 1988 and officially opened on Broadway on January 26, 1988. 

PHact # 2 - Michael Crawford was the original phantom of the opera on Broadway and in London. He told a story on his DVD Michael Crawford in concert where he explained that he thought he was going to play Raoul and learned that he was asked to play the phantom! 

PHact # 3 - Sarah Brightman was the original Christine on Broadway and in London. She was Andrew Lloyd Webber's second wife at the time and even though I think he might have auditioned other Christines he wrote the part for her. 

PHact # 4 - Just last year during the winter on February 11, 2012 The Phantom of the Opera celebrated 10,000 performances after the 2 PM matinee. 

PHact # 5 - Phantom of the Opera officially became the longest running show on Broadway on January 6, 2006. 

PHact # 6 - The chandelier has traveled 757 miles while going up and down for each performance. 

PHact # 7 Sandra Joseph is Broadway's longest running Christine with 1260 performances.

PHact #8 Howard McGillin is Broadway's longest running phantom with 2,544 performances. 

PHact #9 - The Phantom's mask is custom created for each actor, molding specifically to their face. 

PHact # 10 - It takes 2 hours and 30 minutes to put on the phantom's make up. 

PHact # 11 - Sylvia Bailey is the longest usher working at the Majestic, she's worked as an usher since the show opened. 

PHact # 12 - Enough playbills have been read by audiences to span the length of 54,600 miles, apparently enough to circle the globe twice. 

PHact # 13 - George Lee Andrews made it into the Guiness book of world records for an actor performing longest in a Broadway show he played one of the managers for 9,382 performances. 

PHact # 14 - 230 costumes are worn in each show, along with 111 wigs. 

PHact # 15 - The Phantom of the Opera won 7 tony awards when it opened, including best musical! 

PHact # 16 - The Broadway show has grossed over $887 million dollars. 

PHact # 17 - The Phantom of the Opera has had over 15 million audience members at the Majestic

PHact # 18 - Pre-recorded tracks are used for the Phantom's off stage voice overs and occasionally for Christine's high notes. 

PHact # 19 - On January 26, 1988 The phantom performed for 10 years on Broadway! (Phantom's PHirst milestone anniversary)

PHact # 20 - Christine sings 1 high E note during the show. 

PHact # 21 - Jennifer Hope Willis saw the show for the first time and then 17 years later she got to be Christine. 

PHact # 22 - The bread in the back of the elephant that the actors have is actually real bread and not a prop. 

PHact # 23 - The tallest candelabra on the stage is 14 ft. 

PHact # 24 - There are 281 candles in the whole show.

PHact # 25 - 550 lbs of dry ice is used for every show. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Sexy Phantom January 2013

There's our man! 

It's a New Year! This month an exciting phantom occurrence happens on Broadway when Phantom of the Opera celebrates 25 years on January 26, 2013. Hopefully this is another year full of 12 sexy phantoms! This month's Phantom is David Shannon, one of the Phantoms in London, England.

I think he's cuter with the mask he looks too bad ass without it

With Gina Beck as Christine