Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sometimes Plays are Better Than Movies

Sometimes producers and directors and whoever get together and say stupid things like, "Hey, why don't we film a movie version of a well beloved musical, but instead of hiring talented singers, we'll hire famous actors who LOOK the part...." Well, at least that's what they did with 2004's The Phantom of the Opera disaster.

However, we have all been saved from ever having to watch that again. Next time we're at home and want to watch a movie about a genius maniac obsessed with sopranos we can put in Cameron Macintosh's The Phantom of the Opera 25th Anniversary at The Royal Albert Hall. (Careful not to confuse it with the dreadful 25th Les Miserables Anniversary. **Shudder**)

The highlights of the production come at the end when on stage steps Sarah Brightman who sings with four previous Phantoms (INCLUDING Les Miserables' brilliant Colm Wilkinson!) Unfortunately, while Michael Crawford appears on stage, he doesn't sing... but that's kind of okay because we've got Colm!

Sierra Boggess played Christine. She was not terrible. I'd go as far as to say I liked her! I really liked Hadley Fraser's Raoul. Raoul is usually portrayed as a wimpy turd, but I can actually see why Christine would like this guy.

This show pulls out the important parts of the play and displays them right in front of your face... the way a good show should. You saw it the moment Christine and Raoul fell in love. You saw Raoul's own fears that Christine would choose this Phantom over him. It was so much better than the let's-get-together-and-sing version Hollywood came out with.

Now the part you've been waiting for... The problems with this production are as follows:

Ramin Karimloo's Phantom was upsetting. There was no dashingness, and no gorgeous verbrato... or any verbrato. He needed to leave the poppy singing school he belonged to, and join the school of the not-sucking. Strange thing is, I actually enjoyed him in that horrible 25th Les Miserables Anniversary as Enjolras... or am I remembering that wrong...?

The other problem was how slowly paced the beginning was. OMG! It felt like I was pulling out my nails waiting for something to happen!

To quote The Duke (As I've done before): Generally I like it.


  1. If you want to read an ESSAY I wrote on what is wrong with Phantom (the movie and the Las Vegas show) read this:

    I'm glad to know this 25th anniversary exists. I have high hopes... but not for the Phantom if he is as "pop" as you say. But that is good to know ahead of time.

  2. Yes! Be prepared! I can't wait to read your essay! I haven't seen the Las Vegas show, although while in Vegas I was very sorry to miss it. Now maybe I won't be so sorry!