2
Page: 2


Phantom of the Opera Reviews

AHLiebross Profile PhotoAHLiebross Profile Photo
AHLiebross
Broadway Star
joined:10/22/13
Broadway Star
joined:
10/22/13
Phantom of the Opera Reviews#26
Posted: 11/2/14 at 1:23am
My former name on this board was POTOPhan, or something like that. I started using my initials and name because it was too darned much trouble to keep signing in and out when I wanted to post on the board, versus post a theater review on the DC Bway World page.

I saw the show twice on Saturday, August 2nd, sitting in the same seat. (I wanted to compare the two Christines for the Web site I'm setting up, called All Things Phantom dot com).

I have seen some EXTRAORDINARY Phantoms over the years, on tour,in Las Vegas, and on Broadway: Hugh Panaro (four times), whose interpretation I never really agreed with, but he was still fantastic; Greg Mills (covering for Hugh); Tim Martin Gleason; John Cudia; Tony Crivello (twice in Las Vegas); Allan Snyder (covering for Cooper Grodin in the new version); and, of course, Gerard Butler in the 2004 film. (Don't laugh about Gerry -- his voice wasn't up there, but his acting was extraordinary). All were superb, but Norm Lewis outdoes them all.

The story does not show the process by which the Phantom changes his mind and decides to let Christine go. Norm, however, alone among Phantoms I've seen, through his glances and facial expressions throughout the show, conveys the Phantom's fight with himself about what he is doing. This Phantom does not have a sudden epiphany at the end -- this is a Phantom with a conscience, who fights with his better nature, and in the end, lets his better nature take charge.

One new thing that I noticed during my August 2nd Phantom marathon was that Christine NEVER tells Raoul she loves him. In fact, the way Mary Michael Patterson played Christine in the afternoon performance, she conveys her love for the Phantom through her facial expressions and looking longingly at him. (Sierra Boggess did not interpret the part the same way in the evening performance, and I actually liked Mary's interpretation better). No telling Raoul she loves him, looking longingly at the Phantom ... maybe Christine picked the wrong guy....

Audrey

Audrey, the Phantom Phanatic, who nonetheless would rather be Jean Valjean, who knew how to make lemonade out of lemons.
PanaroFan111
Stand-by
joined:8/31/14
Stand-by
joined:
8/31/14
Phantom of the Opera Reviews#27
Posted: 11/2/14 at 11:10am
Audrey,
I know everyone has there own favorites on who plays the Phantom. Ive seen over 10 guys play the Phantom on Broadway either principles or understudies. Im just curious what didn't you agree with about Hugh Panaro interpretation. Also who was your favorite Phantom on Broadway?
jm10112
Chorus Member
joined:5/16/14
Chorus Member
joined:
5/16/14
Phantom of the Opera Reviews#28
Posted: 11/2/14 at 12:41pm
It was by far one of the most captivating, intense, serious and dignified productions that I have ever seen. Just be prepared for a slight overdose of Opera music. The rest is PHENOMENAL!
GavestonPS Profile PhotoGavestonPS Profile Photo
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/10/12
Phantom of the Opera Reviews#29
Posted: 11/2/14 at 1:25pm
Opera music? Just because you rip off Puccini doesn't mean you have written "opera music".

A friend played Raul in LA, so I saw the show with numerous relatives. I was always bored except one time when I had two herniated disks and had to load up on codeine in order to sit for 3 hours.

All of a sudden I realized that the story was about three characters trying to do the "right" thing (in the view of each) with no possibility of all three succeeding. I was moved to tears and sobbed through much of the show.

Then I went back again--cold sober--and the boredom returned...
AHLiebross Profile PhotoAHLiebross Profile Photo
AHLiebross
Broadway Star
joined:10/22/13
Broadway Star
joined:
10/22/13
Phantom of the Opera Reviews#30
Posted: 11/2/14 at 6:48pm
PanaroFan111, the reason I disagreed with Hugh Panaro's interpretation is that most Phantoms get absolutely hysterical at various points, such as the unmasking. (Ramin Karimloo's voice seems to go up 3 octaves as he shrieks. Phantom of the Opera Reviews ) Hugh Panaro, however, especially in the final lair scene, while he was sitting on his magic escape chair, sounded almost supercilious. I still don't know why he practically sang the line, "You try my patience." (His voice went up on "ence," instead of accenting the "pa" and going down on "tience.") He then switched to boredom for "Make your choice." I'm not sure why the Phantom would sound bored at that point, when his plot to possess Christine is at its culmination.

One thing I noticed when I saw Hugh during the 25th anniversary performance (given the tiny amount I could see from the rear mezz -- we Facebook contest winners were not seated with Cameron Mackintosh Phantom of the Opera Reviews ) was that Hugh changed his interpretation. During the 25th anniversary, the Phantom seemed more energized than during the three earlier performances with Hugh Panaro that I'd attended. He was spot on during the Broadway 25th. Perhaps it was Hugh himself who was energized, and not just the Phantom.

As far as my favorite Broadway Phantom, it's definitely Norm Lewis. Not only is his voice slightly deeper (I prefer baritones to tenors), but I loved his interpretation. Besides, the man exudes sex appeal, and not just good looks. The Phantom has definitely changed from the Lon Chaney days -- now, the character is often sexy as hell. At least that's the view of this 60-year-old female who can still appreciate a hunk. Phantom of the Opera Reviews
Audrey, the Phantom Phanatic, who nonetheless would rather be Jean Valjean, who knew how to make lemonade out of lemons.
phantomoftheopera Profile Photophantomoftheopera Profile Photo
phantomoftheopera
Swing
joined:10/17/14
Swing
joined:
10/17/14
Phantom of the Opera Reviews#31
Posted: 11/2/14 at 10:43pm
I agree with what was said above about Hugh. I had heard such fantastic things about his Phantom, but when I saw him last year i was kind of disappointed. He was amazing vocally, but he did not seem energetic at all. During I Remember/STYDI, he barely even reacted when Christine pulled off the mask, which I found very odd. I'm guessing it was maybe just an off performance since everybody seems to rave about him.
someone.else's.story2 Profile Photosomeone.else's.story2 Profile Photo
someone.else's.story2
Leading Actor
joined:3/18/07
Leading Actor
joined:
3/18/07
Phantom of the Opera Reviews#32
Posted: 11/3/14 at 11:39am
Anyone ever see Kevin Gray play the Phantom?

He was amazing and heartbreaking.
“I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.” ``oscar wilde``
Broadwaydreaming Profile PhotoBroadwaydreaming Profile Photo
Broadwaydreaming
Stand-by
joined:7/7/14
Stand-by
joined:
7/7/14
Phantom of the Opera Reviews#33
Posted: 11/3/14 at 12:04pm
I saw Phantom back in 2013 with Hugh and Sierra. Excellent show and Sierra led it beautifully. I was underwhelmed by Hugh though. Like other posters said above, he lacked the energy that Sierra had. None the less POTO is one of my faves. The last scene completely stole my heart. I'm dying to see Norm in the role!
Elfuhbuh Profile PhotoElfuhbuh Profile Photo
Elfuhbuh
Broadway Legend
joined:3/23/14
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/23/14
Phantom of the Opera Reviews#34
Posted: 11/3/14 at 1:40pm
Hugh Panaro has been known to switch up his performance every once in a while, so some people may have seen his "better" acting choices while you may have seen one of his more "laid-back" approaches. Luckily when I saw him a few years ago, he was on-point and energetic all throughout the performance, so I guess I got to see one of his better nights.
"Was uns befreit, das muss stärker sein als wir es sind." -Tanz der Vampire
Fantod Profile PhotoFantod Profile Photo
Fantod
Broadway Legend
joined:10/3/14
Broadway Legend
joined:
10/3/14
Phantom of the Opera Reviews#35
Posted: 11/3/14 at 1:47pm
GavestonPS, that was absolutely hilarious, even if I don't necessarily agree with you.
Sutton Ross Profile PhotoSutton Ross Profile Photo
Sutton Ross
Broadway Legend
joined:7/20/13
Broadway Legend
joined:
7/20/13
Phantom of the Opera Reviews#36
Posted: 11/3/14 at 2:30pm
I saw Phantom when I was really young in Toronto. I loved it, but we were sitting in the last row, because that is all they had available. So, something was definitely lost. I decided to go back a few weeks ago because Norm Lewis is one of my favorite performers. I sat in the 4th row and it was a totally new experience for me. I loved seeing their faces, and the details of all the costumes. This show is still wonderful all these years later.
Dilettante
South Fl Marc Profile PhotoSouth Fl Marc Profile Photo
South Fl Marc
Broadway Legend
joined:6/23/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/23/04
Phantom of the Opera Reviews#37
Posted: 11/3/14 at 2:40pm
"Just be prepared for a slight overdose of Opera music."

There's no opera music in the show, not a bit.
Now living in DC. I really have to change my name on the board.
Mister Matt Profile PhotoMister Matt Profile Photo
Mister Matt
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/17/03
Phantom of the Opera Reviews#38
Posted: 11/3/14 at 3:27pm
UHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH? Please share with me what you consider a true Broadway classic.

Phantom of the Opera Reviews

Phantom has certainly earned its place in Broadway history due to its long run, but let's not forget a couple of things:

1. It's a British transfer that arrived on Broadway with an already successful original West End production

2. There was already nearly a century of true Broadway classics in place prior to Phantom's transfer

Phantom is one of those rare shows that I somehow look back on and think "What's the big deal? It's pretty, but not all that" but when I see it, I'm immediately reminded why it became such a huge sensation and continues to hold strong. The last time I saw it was the 2007 national tour, taking a dear friend who had never seen the show before. It was still as beautiful and thrilling as the first time I saw the Broadway production in 1992. Since my boyfriend has never seen the show, I plan on taking him to see it in London. I haven't seen the London production, so it'll something new for both of us.

"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
Updated On: 11/3/14 at 03:27 PM
PanaroFan111
Stand-by
joined:8/31/14
Stand-by
joined:
8/31/14
Phantom of the Opera Reviews#40
Posted: 11/3/14 at 8:34pm
AHLiebross
Thanks for taking the time for giving me a complete review about how you feel about Hughs performance. Me and my wife over the years have seen Hugh perform the role over 40 times. Its funny how over the years and so many performances you could see how Hugh has changed with his acting. Vocally he is amazing but I noticed when he was younger he was a much wilder phantom. The last time we saw him before he left you noticed he seemed much more tired, being with the show since the 90s you can sense he was getting tired.

2