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BWW Review: THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA at the Detroit Opera House

Are you ready for a new and improved version of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA?

I love the original, which I first saw in California, when Robert Guillaume (star of Benson) played the role. Of course, I saw it in London's West End and on Broadway, but it's really fun to see the new version right here in Detroit.

I know it's hard to believe that PHANTOM could ever be improved upon, but they've worked some magic. The chandelier is more spooky, the catacombs look more like a person actually lives there, the costumes are different, especially the stairway costume in part two - but in this version there is no grand staircase. This phantom uses a lot of pyrotechnics to accompany his magic. You will like the way they descend into the Phantom's lair; that bridge scene what shifted like a teeter totter has been replaced by really cool steps that protrude from dungeon walls. And the best part is at the very end, when the phantom vanishes; it's in a very different way, and I have no idea how he pulled it off.

PHANTOM has some of the most beautiful music ever known; and listening to the orchestra in an opera house proper adds to the experience. Derrick Davis, the phantom, has a superb voice, as does Katie Travis (Christine) and Jordan Craig (Raoul). This show is a perfect 10 and it would be almost impossible not to please someone.

The sets are larger and props grander than the original version. I particularly liked the theatre owners' new office; it looks like a room the big boss would have. The masquerade ball has spectacular choreography, and the new bursts of flames here and there add thrills and chills.

PHANTOM runs Tuesday-Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Saturday matinee, 2 p.m.; Thursday matinee, 1 p.m. For tickets, kindly visit

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The Cast:

Derrick Davis (The Phantom). Broadway: The Lion King (Mufasa/Scar cover), Tour/Regional: Dreamgirls (Curtis Taylor Jr.), The Lion King (Mufasa), Show Boat, You're It! Opera: Amahl and the Night Visitors, Die Fledermaus. TV: Dangerous Liaisons, Dancing With the Stars, Live With Regis and Kelly, The View. Film: Can a Song Save Your Life. Concert: Las Vegas Philharmonic's Rodgers & Hammerstein Concert (Featured Soloist), A Journey Through Love (solo concert), A Christmas Journey (solo concert). Derrick has two albums available online: A Christmas Journey & Life Music. Eternally grateful to God for this dream realized! Social media: @dreamclimber

Katie Travis (Christine Daaé) is honored to be a member of this company in a role she has always dreamed of playing. Previous theater credits: The Most Happy Fella (Rosabella), Titanic (Kate McGowan), The Mikado (Yum-Yum), Jekyll and Hyde (Emma Carew), Wonderful Town (Eileen Sherwood). She recently performed the role of Cosette in LES MISERABLES at the St. Louis MUNY alongside Norm Lewis and Hugh Panero. Katie is a recent winner of the Lys Symonette award for her performance at the 2014 Lotte Lenya Competition. Thanks to her family, friends, The Mine and Tara Rubin Casting.

Jordan Craig (Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny) began his career at the world-renowned Houston Grand Opera (Billy Bud, Tosca, Carmen). Other credits include: ALLIANCE THEATRE: Next to Normal (Henry) and The Wizard of Oz (Tin Man). Geva Theatre Centre: Next to Normal (Henry). Actor's Express: Spring Awakening (Melchior) and Xanadu (Sonny Malone). Atlanta Lyric Theatre: Legally Blonde (Kyle). Thanks to our producers, Tara Rubin Casting, Meg Pantera, his wonderful family and Julia. Insta/ Twitter: @_jordancraig_ / @JordanACraig

Trista Moldovan (Carlotta Giudicelli). Broadway: The Phantom of the Opera (Christine, 10,000thperformance). National Tour: White Christmas (Betty Haynes), Bridges of Madison County (Francesca u/s, performed), The Phantom of the Opera (Christine, Denver Ovation nomination). Select Regional: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Arkansas Rep (Maggie); 1776, Pittsburg Public (Abigail); World Premiere of Sense and Sensibility, Denver Center (Sophia Grey). TV: All My Children, Guiding Light, Celebrity Ghost Stories. Proud Actor's Equity member. Baldwin Wallace alum. Love to Stephen and family.

David Benoit (Monsieur Firmin). Broadway/ National Tours: Jekyll & Hyde (Bishop/Spider), Avenue Q(Nicky/Trekkie), LES MISERABLES (Thénardier), Dance of the Vampires, Young Frankenstein (Kemp/Blind Hermit), All Shook Up (Sheriff Earl). Off Broadway: Forbidden Broadway, Forever Plaid, The Big Bang. Regional: Romance in Hard Times (Polly), Adding Machine (Mr. Zero - Helen Hayes Best Actor nom.) For: Mom, Dad and Family.

Price Waldman (Monsieur André) joins the Phantom tour after two and a half years on Broadway in A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder. His other B'way credits include The Little Mermaid, Grinch and The Lion King. Regional: McCarter Theatre, Hartford Stage, Theatre for a New Audience, Red Bull Theater, York Theatre Company, Goodspeed Musicals, Weston Playhouse, The Old Globe, Great Lakes Theatre Festival, Sundance Institute Theatre Lab. Education: Oberlin and U of Delaware's PTTP.

Anne Kanengeiser (Madame Giry). Broadway: Ragtime; Little Women. National Tour: Beauty and the Beast (Mrs. Potts); The Phantom Of The Opera (Mme. Giry); Little Women. Helen Hayes Awards for Eleanor: An American Love Story (Eleanor Roosevelt, Ford's Theater); Passion (Fosca, Signature Theatre). Regional: Fiddler On The Roof (Golde, Penn. Shakespeare); Carousel (Nettie, Goodspeed). TV: L&O: SVU; Guiding Light. Recordings: Ragtime; Eleanor: An American Love Story. Thanks to all for their love & support.

Phumzile Sojola (Ubaldo Piangi), is excited to join this production! Broadway: Original Cast of Cinderella (Lord Pinkleton); The Gershwin?s Porgy and Bess (Peter). Off-Broadway: Three Mo? Tenors. Opera: La Bohème (Rodolfo), Carmen (Don Jose), Aida (Messenger), Lost in The Stars (Leader), Lucie de Lammermoor (Edgar), Così fan tutte (Ferrando), L?etoile (Herrisson), Trouble Island (Popo), Treemonisha (Cephus), The Crucible (Giles Corey). International: La Biennale di Venezia, Opera de Lyon, Edinburgh International Festival. Thanks to my village of mentors and family especially my two hearts, AJ and Zani.

Emily Ramirez (Meg Giry) grew up in Katy, TX. Professional companies include BalletMet and Charlotte Ballet. Notable roles: Sugarplum Fairy (Nutcracker), Odille (Swan Lake).Regional credits include The Addams Family (Morticia Addams), Cabaret (Sally Bowles), Stage Kiss (Millicent/Laurie), Rock of Ages(Ensemble/Dance Captain). Emily is also a dance instructor, choreographer, writer, and voiceover artist. Love to Chase!!

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA at the Fisher Theatre thru Jan 22

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA at the Fisher Theatre thru Jan 22

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA at the Fisher Theatre thru Jan 22

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA at the Fisher Theatre thru Jan 22

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA at the Fisher Theatre thru Jan 22

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA at the Fisher Theatre thru Jan 22

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