Can I just start off by saying people in Dallas are crazy? ok ok let's backtrack...3pm. I'm loading my car for the drive home. This usually takes about 3 and a half hours, but since I never think ahead, I run into rush hour traffic. I'm in a frenzy thinking we're not going to make it to the theater on time when my AC craps out on me. Ten minutes pass and I'm on the verge of a heat stroke when the AC finally decides it wants to work again...traffic clears up...I speed home, inhale my dinner, and drag my mom out the door.
We get to the music hall dressed in what I guess you could call "work clothes". Nothing formal, but not casual either. The past 7 times I've seen this show, that's been the usual dress code. For some reason, the folks here in Dallas decide this event calls for ballgowns and formal suits (???). Let me just say...yes, it's called Phantom of the Opera, but it's not Julia-Roberts-a-la-Pretty-Woman-"It-was-s
This part amused me more than the actual show. This was the first time Phantom has come around to Dallas since the movie, so the audience was packed with movie fans. Their reactions were.....interesting to say the least. They clapped during the Overture (eh? o_0) and when the title song started playing. The entire row infront of me jumped when the armed guard takes the false shot at box 5, and the guy behind me even yelled out "woooooah COOOOL" when the pyros went off after Wandering Child/Bravo Monsieur. During intermission, I overheard a woman say "oh I think that one lady is secretly evil...what's her name again?..the ballet mistress...Oh yes! Madame Daae!" *facepalm* I also ended up sitting next to a grotesquely overweight man who didn't know how to breathe properly. It was a nasal-y breathing with a hint of whistling in the exhale. My boot probably sounds like Darth Vader: The Sequel now -_-
I've only heard John Cudia as Raoul, so I was anxious to hear his Phantom. His voice was almost too......straight-laced. I like my Phantoms with deep, loud booming voices 8D~ (and now you all know why Brad Little is my burrito supremo ;)). I thought Marie Danvers was terrifically cast as Christine. Her voice wasn't overly innocent, but at the same time she sounded very unstudied and vunerable. Her WYWSHA was one of the most beautiful renditions I had ever heard <3 Others who were a thumbs-up: DC Anderson (Andre), Bruce Winant (Firmin), and John Whitney (Piangi) all got big laughs. I didn't think it was possible, but the managers really stole the show! Kate Wray was gorgeous (holy hell...her playbill picture looks like and outtake from Vogue!), and Madame Giry was....well, Madame Giry :P On my blacklist: Kim Stengel (Carlotta) and Jim Weitzer (Raoul). Kim was right on the money with Carlotta's prissy attitude, but her voice was too weak. Maybe it was the acoustics of the music hall..? I dont know. I was expecting to get my ear drums blown out when she first appears in Hannibal...and ended up thinking to myself "so...when's this chick gonna hit the high note? *waits for it* what the hell Hannibal's over??" -_-. And I know it's cliche to dislike Raoul...but Jim Weitzer really needs to be dropped. On the head. Hard. For the first 20 minutes of the show I thought they were having technical difficulties and forgot to turn his mic on. His normal speaking voice was perfectly fine volume-wise, but when he started singing I swear I could hear crickets chirping.
This was my first viewing of Phantom on American soil :D I have to ask...was it always this funny??? I didn't remember laughing as much when I saw it in Shanghai (but then again, the Chinese government probably filtered the material heavily :P) or in London! It was a new revelation for me *cue heavenly music*
From the beginning
- Clapping during the Overture...yup covered that already.
- Half the candles blacked out during Music of the Night, but they eventually came back on. This amused me XD
- John didn't catch Marie when she fainted :( (stfu this is a big deal to me!!) I like when the Phantoms catch their Christines :'(
- "The Crawl". All the Phantoms I've seen in the past have done a sort of..."curled up" crawl. ok picture this: John was laying on the ground completely linear and had almost finished singing most of his lines to Stranger Than You Dreamt It. I had almost given up all hope for "the crawl" when he started to drag himself across the stage...boot camp style. It was teh funnie
- Notes I: once again, the managers win at life.
- The chandelier drop was PAINFULLY slow. I could have gotten out of my seat, walked out to the beverage stand for a drink, wandered my way onto the stage, and still had enough time to pull Christine out of harm's way. Maybe I just need to visit Australia (some of you will get this reference, and the rest of you will just think I'm strange :P)
- Masquerade wasn't as lavish as I remembered it to be (Thanks to the "behind the mask" documentary revealing that half the "people" onstage are actually mannequins -_-) The first time I saw Phantom, I remember thinking WOW that's a BIG company! yes...I'm oblivious like that :P
- I will now take this time to say that I like the London version of Wandering Child better. Heck, I like the London version better period...but mostly because I like how the songs sound with their accent. i.e. mah-sk >> mask...and... pah-st >> past
- Point of No Return was on FIRE. Before it got to this scene, I was more focused on audience reactions and was zoning in and out. Then they started PoNR and I forgot how to breathe
- Final Lair: remember when I said John was a mediocre Phantom? His final lair made me forget about the previous 2 hours and 20 minutes altogether. (is it getting warm in here?) When he was doing his "This is the choice. This is the Point of No Retuuuurn" bit, he grabbed both of Marie's wrists and pinned her on the ground....between her legs *fans self*. If you hear a loud thunk in the background of my boot, that would be my jaw hitting the floor, k?
I was finished after that. There could have been an encore for all I know, but after that Final Lair scene......stick a fork in me, cause I was done.