BWW Review: THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA is Spectacular at Detroit Opera House with Derrick Davis, Katie Travis, & Anne Kanengeiser!
Cameron Mackintosh's spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera is just that - spectacular. It is the show that everyone has grown to know and love since it debuted in 1986, but the added enhancement of updated technology and design makes it an even better experience for theatregoers while it is here until January 22nd at the Detroit Opera House.
The show retains the beloved story and score that is considered a masterpiece by Andrew Lloyd Webber, but Cameron Mackintosh redesigned many other aspects of the production to give it a new feel and make it a much bigger spectacle, which is very deserving of the story and score. The sets, lighting, and sound are revamped, but the show retains the original Tony Award-winning costumes by Mary Björn. The epic chandelier has been given a facelift and is a gorgeous sight to see in person with over 6,000 crystals on it. Another infamous moment of the show, when Christine journeys to the Phantom's lair via a boat with the candles has also been revamped. The boat and candles are still there, but the journey is now even more intense and epic - a perfect fit for the song!
The cast for this tour of The Phantom of the Opera is absolutely spectacular as well. There is just no other way to describe them. From the moment the gavel hits on the auction block in the first scene to the mob scene in the lair, they are outstanding. The whole company, from the leads to the ensemble members, they draw the audience in and keeps them under their spell the entire show. It is a truly a magical experience.
Drawing people in is exactly what Derrick Davis does. Davis plays the role of The Phantom. He is extraordinary in the role. His is singing voice is one that a person could never get tired of listening to, but is also the perfect voice for his character because of the emotion he expresses as he sings. The audience feels everything that The Phantom feels through his songs. He made unique acting choices by playing The Phantom very raw, visceral, yet still very human. Davis was just all around the perfect The Phantom not just because had the greatest voice to do it with, but because he made The Phantom human, yet still battling the demons within.
Detroit had a special treat with Bay City native Katie Travis as Christine Daaé. Travis was lovely in the role. She is full of vitality on stage. She hit the high notes in Christine's repertoire of songs like it took no effort at all. Her chemistry with the other scene partners was charming and "All I Ask of You" was a gorgeous duet between Jordan Craig (Raoul) and her. Travis and Davis worked especially well together with their opposites attracting on stage. Any time they had a scene together, no matter what the context, there was extra energy onstage, especially during "The Point of No Return."
Anne Kanengeiser played the role of Madame Giry. Just a quick note about her as she was fantastic throughout the entire show. She may not be one covered in glitz and glamour or have a lot of solos, but she is noticed for the hard work she does and she does her role well. She has great comedic timing (for the little this musical has), she never breaks character, and when she does sing, it is a beautiful voice. Kanengeiser is one to watch.
There are currently eight productions of The Phantom of the Opera going on around the world, but this US tour is only place that you can see Cameron Mackintosh's new production of it. It toured the UK from 2012-2013, so do not miss out your chance to see this brand new spectacular production while it is here in Detroit.
The Phantom of Opera is currently until January 22nd at the Detroit Opera House in Detroit. For more information or tickets, visit www.BroadwayInDetroit.com.