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Favorite Phantom?

Globefan
Leading Actor
joined:10/31/12
Leading Actor Joined: 10/31/12
Favorite Phantom? #1
Posted: 9/20/20 at 9:14pm

Who is your favorite performer who has played the title role in The Phantom of the Opera? My favorite is a tie between Michael Crawford and Ramin. 

ImAProphet
Understudy
joined:7/5/18
Understudy Joined: 7/5/18
Favorite Phantom?#2
Posted: 9/20/20 at 10:05pm
I feel like I can only fairly judge those I've seen in person, so for me that would be Josh Piterman who starred in the West End production up until the shutdown. For comparison I have also seen Ben Crawford (honorable mention), Peter Jöback, James Barbour, and Laird Mackintosh.

I think Hugh Panaro could have been my favorite if I'd had a chance to see him. I've been really impressed with him in bootlegs and have enjoyed him in other things. But I didn't experience him the same as the others so I'm not confident making the comparison. I feel similarly about Michael Crawford - the original cast album is still my favorite.
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Sutton Ross
Broadway Legend
joined:7/20/13
Broadway Legend Joined: 7/20/13
Favorite Phantom?#3
Posted: 9/20/20 at 10:07pm

Norm Lewis. He breathed new life into the role. Absolutely brilliant. 

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TheatreFan4
Broadway Legend
joined:8/12/09
Broadway Legend Joined: 8/12/09
Favorite Phantom?#4
Posted: 9/20/20 at 10:07pm

I've only seen Howard McGillin & Hugh Panaro live, but I'd have to say between the two Howard takes it.

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darquegk
Broadway Legend
joined:2/5/09
Broadway Legend Joined: 2/5/09
Favorite Phantom?#5
Posted: 9/20/20 at 11:01pm
Paul Williams
Lot666 Profile Photo
Lot666
Broadway Legend
joined:2/8/17
Broadway Legend Joined: 2/8/17
Favorite Phantom?#6
Posted: 9/21/20 at 10:18am

I love Michael Crawford's performance on the original cast recording, but I unfortunately never saw him in the role.

Of those I've seen (and there have been MANY), my favorite to date is the current Phantom, Ben Crawford.

Honorable mentions also go to these very fine gentlemen:

Hugh Panaro
Jeremy Stolle
Laird Mackintosh

============> this board is a nest of vipers <============

"Michael Riedel...The Perez Hilton of the New York Theatre scene"
- Craig Hepworth, What's On Stage
Updated On: 9/21/20 at 10:18 AM
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Blockhead24
Broadway Legend
joined:8/20/09
Broadway Legend Joined: 8/20/09
Favorite Phantom?#7
Posted: 9/21/20 at 11:30am

Sutton Ross, I couldn't agree more. He is my favorite too.

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Enjolras5
Understudy
joined:10/20/19
Understudy Joined: 10/20/19
Favorite Phantom?#8
Posted: 9/21/20 at 11:34am

This is a really hard question...Micheal Crawford's performance was the first I've heard and I'd have to say he outshines the rest.  The sheer power and emotion in that man's voice...

...plus that duet with Barbra Streisand!!!! Out of this world!!!

~E
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Urban
Broadway Legend
joined:2/27/05
Broadway Legend Joined: 2/27/05
Favourite Phantom?#9
Posted: 9/21/20 at 10:54pm
Anthony Warlow.

Its a shame there never was a cast recording with him and only those snippets on the Anniversary CRs.
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CATSNYrevival
Broadway Legend
joined:3/1/04
Broadway Legend Joined: 3/1/04
Favourite Phantom?#10
Posted: 9/22/20 at 12:33am

Urban said: "Anthony Warlow.

Its a shame there never was a cast recording with him and only those snippets on the Anniversary CRs.
"

There's a soundboard recording.

FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
Broadway Legend Joined: 7/22/03
Favourite Phantom?#11
Posted: 9/22/20 at 1:52am

Paul Stanley. Robert Guillaume

Can you hear me now? Twit: @NamoInExile
Adams3
Swing
joined:2/14/20
Swing Joined: 2/14/20
Favourite Phantom?#12
Posted: 9/22/20 at 4:30am

Jeremy Stolle

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KingOfTheMine
Chorus Member
joined:2/8/20
Chorus Member Joined: 2/8/20
Favourite Phantom?#13
Posted: 9/22/20 at 9:43am
I might be biased since he was the first actor I saw as the Phantom, but Hugh Panaro has always been my favorite. He acts the role better than anyone else. I also really enjoyed Ben Crawford in the role. I've only seen clips, but John Owen-Jones is definitely one of my favorites vocally.
bawoman
Swing
joined:6/18/20
Swing Joined: 6/18/20
Favourite Phantom?#14
Posted: 9/22/20 at 1:52pm

Michael Crawford just cannot be beat in my good. The vulnerability and loneliness he projected, as well as the eeriness, the elegance and the pride. His body movements were EVERYTHING. Some don't take to him much because he has a particular kind of voice, but I would look beyond that and see how deeply  he is able to express his emotions through his singing. His finals lairs are utterly heartbreaking. Also, as good as the Original cast recording is, I would recommend listening to some live shows he did, because MC is a very visceral, in the moment performer, and that is, imo, when you see his Phantom at his best.

Also a few others I have liked for different reasons are Earl Carpenter, Hugh Panaro, John Owen Jones, and Ethan Freeman.Though Earl and JOJ did the west end, I believe, not Broadway.

Updated On: 9/22/20 at 01:52 PM
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Jordan Levinson
Leading Actor
joined:10/28/19
Leading Actor Joined: 10/28/19
Favourite Phantom?#15
Posted: 9/22/20 at 3:05pm

There have been many Phantoms thus far that have captured the essence of the role. Of course, Michael Crawford leads the pack, but I thought Ramin was also incredible in the 25th anniversary capture. His "YOU WILL CURSE the day you did not do..." was greatly executed. 

I wish I had seen Ben play the role- I heard he was also a solid Phantom. 

(heads down to the orchestra pit during the Exit Music)
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Marway44
Broadway Star
joined:6/7/05
Broadway Star Joined: 6/7/05
Favourite Phantom?#16
Posted: 9/23/20 at 6:52am
Ben was a solid Phantom. One of the best I've seen in a while, although I did enjoy Hugh's sarcasm in the final lair, Ben was better all around. I hope he comes back when they return.
jodi torres
Swing
joined:9/21/20
Swing Joined: 9/21/20
Favourite Phantom?#17
Posted: 9/23/20 at 11:09pm

bawoman said: "Michael Crawford just cannot be beat in my good. The vulnerability and loneliness he projected, as well as the eeriness, the elegance and the pride. His body movements were EVERYTHING. Some don't take to him much because he has a particular kind of voice, but I would look beyond that and see how deeply he is able to express his emotions through his singing. His finals lairs are utterly heartbreaking. Also, as good as the Original cast recording is, I would recommend listening to some live shows he did, because MC is a very visceral, in the moment performer, and that is, imo, when you see his Phantom at his best.

Also a few others I have liked for different reasons are Earl Carpenter, Hugh Panaro, John Owen Jones, and Ethan Freeman.Though Earl and JOJ did the west end, I believe, not Broadway.
"

Yep, I agree. Michael Crawford by all means.

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Justin D
Broadway Legend
joined:4/11/05
Broadway Legend Joined: 4/11/05
Favourite Phantom?#18
Posted: 9/24/20 at 10:42am

Davis Gaines

 

But Ben Crawford is high on my list also, so too is Ethan Freeman in his Canadian run.

I greatly dislike the trend in London in the past 10 or so years where they like to shout through the ending (go now etc), too much, over the top and just doesn't work for me.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/27199361@N08/ Phantom at the Royal Empire Theatre
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Marway44
Broadway Star
joined:6/7/05
Broadway Star Joined: 6/7/05
Favourite Phantom?#19
Posted: 9/24/20 at 12:45pm
I totally forgot about Davis Gaines. He was a phenomenal Phantom. I'm sure Crawford was great, but I never saw him live. His recording is exceptional though.
jimmycurry01
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/05
Broadway Legend Joined: 5/28/05
Favourite Phantom?#20
Posted: 9/24/20 at 12:56pm
Rick Hilsabeck was my first. Although I was quite young at the time, I remember him very fondly. I really did enjoy Howard McMillin, he may be my favorite that have seen live. In terms of videos, Ramin is formidable, Davis Gaines is truly great, and Michael Crawford is incomparable.
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Lot666
Broadway Legend
joined:2/8/17
Broadway Legend Joined: 2/8/17
Favourite Phantom?#21
Posted: 9/24/20 at 2:47pm

Justin D said: "I greatly dislike the trend in London in the past 10 or so years where they like to shout through the ending (go now etc), too much, over the top and just doesn't work for me."

Don't even get me started. James Barbour was like that on Broadway, as if heightened emotion could only be communicated by shouting.

 

============> this board is a nest of vipers <============

"Michael Riedel...The Perez Hilton of the New York Theatre scene"
- Craig Hepworth, What's On Stage
Phantom4ever
Broadway Legend
joined:9/17/07
Broadway Legend Joined: 9/17/07
Favourite Phantom?#22
Posted: 9/24/20 at 11:42pm

As a certified Phantom Phantom Phlunatic phan, I've seen quite a Phfew Phantoms.  (ok ok I'll Ph-stop)

I loved the most recent one, Ben Crawford, for his strong voice. I love the Howard McGillin Hugh Panaro years where it seemed like they just kept replacing each other. Am I making that up or did it really happen that way throughout the 2000's? 

But actually I LOVED showing up at the Majestic and seeing an understudy on for the Phantom--especially Laird Mackintosh or Jeremy Stolle. They both always treated the show like opening night and gave it their all. They always seemed to get so much love during the curtain call too. 

I did not like James Barbour because he was dull and I could not stand the way he said "Make your choice?" as a question rather than as an imperative. I'm a huge fan of Norm Lewis and I'd pay to watch him read the phonebook, but Music of the Night was simply not in his range and it was painful to listen to him sing it. I am not Super Musician so I may not be using the right terms but why they didn't change the key or something for him I'll never know.  That final note of the song----he wasn't able to sing anything at all. HOWEVER for the rest of the show he was a gorgeous and seductive Phantom. 

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Lot666
Broadway Legend
joined:2/8/17
Broadway Legend Joined: 2/8/17
Favourite Phantom?#23
Posted: 9/25/20 at 1:37pm

Phantom4ever said: "As a certified Phantom Phantom Phlunatic phan, I've seen quite a Phfew Phantoms. (ok ok I'll Ph-stop)

I loved the most recent one, Ben Crawford, for his strong voice. I love the Howard McGillin Hugh Panaro years where it seemed like they just kept replacing each other. Am I making that up or did it really happen that way throughout the 2000's?

But actually I LOVED showing up at the Majestic and seeing an understudy on for the Phantom--especially Laird Mackintosh or Jeremy Stolle. They both always treated the show like opening night and gave it their all. They always seemed to get so much love during the curtain call too.

I did not like James Barbour because he was dull and I could not stand the way he said "Make your choice?" as a question rather than as an imperative. I'm a huge fan of Norm Lewis and I'd pay to watch him read the phonebook, but Music of the Night was simply not in his range and it was painful to listen to him sing it. I am not Super Musician so I may not be using the right terms but why they didn't change the key or something for him I'll never know. That final note of the song----he wasn't able to sing anything at all. HOWEVER for the rest of the show he was a gorgeous and seductive Phantom.
"

I generally prefer not to quote lengthy posts in their entirety, but I agree with virtually everything you said. Especially about Mr. Stolle and Mr. Mackintosh, whose talents are sadly underappreciated.

============> this board is a nest of vipers <============

"Michael Riedel...The Perez Hilton of the New York Theatre scene"
- Craig Hepworth, What's On Stage
Updated On: 9/29/20 at 01:37 PM
singerunlimited
Understudy
joined:3/19/06
Understudy Joined: 3/19/06
Favourite Phantom?#24
Posted: 9/28/20 at 4:48pm

Apart from Howard McGillin, my other favorite Phantoms are John Cudia and Gary Mauer. Mauer, in particular stands out in my mind. His voice was otherworldly in the role.

PanaroFan111
Stand-by
joined:8/31/14
Stand-by Joined: 8/31/14
Favourite Phantom?#25
Posted: 10/6/20 at 2:22pm
Ive seen 13 different actors play the Phantom at the Majestic.

Judging by my user name Hugh Panaro is by far my FAVORITE PHANTOM!!! Tremendous tenor voice and his constant changing up the Final lair made him my all time Phantom.

Honorable mentions go to Ben Crawford and Howard Mcgillin

Best Understudy Jeremy Stolle.