Friday, November 27, 2020

Surviving without live Phantom due to COVID

It's been awhile PHriends. Life got in the way, I stopped blogging, became a mom, focused on other things but now creativity is getting me through a rough patch in life, as if life weren't rough enough for all of us with the COVID. So inspiration struck for me to write how I'm coping or surviving without being able to see the live show until maybe Summer or Fall of 2021.

First I'd like to shout out to the people I would consider a distance phans. Distance phans are phans who don't live close enough to see the show in NY, London or anywhere on tour it may be playing. I find myself wondering how the distance phans cope until they can get to NY or another location to see the show. 

Since Broadway has been shutdown a bunch of us have suffered. My suffering of not being able to see my favorite show live pales in comparison to the suffering of those who work in the arts and have now found themselves on unemployment or back to temp jobs until they can work in theatres, concert halls and other live venues again. 

So my PHriends how are you coping with this? What are you doing to feel connected to our favorite story while you aren't able to see the live show? 

I have been listening to the music here and there, pining away for the live production. This is the year my son is 4 and I would have been able to take him to see the show and hoped he would sit still for it. I always wondered how it would be to take my child to phantom before I had a kid and now I've got to wait until he's possibly 5 to see how he may like it, if he'll love it as much as I do, think I'm weird for loving it or hate it. 

My 4 year old and myself from a recent Christmas photo shoot I did! I doubt he'll stay still for the show but he might surprise me! 

I've always wanted tattoos for a good long time but now that tattoo shops have reopened and will hopefully not shut down again, I've been using tattoos to cope with missing my phantom as well. Obsessing over them, thinking of which ones I'll get next and if I want to follow certain themes or just let the designs of many small tattoos fall into place. I am devoting my whole back to phantom of the opera. The artist working on my back is doing the black and white ballet scene for me where the phantom's shadow hangs over the ballerina dancers right before Bouquet's body drops. She'll be doing one more piece combining the curtains, the chandelier and a note from the phantom to fill in extra back space after this scene is finished. One of my artist (because I am currently dealing with 3) is making mini characters his signature and he tattooed the 1925 Lon Chaney phantom on my back in his style and the 1925 red death phantom on my chest area right next to a heart tattoo he had previously done in March before the shutdown. At least I'll have some new phantom of the opera tattoos to show the cast members should I be able to get backstage for free again once the show resumes. 

I'm going through some personal stuff as well, I don't really want to explain about it in what's going to be a really long blog, but I could definitely use seeing the show right now so it makes me miss it even more. So I've gone to creative outlets I gave up long ago, (drawing and now blogging and maybe writing again), showing off some OOTDs on social media  and music to calm me down and ease my worries a little over this situation. 

So this is how I'm trying to cope without live phantom. My Phan PHriends and non Phan friends who are missing the arts whether it's actual gallery shows, visits to the museums (which I think we are able to do now), concerts, Broadway shows let's all hang in there, try our best to be there for each other and cope the best we can without these things we love in life that give us a little sense of completion. As sad as it is, it's comforting to know we at least know how we'll feel and what we'll do when the show is off Broadway :(

Monday, April 9, 2018

POTO #70 Notes

Wow! I can't believe I haven't written in or updated this blog since before my son was born. Fast forward 2 years later and my phantom attendance has been lacking due to mommyhood. Life of a mom phan. I missed the 30th anniversary milestone & celebration performances but I finally got to look over a busy calendar, clear it with my husband that he could watch the kiddo (since he's not old enough to go to the show with me yet) and grab a ticket for this past Saturday April 7, 2018. I attended the matinee I don't plan on going back to night performances until my son and a second kid (if hubby and I have a second kid) are over 3.

I was super excited to see Laird Mackintosh as the phantom! I've heard awesome things about him and he didn't disappoint. His voice was amazing, it had just the right haunting tone when he had to be haunting. His final scene portrayal was excellent. He had me crying, and you could hear the hurt in his voice as he sang to Christine about his life with disfigurement.

Playbill hand selfie shot stole the idea from another phan named Rachel.

I was really happy Kayley Ann Voorhes was back in the role of the alternate Christine. She is a phenomenal Christine I've seen her a few times. My brother thought she was easy on the eyes as well when we met her backstage a few years ago before a performance. Between her and Laird they nailed the final scene. I'm not sure if I'll get to see Ali Ewoldt in the show before she leaves unless she's Christine for quite a few years or comes back again after she leaves.

Racquel Suarez Groen was an awesome Carlotta. I loved Michele McConnell before she left, but Racquel bought new nuances to the role that I truly appreciated. She played up the prima donna attitude of Carlotta quite well without overdoing it. She added an interesting vocal warm up bit during the Il Muto scene which I'm not sure I've seen done before but it was great!

After an awesome show I had no time for the stage door I was eager to get back home to my son and I live in Suffolk County so it's at least an hour train ride back and that's only if I grab an express train. When my son and another possible second kid are older I'll stage door again. To my luck it's April one of two months Broadway raises money for Broadway Cares and I got to meet Maree Johnson when she was in the hallway collecting money for Broadway Cares. I think I'll plan to go in April so I can at least meet one cast member. After meeting Maree quickly this happy mama headed home until the next phantom phix which will probably be sometime in the Summer or Winter! 

Since mommy has no time for stage dooring at the moment I was happy to grab a quick selfie and meet Maree Johnson when some cast members were out after the show collecting money for Broadway Cares Charity. I think I'll go to the show every April as part of my twice a year so I can meet at least one cast member without stage dooring.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

POTO #65 Notes!

I stopped reviewing every single NYC Broadway performance I go to, especially since many times that I do attend the show I see the same cast members and it makes no sense to point out my likes of various cast members over and over again. However since I haven't written a new entry in quite some time I decided to write some notes on the 65th performance I attended in NYC on February 11, 2016 at 2 pm.

All by my lonesome in the front row with tickets to performance #66

I sat in the front row in a partial view seat off to the side of the stage. Sadly unless I want to pay top dollar or win a $28 ticket in the theatre's new lottery policy for front row partial view seats this may have been the last time I will have gotten to sit in the front row because they aren't selling front row partial view tickets anymore. When I have a chance to sit in the first few rows I do enjoy the performance because I notice a lot more detail with the actor's facial expressions when they perform. I tend to miss those details when I sit in rear mezz but I do gladly sit in rear mezz seats if it means being able to see phantom one more time on the cheap.

So the two cast members I have notes on is James Barbour (the current phantom) and Craig Bennett (who's recently taken on the role of Monsieur Firmin). I've seen Craig Bennett a few times but have not gotten to comment on the great job he does as one of the Opera House managers. He performs very well with Laird Mackintosh and they are a dynamic duo when they play the managers.

James Barbour has grown into the role of phantom. He's been great since I first saw him but he's gotten even better and he managed to have me in tears at the end of the show this past performance and the performance I saw before this on January 29. I pretty much cry every time I see the show but sometimes I cry a lot more at the end especially if the role of the phantom is played well.

One of four curtain call photos I took before I got told to stop taking pictures. I don't understand why curtain call photos after the show aren't allowed. The show is over it's not like I'm taking shots during the performance. 

I don't like to comment on any cast members that I don't think perform their roles well so if I have any feelings about a cast member not being up to par I leave it out of my entries and just discuss it privately with other phans.

I didn't stage door with this performance I'm hoping to stage door before the show when I attend the next performance.

I love these ornate gold painted masks on the theatre doors! 

Overall my most recent performance was pretty spectacular, I'm grateful I got to see the show for a 65th time and am looking forward to performance #66 on March 26, 2016!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Phantom of the Opera #62 NOTES

I stopped writing notes for every performance I see, especially if I happen to be seeing the same actors or happen to see two performances fairly close together. That being said, since I really haven't updated this blog with an entry in a long time I decided to write notes on the 62nd performance I've seen which I saw on July 3, 2015 at 8 PM.

First I want to thank my sisters, my brother and my brother-in-law (who was dragged to the show by my sister) for coming to the show with me and buying my ticket. You guys honored my birthday wish of attending phantom with all my siblings at one time and I appreciate it!

Sadly I didn't get to take this photo it's not mine just using it for the blog

My first note is about Kaley Ann Voorhes. I've had the privilege of actually meeting her a few times before I finally got to see her. I didn't think I would ever get to see her actually because I usually can't get to the show during the time slots she performs as alternate Christine. But lucky for me she was in the show on Friday instead of Julia Udine. I loved her performance. She really came through during the final lair scene and the second notes scene with the managers in Act II of the show. Not only is her performance awesome but she is one of the sweetest actresses I met, she really appreciates all of her phans and I hope when she is done with phantom in August that she goes far in the acting world whether it's Broadway or on film.

This is when I met Kaley in September of '14 before I saw her as Christine. 
My second note is about James Barbour. I have seen him once before but by the time I was ready to write about seeing him the performance wasn't so fresh in my mind anymore. I really like his phantom, I like Norm Lewis a little better but I really felt deep emotion with the performance I recently saw from James. So much so that I was sobbing so hard by the end of the performance. Most of the time I do cry when I see the show even though I know what happens and how it ends. I definitely love the emotion that he brings to Erik's character. 

This is not my photo either! I don't want to take credit for work that's not mine. 

That's about it for notes from my most recent viewing of phantom. If you can go see Kaley before she leaves the show!

Friday, January 30, 2015

The Phantom of the Opera by Philip J. Riley NOTES

This is a great book if you're seriously into the 1925 Phantom of the Opera. This book provides a ton of details about the 1925 making of the film, the film stars, and the versions of the film that exist. There's a ton of special reprinted photos, scripts and publicity within this book too so not only can you learn about the film but you can own reprints of paper materials that have to do with the 1925 version of phantom. I couldn't put this down until I finished it, it's a recommended read for phans and phans of the 1925 film! 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Manifestations of a Phantom's Soul Volume I NOTES

Some of the best phan phiction out there!

So I've been on a phantom of the opera book reading kick lately which means I'm gobbling up words in phan phiction with my eyes as quickly as I can and going through the rest of the books in my phantom collection that I haven't read yet and finally getting around to review them/blog them. 

I finally finished this captivating book during the recent blizzard NY was hit with. Rodriguez currently has three volumes of short stories having to do with phantom of the opera that she titled manifestations of a phantom's soul. I read vol. II when I got it for Christmas and I just got around to reading this one. 

I love all the phantom stories in this novel. Some of them seemed slightly familiar and I wondered if she had included some of the stories I read here in Vol. II. I was too lazy to verify this because I didn't want to dig around for Vol. II which I already put away in the garage after reading. There's not enough room in my place to keep my phantom novels out after I read them so they need to be boxed up in the garage for storage sadly. Most of her stories in this volume had Erik & Christine ending up together (which is always my preferential ending to the original story) and Raoul looking like a stupid ninny who won't leave the phantom and Christine alone. I love Rodriguez's writing and have actually read her other books besides Phantom. I don't understand why this woman isn't a bestselling author yet but for now she'll be my favorite Indie writer and if she ever gets to be a best selling author she'll be co-favorites with Lisa Scottoline IMO. 

In short I have nothing but accolades for this volume and suggest you purchase it if you can or get it on loan from a trusting phan to read ASAP! 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Phantom of the Opera #59 NOTES!

It's been awhile since I've reviewed a Phantom of the Opera performance or a book. I want to be more active with this blog again so here goes!

On January 14, 2015 my friend Janell and I had the luck to once again visit the Majestic Theatre to see another performance of Phantom of the Opera! My 59th time, her 4th time!

Janell and I eagerly awaiting the show, happy to be seeing it again!

So here's some brief notes about this performance!

Norm Lewis- It was my third time seeing Norm in the role of the Phantom! I love his phantom! I love the deeper voice he gives to the character, I love his final lair scene. I could see this man in the role again and again but I think last night is definitely going to be the last time I got to see him in the role.

Julia Udine - Julia Udine is the new Christine. She replaced Mary Michael Patterson. So in my opinion she started out weaker and got a lot stronger towards the end of the show. But I'm thinking she might have done that on purpose to show the character progression of Christine because I've seen other Christines approach the role in the same way.

Julia Udine and myself before the show started!
Linda Balgord - Linda Balgord is the new Mme. Giry on Broadway. I thought she was okay. Her voice gave the right Mme. Giry tone, but she looked like a fairy godmother version of Mme. Giry instead of the wise foreboding figure that lurks about the Paris Opera House giving a tiny bit of protection to the phantom.

So those are my notes, and let me conclude any one of these actors would do a way better job than I would ever do if I had to walk across the Majestic Stage to be in the show!

One of two curtain call photos I snuck in before the usher yelled at me to stop taking pictures even though it was curtain call!