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Phantom & Christine Doubles

RemlapLBC
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Phantom & Christine Doubles#1
Posted: 4/22/20 at 2:49pm

After 30 years, is spoiler alert needed?

Title Track....

Phantom & Christine run down stairs, or off stage depending on theatre and hightail it backstage to the boat to come onstage across the lake in the second half of the song.

Doubles instantly appear at the top of the stage and crisscrossing down the path, lip-syncing.

So question is, who is playing Phantom and Christine during the first half of the song?  Do the standby's have to actually work briefly every day?  Are they random uncredited members of the company? If the later, what other roles do they play in the show.

Second bonus question, how much makeup does Phantom #2 actually get, or is it more just the mask.

Not earth shattering questions, but only curious.

 

 

.

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Tag
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Phantom & Christine Doubles#2
Posted: 4/22/20 at 2:56pm

I don't know official answers, but I'd assume the doubles are the 2 ensemble tracks that understudy the roles.  The alternates would not appear for that brief a time.  And I'd assume there would be no special make-up for the Phantom double (beyond what the ensemble member would be wearing otherwise), as the mask covers his face and he is far upstage.  Just my thoughts.

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LizzieCurry
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Phantom & Christine Doubles#3
Posted: 4/22/20 at 2:57pm

The show (usually) has no standby for the Phantom, and the Christine alternate isn't the Christine double. I believe one of them is the "princess," who's also the mirror bride and usually the Christine understudy, but I could be wrong.

"This thread reads like a series of White House memos." — Mister Matt
ImAProphet
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Phantom & Christine Doubles#4
Posted: 4/22/20 at 3:04pm

In January I saw the show from second row house right and recognized two of the Christines (the one going down into the trap door and the one making the first left-to-right crossing immediately after) from the ballet chorus. On a previous viewing I noticed that the second crossing is made by the actual Christine, so I assume it's the real Phantom as well. As for the third crossing I don't think I got a good look at her.

EDIT: I just remembered an ensemble member (I think he was the Slave Master in Hannibal and various other roles) telling a story on Instagram where he briefly alluded to doubling for the Phantom.

Updated On: 4/22/20 at 03:04 PM
Tsao5
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Phantom & Christine Doubles#5
Posted: 4/22/20 at 3:44pm

I believe the Phantom double in that scene is the performer who is the Slave Master.  Usually, they have the same lean body as the Phantom.  I have seen behind the scenes posts of them in Phantom garb. :)

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blaxx
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Phantom & Christine Doubles#6
Posted: 4/22/20 at 4:05pm

They are both ensemble tracks, gives them something to do.  The whole song is lip synched from beginning to end anyhow, it's not sung live.

Listen, I don't take my clothes off for anyone, even if it is "artistic". - JANICE
LushyBear
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Phantom & Christine Doubles#7
Posted: 4/22/20 at 4:16pm

I was under the impression that the part starting with the boat is live? And then Christine's final notes (is that a cadenza?) is also from tape. 

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LizzieCurry
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Phantom & Christine Doubles#8
Posted: 4/22/20 at 4:23pm

^ This is what I've always thought, too. 

"This thread reads like a series of White House memos." — Mister Matt
Islander_fan
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Phantom & Christine Doubles#9
Posted: 4/22/20 at 5:02pm

Not that long ago, I entered and won the Phantom lotto. The seats were in the front row. And, when they were on the boat, it did look like they were still lip synching. However, it may be less obvious the further back you are. Though, I don't know. 

That said, it was very clear that the actual singing started up again when the Phantom sings the line "I have brought you..." that goes right into Music of the Night. 

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Phantom & Christine Doubles#10
Posted: 4/22/20 at 6:15pm

Phantom & Christine Doubles
Phantom & Christine Doubles

Yes, as many said the Slave Master is the Phantom double. Here's the gorgeous Andrei Teodor Iliescu, the Slave Master from the London production, dressed as the Phantom before going on stage for the title song, and during the Hannibal sequence

Updated On: 4/22/20 at 06:15 PM
thedrybandit
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Phantom & Christine Doubles#11
Posted: 4/22/20 at 7:54pm

I can answer a couple of these. The first pass on the bridge is made by a member of the ballet chorus as Christine, and a male performer as the Phantom (usually the Slave Master, and it's also correct that he has no special makeup on), and then they're replaced by both lead performers for rest of the time on the bridge.

And as far as the singing goes, everything is taped in the song except for the Phantom's spoken/shouted "sing for me" lines once they step off the boat. 

Source: S.O. was a part of one of the Prince-directed productions.

JennH
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Phantom & Christine Doubles#12
Posted: 4/22/20 at 10:42pm

Just as a matter of interest...is there a reason why the song can't be sung live? Is it truly all pre recorded? Heaven knows that still has been debated for years, and you'd think that since I know two people in the show, I'd know by now. Yes I get the doubles, but you can't tell me that they can't sing that song from the wings and just continue from there, when singing from offstage is exactly what Christine and Raoul do literally RIGHT at the end of act 1....Not to mention I've always said the title song is the one that makes Christine the tricky sing she is, as it spans her entire listed range, the G3 to E6 in just one song...if she actually sang it anyway. Many Christines, past and present, have said that without that song, the rest of the role you can file your nails by for the most part and that it almost negates the need for an alternate. Heck, it's the phantom who I mostly believe needs one more since he's what I like to call a high wire act...a lead role that may not have a lot of actual stage time but when they're on, it's all high energy all the time. And the makeup work...WOOF, I miss performing myself but I can't say I'd enjoy sitting through that makeup process 8 times a week.  

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blaxx
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Phantom & Christine Doubles#13
Posted: 4/23/20 at 1:28am

It is all pre-recorded, from beginning to end. My friend told me reason why is because, in UK previews and developmemt, the difference between the recorded and live parts was obvious and sounded completely off.

It also allows for Christines to go without having to reach the note from hell every night; the sound mixing and reverb sounded awful and was a sound tech's nightmare.

Thus, the whole track is recorded.

Listen, I don't take my clothes off for anyone, even if it is "artistic". - JANICE
Updated On: 4/23/20 at 01:28 AM
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imeldasturn
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Phantom & Christine Doubles#14
Posted: 4/23/20 at 2:37am

btw, Why So Silent? is also pre-recorded, together with all the Phantom's off-stage singing/talking in Notes, Prima Donna & Seal My Fate (the pre-Don Juan bit)

Phantom4ever
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Phantom & Christine Doubles#15
Posted: 4/23/20 at 2:52am
I’ve heard enough people confirm both on and off this board that the title track is prerecorded and I get the reasons why. But when the leads appear onstage on the boat, isn’t it more of a sweetened track? Maybe It’s just semantics but it seems like this thread is coming to the conclusion that the leads do not sing a single note of the title song and Christine never has to sing her cadenza at the end, which would basically negate the need for an alternate. Isn’t it more like they do sing it live every night but with a sweetened track behind them? I almost always sit in the first couple rows when I see it and I can certainly see both leads’ blood vessels popping out as they sing. They only time it sounds recorded, to me at least, is at the beginning of the song until the boat and during Christine’s cadenza when it sounds as if they turned the track’s volume way back up. I don’t even see the doubles even trying to pretend to sing.

The real question is how much of the pit is recorded during that title song and how many of the 28 piece orchestra is actually there every night? I’ve heard some rumors.....
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Phantom & Christine Doubles#16
Posted: 4/23/20 at 10:56am

I was a performance of the tour (the third national, not the current) around 2003 when the overture itself was delayed. The spark went off on the chandelier after "GENTLEMEN!", but the drapery got a bit tangled and the chandelier rose in SILENCE. Or, at least, without an overture. You could hear the motor inside. It made me wonder if the entire organ part is recorded, or maybe most of the beginning, and the entanglement triggered something? I can't even remember how much of the overture ended up being played. It was super awkward but also fascinating.

"This thread reads like a series of White House memos." — Mister Matt
thedrybandit
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Phantom & Christine Doubles#17
Posted: 4/23/20 at 10:59am

Phantom4ever said: "I’ve heard enough people confirm both on and off this board that the title track is prerecorded and I get the reasons why. But when the leads appear onstage on the boat, isn’t it more of a sweetened track? Maybe It’s just semantics but it seems like this thread is coming to the conclusion that the leads do not sing a single note of the title song and Christine never has to sing her cadenza at the end, which would basically negate the need for an alternate. Isn’t it more like they do sing it live every night but with a sweetened track behind them? I almost always sit in the first couple rows when I see it and I can certainly see both leads’ blood vessels popping out as they sing. They only time it sounds recorded, to me at least, is at the beginning of the song until the boat and during Christine’s cadenza when it sounds as if they turned the track’s volume way back up. I don’t even see the doubles even trying to pretend to sing.

The real question is how much of the pit is recorded during that title song and how many of the 28 piece orchestra is actually there every night? I’ve heard some rumors.....
"

Unless something has changed, the actors are quite specifically directed not to sing, unless there's a problem with the track and it stops.

And Christine has an alternate because she's on stage for 90% of the show, not because of the high note.

chrishuyen
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Phantom & Christine Doubles#18
Posted: 4/23/20 at 11:09am
why is Why So Silent also lip synced? Is it because they can't fit a mic under the red death costume?
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Phantom & Christine Doubles#19
Posted: 4/23/20 at 11:12am

^I think the red death costume is a double too?

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Phantom & Christine Doubles#20
Posted: 4/23/20 at 11:20am

chrishuyen said: "why is Why So Silent also lip synced? Is it because they can't fit a mic under the red death costume?"

 

I believe because the costume is heavy and moving the jaw of the skull mask is difficult and requires exaggerating the jaw movements, it makes singing Why So Silent very difficult, so it's pre-recorded. Might also have to do with visibility/safety of the stairs, I'm not sure.

Not sure who plays the body double after, I think it might be one of the Phantom understudies

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Phantom & Christine Doubles#21
Posted: 4/23/20 at 11:23am

Tag said: "^I think the red death costume is a double too?"

There are two, the real phantom who disappears down the trap door and the double who appears at the top of the stairs right after

JennH
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Phantom & Christine Doubles#22
Posted: 4/23/20 at 11:31am

phantom4ever, I love how we both used the term "negate" Phantom & Christine Doubles 

blaxx-Ok I get that, sounds like it was a "necessary evil to accommodate the best of both worlds" scenario. I can imagine a sound tech back then just wanting to tear their hair out constantly, but with how far sound tech has come since then, wouldn't there be way around this now, 30+ years later? I also recall a good few years back, the show was dark for about a week to make way for a new sound system. Apart from that, that cadenza is indeed tricky to do that many times a week, even specifically opera trained singers will confirm that, but it's doable a few times a week. Just have a recording ready in case on a given day it's not. Without having to sing it, there really is no need for an alternate. Of course I wouldn't complain about getting paid the same, whether I was the primary or alternate Phantom & Christine Doubles

And it's certainly no secret that all the phantom's offstage stuff is pre-recorded, but that actually makes sense to the story itself because of the idea that all those years as a circus freak show attraction, he learned to throw his voice, hence adding to the eerie mystery of the whole thing as well as himself. 

drybandit- Sure, but there's plenty of other roles that are on stage just as much as she is, PLUS arguably have more singing to do and they don't have alternates. Elphaba anyone? That role is another that's overdue to have one. For the past decade or so, the standby has gone on often enough to call for this promotion change. Evan H didn't have one at first, but now he does, which is necessary since they started casting actual teenagers. It's not so much how much stage time you have, it's what one is having to do during that time. I think Jekyll/Hyde didn't start off with one, but ended up getting one, though I've never been able to confirm this, because if not, that's another role that 100% needed one. It's pretty god forsaken. 

sparksatmidnight
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Phantom & Christine Doubles#23
Posted: 4/23/20 at 11:41am

JennH said: "phantom4ever, I love how we both used the term "negate" Phantom & Christine Doubles

blaxx-Ok I get that, sounds like it was a "necessary evil to accommodate the best of both worlds" scenario. I can imagine a sound tech back then just wanting to teartheir hair out constantly, but with how far sound tech has come since then, wouldn't there be way around this now, 30+ years later? I also recall agood fewyears back, the show was dark for about a week to make way for a new sound system.Apart from that, that cadenza is indeed tricky to do that many times a week, even specifically opera trained singers will confirm that, but it's doable a few times a week. Justhave a recording ready in case on a given day it's not. Without having to sing it, there really is no need for an alternate. Of course Iwouldn't complain about getting paid the same, whether I was the primary or alternate Phantom & Christine Doubles

And it's certainly no secret that all the phantom's offstage stuff is pre-recorded, but that actually makes sense to thestory itselfbecause of the idea that all those years as a circus freak show attraction, he learned to throw his voice, hence adding to the eerie mystery of the whole thing as well as himself.

drybandit- Sure, but there's plenty of other roles that are on stage just as much as she is, PLUS arguablyhavemore singing to doand they don't have alternates. Elphaba anyone? That roleis another that's overdue to have one. For the past decade or so, the standby has goneon often enoughto call for this promotion change.Evan H didn't have one at first, but now he does, which is necessary since they startedcasting actual teenagers.It's not so much how much stage time you have, it's what one is having to do during that time. I think Jekyll/Hyde didn't start off with one, but ended up getting one, though I've never been able to confirm this, because ifnot, that's another role that 100% needed one. It's pretty god forsaken.
"

^ You're spot on. Elphaba (and Glinda, for that matter) don't have alternates but they do have stand-bys. Christine doesn't. She doesn't sing the title song but there's still Think of Me, All I Ask of You, Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again, the Final Lair, walking with those heavy costumes...

nasty_khakis
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Phantom & Christine Doubles#24
Posted: 4/23/20 at 12:16pm

Nicole Parker made jokes years ago about how it's so insane (to her voice at least) that a part that lip synchs most of her high notes only has to do 6 but in Wicked she's running up and down stairs screaming (in heavy costumes too) and does all 8.

Sierra Boggess has also talked about asking to just do all 8, especially in Vegas where the show was shorter and how producers didn't want to set the precedence. She said she was ten times more exhausted doing Mermaid 8 times a week than she ever would playing Christine.

Don't misunderstand, I know everyone's voices are different muscles and respond differently to things, but I think most Christines will tell you they could do all 8.

Nicole Parker talking about it-- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYoNyickcrI

 

thedrybandit
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Phantom & Christine Doubles#25
Posted: 4/23/20 at 3:27pm

LizzieCurry said: "I was a performance of the tour (the third national, not the current) around 2003 when the overture itself was delayed. The spark went off on the chandelier after "GENTLEMEN!", but the drapery got a bit tangled and the chandelier rose in SILENCE. Or, at least, without an overture. You could hear the motor inside.It made me wonder if the entire organ part is recorded, or maybe most of the beginning, and the entanglement triggered something? I can't even remember how much of the overture ended up being played. It was super awkward but also fascinating."

The first 75 seconds are recorded. The orchestra comes in at that point, when strings are introduced. In the linked clip, they start at 1:17.
https://youtu.be/NhttZz9lmpk?t=78

 

"Not sure who plays the body double after, I think it might be one of the Phantom understudies"

It's one of the male dancers, either the slave master or the il muto dancer, whichever one hands out the drinks to the leads during Masquerade. He crosses the stage, hands out drinks, and then goes behind the stairs to change.