“He’s there … The Phantom of the Opera.” Yes it’s true, he’s right over there on Broad and Locust, as a matter of fact!
Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit Broadway musical “The Phantom of the Opera” is currently on a two-week run at the Academy of Music (Nov. 1-12). This new production is a revamp of the classic musical, but there aren’t any significant changes from the original production in terms of musical numbers and overall plot.
“The Phantom of the Opera” originally opened at London’s West End in 1986 and soon after premiered on Broadway in 1988. In 1988 it won the Tony Award for Best Musical, and quickly became a pop culture mainstay.
The story centers around a young dancer named Christine Daae, who secretly receives singing tutelage from a masked man in her mirror, whom she believes to be an “angel of music.” However, this “angel” turns out to be the Phantom, who goes into a fit of rage and causes a stir when the musical director chooses not to cast Christine in the leading role.
The Phantom takes Christine down to his labyrinth beneath the theatre and professes his love for her. However, she is already in love with a childhood friend, Raoul, who suddenly returns to see her perform in the opera. This love triangle becomes the central issue in the musical, as the growingly frustrated Phantom takes out his anger and aggression on the opera house staff.
It’s a thriller, an emotional drama, a love story and a comedy all in one. Sometimes, all at once. The best part, however, is surprisingly not even the plot — it’s Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hauntingly beautiful musical arrangements. The catchy melodic motifs and lush orchestrations will have you whistling almost every single number in the following 24 hours after seeing “Phantom.”
The cast when I saw the production on Nov. 3 was nothing short of exceptional. The role of Christine was performed by Kaitlyn Davis, who did a marvelous job. Her singing was really beautiful, which shone brightest on numbers like “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again,” “The Phantom of the Opera” and “Think of Me.” Derrick Davis, who played the Phantom, really stood out. He did a phenomenal job singing numbers like “All I Ask of You (Reprise),” “Point of No Return” and “The Music of the Night.”
Jordan Craig (Raoul) as well as the rest of the supporting cast also did a really superb job. The ensemble looked and sounded great during the bombastic Act Two opener “Masquerade/Why So Silent?” The actors’ costumes and dances were augmented by the wonderful orchestra (under the direction of Jamie Johns). The orchestrations were so beautiful and moving at times, while packing a real punch other times (the iconic overture set the perfect mood of emotion and horror).
“The Phantom of the Opera” is widely considered to be one of the greatest musicals of all time, and it isn’t without good reason. It’s truly an entertaining and moving show and every time I see it, it seems to get better. My favorite numbers are the most evocative ones, so I absolutely loved hearing “The Music of the Night,” “All I Ask of You,” “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again” and “Angel of Music” in such a fantastic live production.
Tickets are still on sale, available to purchase from the Kimmel Center website. You should hop on this opportunity and buy yourself a ticket because if you wait too long you’ll miss it! Might as well grab a pair and make a night out of it with your significant other or best bud.