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!