Sunday, May 20, 2007

Phantom of the Opera thru a Writer's Eyes

I took my mother to see Phantom of the Opera today at the Princess of Wales theatre in Toronto. It's the fourth time I've seen it, the first for my mother. WOW!
I've seen this show in New York, London and twice in Toronto. It has never disappointed and remains my favorite stage production. (There were a few stray tears in my eyes at the end, knowing it will be years until I have the opportunity to see it again.) Other theatre lovers may argue that Les Miz was better, and yes, it was brilliant, musically & dramatically superior I would add, but it was so sad... as was RENT, and Miss Saigon... Chicago's good, but on the lighter/black-humor side...

If you haven't seen a 'Broadway' musical, make PotO your first, if only because of it's perfect balance - great music that stays in your head long after the curtain falls, color, drama, unrequited love, humor, beautiful eye-candy costumes, pomp & circumstance, weepy heart-wrenching solos, jump-out-of-your-seat surprises (watch for falling chandeliers!) and a hero/villain to DIE for. (Amy, have I missed anything?)

This was the first time I've seen it since becoming a writer and I saw it new eyes. The level of emotion the music/movement evokes is hard to capture and communicate. How can I do this through mere words? How can I capture the pain of the Phantom when he sings about his secret yearnings to be loved, to belong. His pain when his own mother masks his infant face with rough cloth because she can't bear to look at his deformities.
Or to express his burning desire, his longing for the love of Christine Daae.

Just once, JUST ONCE, I want them to change the ending of this show. I'd pay $500 to see the Phantom win Christine. Maybe that's what keeps drawing me back...

Phantom of the Opera is in Toronto through mid-June and I urge you - GO. And for those of you who live in other corners of the globe, the national touring companies go to every major city. GO! Drive, stay overnight if you have to, but GO! If you're a writer or artist - GO.

13 comments:

RED GARNIER said...

I vote for yeah!!! Here go another $500 to see the Phantom with Christine. That Raoul just doesn't do it for me = ( I've seen it twice and had to get myself the movie too. Definitely not one to miss.

Christine said...

I've seen it in both NY and Toronto and it makes me cry every time. And let me tell you, THIS Christine would so be with the Phantom. Especially if he was Gerard Butler. ;)

Vicky said...

I've only seen this once and I saw it soooo long ago! :) I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it so much! Again! :)

gabriella hewitt said...

Saw Phantom in LA and Le Miz in London. I loved living in London because it was so easy to attend a musical. Sounds like you had a fabulous evening out with mom. I am sitting here so jealous. ;-)

Amy Ruttan said...

Here's my $500 for the Phantom to win Christine. Screw Raoul! Where was he when Christine's father died? Probably off at some expensive boarding school borking parlour maids.

I love Phantom, I love it, it's my favorite BAR NONE!

Wylie Kinson said...

Thanks for your comments, gals!
I'm glad I'm not the only 'romantic' who wants to see the deformed tragic hero win the girl. I mean, please... Raoul? Milquetoast.
Keep the mask on, you sexy beast and I'll take you home :)

Leah Braemel said...

Oh, dear, I was completely and thoroughly disappointed with Phantom when I saw it just before it closed a few years back.

I like the original story but thought the music forgettable except for one song. And there was a song where there were about four characters singing different lyrics and it just all crashed together and you couldn't understand anything anyone sang.

And the falling chandelier? That was one thing that I was dying to see how they'd do. I was expecting it to come crashing down onto the stage but I was really bummed out when it creaked down inch by inch. Nothing thrilling there at all. Were those glitches in the performance I saw? Had they given up because it was about to close do you think?

Thomma Lyn said...

I've never seen Phantom of the Opera, but I love the music for it. :) I'll definitely have to see it! And the story sounds soooooo darkly romantic and heart-wrenching.... *gulp*! :-D I'd love to see it played out, and I'm sure I'd bawl my eyeballs out.

RED GARNIER said...

Lol, Wylie. Keep the mask on and I'll take you home - love that. Let me know when you're through with him, eh?

julia said...

I was totally lucky to have seen the first-run Toronto cast of "Phantom", but several years later I saw it again and it was still spine-tingling fabulous. The one thing about the live performance that the film can't possibly convey is the way the organ music rumbles through your body in the theatre. It just raises the hair on the back of your neck. And I was impressed by the chandelier crash, and by Phantom's entrance from his hiding place above the stage.

Having said all that, Gerard Butler's Phantom will have you weeping copious tears anytime you see a little stuffed monkey with cymbols for the rest of your life.

Wylie Kinson said...

Leah - Goodness, sounds like the stars were unalined for the performance you saw. Such a shame because it really is awesome (when done properly?!) You should rent the movie - the one with Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum... It's done beautifully.

TL - oh, you would indeed shed a few tears. Hey,... come up to TO and I'll take you :)

Julia - Yup, I saw the TO original too, way way back... (I was only 9, of course *wink*) and in all the subsequent times, I've not been disappointed. I just can't wait to go again!!!

Rene said...

Or maybe it is because my husband took another girl to see it when we were dating and insists he took me. That might kill the charm LOL

Wylie Kinson said...

Rene - hooo, that's harsh!