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Phantom Tour Question

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Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
Phantom Tour Question#26
Posted: 11/12/19 at 10:47am

Seperite said: "I love how discussions of varying viewpoints invariably lead to snooty, snide comments ( "Clearly, you've never read the Leroux novel" )

That wasn't intended to be snooty, but rather a simple statement of fact.

Seperite said: "Equally clear is the fact that those who adapt others' work for different media always, always, take liberty with the source material, including both making additions and taking things away; that's what makes the work their own"

There's a difference between making adjustments to facilitate the adaptation from novel to stage musical, and actually fabricating an entire history for the principal characters.

Seperite said: "The enormous amount of stage-time devoted to the travails of the various peripheral characters could have been better spent on other things -- including, perhaps, scenes from the novel that must have been omitted from the shown, if inventing new scenes out of whole cloth would have been deemed too radical."

Yes, a fair amount of the novel was omitted from the stage musical, but again, I doubt you would be in favor of the inclusion of the missing pages if you'd actually read the novel. A huge chunk of it, starting on page 1, is devoted to (IMHO) aimless interactions and dialog between extremely minor characters who have no impact on the plot once the story actually gets going. If you're bored by supporting characters who are germane to the plot (the managers, Carlotta, Piangi, et al.), then I expect you would've walked out within the first 10 minutes of a stage show that was adapted page-for-page.

Seperite said: "no one goes around humming anything Piangi, Carlotta, Firmin, Giry, etc. sings or says."

That sort of sweeping generalization is absurd - how could you possibly know such a thing? I, for one, have hummed the Notes/Prima Donna scenes innumerable times since first hearing the original cast recording.

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Justin D Profile PhotoJustin D Profile Photo
Justin D
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
Phantom Tour Question#27
Posted: 11/13/19 at 7:19am

Fosse76 said: "Lot666 said: "The one scene that was completely removed from the 90-minute "Vegas Spectacular" production was the Rehearsal for Don Juan Triumphant, which is one of my absolute favorites in the show, for both its music and character interaction."

This scene offers nothing to the show other than covering up the set transition for the graveyard scene. We here the music later during Don Juan Triumphant. The characters' anxiety over the opera ghost is well-established by this point. In fact, the scene barely makes sense, considering Christine had literally just run off the stage declaring she can't /won't do the opera, and now all of a sudden she's rehearsing it.


I;ve always wondered about this, I am in the boat where personally I dont think this scene is necessary. Plus, as far as i am aware, the graveyard scene is set up while the manager's scene is ongoing (hence they dont use the 'door' in the second managers scene, so really it inst necessary for set transformation. Just have Raoul finish his line, drop that gray scrim, clear the desk and drape while the title theme plays on.


I also never understood what exactly it was that Piangi was doing wrong, apparently its a very subtle thing only musicians would get.

I think its one of all of the Japan recordings that leave out this scene alltogether and i think musically it transitions well from the managers scene into the graveyard.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/27199361@N08/ Phantom at the Royal Empire Theatre
Phantom Tour Question#28
Posted: 11/18/19 at 10:36am

A scene depicting Christine training with the Phantom, or of the Phantom's early life, would have added to/deviated from the novel no more or less than the actual product. In the actual show, the fact that Christine has been taking lessons from the Phantom is discussed by other characters on multiple occasions. And the Phantom's backstory -- his escape from the circus (?) and ostracization -- is explicitly explained by Giri. But here is where Lloyd Webber broke the cardinal rule of theater -- you don't tell, you show. Scenes depicting these critical elements of the story would have been much more interesting to watch than having characters jabber away about it/explain it through exposition.

As for the many scenes featuring the peripheral characters -- on my most recent trip to the show, I got one of those closed captioning devices provided by the theater for the first time. And I was fascinated to learn that in the various scenes with the peripheral characters standing around singing over one another in discordant tones, important aspects of the plot are indeed advanced. Why Lloyd Webber decided to do things this way is a mystery (particularly in light of the fact that closed captioning devices didn't exist in the 80s). I found it impossible to hear the (important) lyrics that the characters were singing, either because of the accents they were putting on, or because of the fact that various characters sing different lines at the same time (I was sitting close enough to the stage to see the actors' lips moving, and there's nothing wrong with my hearing). If these plot points are important, why advance them in scenes where no one in the audience can tell what's going on? And if these plot points are not important, why include them at all?

As to the 'no one hums songs by the peripheral characters' line -- it's very nice that you like a peripheral character scene. The fact is, however, that the iconic songs from this show -- the ones everybody knows, the ones that are used in all promotional materials for the piece, the ones that made the show famous and continue to make it a draw -- are the ones sung between and by the three main characters. You may be the rare bird whose hair stands on end as Don Juan Triumphant begins to waft through your ears, but for 99.99% of the audience, all those scenes with the peripheral characters are filler. They're there to hear and see the Phantom and his two cohorts, and the half-dozen or so songs that everyone knows (and which make up the overture). The inclusion of all the filler stuff is just...bizarre to me.