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Thread: different interpretations of the musical?

  1. #1
    aspiring Arthurianist Wilde woman's Avatar
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    different interpretations of the musical?

    For you Phantom fanatics (phanatics?), I was wondering if you'd like to share the weird quirks of different shows you've seen. A week ago, I saw Phantom in Las Vegas at the Venetian hotel. My boyfriend took me there for Valentine's Day.

    It was soooo different from any other Phantom show I've seen. They shortened it so that there was no intermission! (I know, right?) They left out a couple songs like "The Magical Lasso" and omitted the verses of several others. I was most miffed that they left out the scene where Piangi is rehearsing for the Phantom's new opera and cannot sing on key! That's one of my favorites! They also left out the famous line "your hand at the level of your eyes". Boo.

    But...being Vegas...they made this Phantom visually spectacular. As a segue between what would usually be the first and second acts, they blew up fireworks RIGHT THERE in the theater! And the Phantom had lots of pyrotechnics surrounding him as well. When he would disappear or fire a gun, there would always be a spray of sparks.

    I had mixed feelings about it. The pyrotechnics gave the show a punch it often lacks in other venues. The opening scene when we're transported back in time and the broken chandelier repairs itself was AMAZING. Very techno with all the flashing lights and organ music, but in an unspeakably cool way. Of course, there were times when I felt it was blasphemy to mess with the original score so much. I understand omitting some dialogue. But leaving out three full verses of "Masquerade"? Or even "Angel of Music"? (In general, I feel like Meg has such a diminished role in the musical anyways...they could do a lot more with her...that it's insulting to take away the few instances where she has quality singing time with Christine.) The Finale was also shortened and it really frustrated me cuz I didn't get the time to work up to the emotional pitch that really makes the Phantom's decision such a heart-breaker.

    Other times, I felt the omissions worked. For example, they left out one verse of "Music of the Night." Okay, I get that it's the Phantom's signature song, but I'm sorry...that song DRAGS on forever. There's only so much that the actor can do onstage while he's singing; shortening it helped keep my attention. (On that note, I wish directors would be more creative in what they stage during "All I Ask of You"...sure Christine and Raoul are in love, but the song is four minutes long, and all they do is stare into each others' eyes the whole time.) "Prima Donna" also IMO benefited from its shortening because 1) the interweaving of the multiple lines can be confusing if you've never heard it before, and often, you can't follow any one line so it just sounds like gibberish and 2) it's hard to stage anything that can keep the audience's interest for that long (the Phantom movie, btw, did an awesome job keeping all the lyrics AND staging an over-the-top spectacle.)

    That said, most of the emotional touchstones were there. I got a lump in my throat every time I heard the monkey/music box play it tinny tune. There were definitely times when I was scared of the Phantom (unfortunately, I wasn't close enough to the stage to see his face when Christine unmasks him). I felt more sympathy for Raoul in this production than I did in the movie. (shudder) And I burst into tears during that last line when Christine returns to the Phantom after he's freed her, and he sings "Christine, I loooove you"....and his voice BREAKS. It was absolutely heart-breaking.

    Well I've babbled on enough. Sorry, it's one of my favorite musicals. Anyone else want to share?

  2. #2
    POTO Phan
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    I've never seen it in Broadway or Las Vegas or anything huge, but I did see it June 19, 2008 on tour in Tulsa, and IT WAS AMAZING! People are right when they say, "You Never Forget Your First Time."
    P.G.7.
    Totally Obsessed Phantom Phan!

    I am also a fan of: Lion King, High School Musical, Harry Potter, Disney in general, Days of Our Lives, Musicals in general, Dr. Seuss and Grinch!

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    Actually, I was obsessing over getting to Vegas at some point to see what this version was like, but now I don't know if I would even waste the time. You told so much of it that I know what to expect. I don't even know if it would be worth going.

    What did they cut the verse out of "Music of the Night"? The complete song was on a video that I saw on youtube. Maybe they did some tweaking with it and made the show even shorter since that was recorded. I heard that they cut out the intermission, among other things. But it seems that these other things are slightly "bigger" than they let on (not that those things are necessarily necessary to the story, though). I heard that it was only 90 minutes now. How long is it?

    But who was the Phantom? I wanted to go see it with Anthony Crivello, but that isn't going to happen.

    I have seen it twice. Both times when it came to my city. The first time that I saw it it was unbelievable. The actor that was the Phantom sounded eerily like Michael Crawford. It was great. The second time was OK, but I think the fact that I got stuck with seats in the second row dampened the night. I now know ALL of the secrets to the show. That is disappointing. I will have another chance to see it this summer. I feel like sacrificing the money to see it a third time to make up for the show being tainted the last time that I saw it.

  4. #4
    aspiring Arthurianist Wilde woman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LadyWentworth
    You told so much of it that I know what to expect. I don't even know if it would be worth going.
    I'm sorry; I didn't mean to spoil it for you. Nor did I say it was a bad show, just different from other interpretations I'd seen. I'd say I got my money's worth, though admittedly, we didn't pay full price...we got quite a nice discount online.

    Quote Originally Posted by LadyWentworth
    What did they cut the verse out of "Music of the Night"? The complete song was on a video that I saw on youtube. Maybe they did some tweaking with it and made the show even shorter since that was recorded.
    I believe they cut out much of the first verse, beginning with "softly, gently, night unfurls its splendour." I distinctly remember not hearing the "garish light of day"...one of my favorite lines. But all in all, I thought the cuts worked for this particular song, even though it's a classic. As for other versions, I'm pretty sure the Venetian show has been tweaked a number of times. And yes, they make certain things more spectacular to make up for the shortened length.

    Quote Originally Posted by LadyWentworth
    I heard that it was only 90 minutes now. How long is it?
    Yes, I'd say it is about that long. Perhaps a tad bit longer.

    Quote Originally Posted by LadyWentworth
    But who was the Phantom?
    I can't say. We went on Valentine's night so the house was PACKED and we honestly couldn't find programs. I will say that the Phantom sounded remarkably like Michael Crawford, with the same seductive purr and slightly nasal voice.

    I like your name, Lady Wentworth btw. Wentworth is my favorite Austen hero.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilde woman View Post
    I'm sorry; I didn't mean to spoil it for you. Nor did I say it was a bad show, just different from other interpretations I'd seen. I'd say I got my money's worth, though admittedly, we didn't pay full price...we got quite a nice discount online.
    I know you got yours at a discount, but how much do the tickets run? I honestly don't plan on making it to Vegas anytime soon. But I am still curious. Is it about the same as any other performance? Or does Vegas up the cost?

    I can't say. We went on Valentine's night so the house was PACKED and we honestly couldn't find programs. I will say that the Phantom sounded remarkably like Michael Crawford, with the same seductive purr and slightly nasal voice.
    I wanted to see who is currently in the cast, but I can't get the site to work today. That is how the actor was when I first saw "Phantom". I didn't really want to say anything because I thought I was going crazy. Everything about the man's voice was just like Michael Crawford, but I soon found out that others agreed. It was like a production of "Sweeney Todd" that I saw a few years ago. The woman was eerily like Angela Lansbury. So whenever I list different people I have seen perform, I always say "And of course there were the times I saw Michael Crawford and Angela Lansbury, too".

    I like your name, Lady Wentworth btw. Wentworth is my favorite Austen hero.
    Thank you. Isn't he just the absolute best??

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