July 4: Phantom of The Opera

Sunset Boulevard
Phantom of the Opera is back in town, and I got tickets for the 2:00 performance on July 4th. Our day started off at Off Vine for brunch, where we had 11:45 reservations.  That was a good move, as the place filled up quickly at noon.  We were done by 12:30, but stalled a little bit longer over coffee.  

We left the restaurant about 1:00. The walk to the Pantages was about 2 blocks away, a really nice, easy walk after brunch.  On our way to the theater, we even stopped inside Trader Joe’s and arrived at the Pantages around 1:15.

The theater was open by the time we arrived, but not the doors to our seats.  They did not open until 1/2 hour prior, so the lobby was extremely crowded.

Paperless tickets using your phone

The advertisement on TV said its a “new production”.  Apparently they meant it.  The only thing they kept was the music, because Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote it.  Other than that, this new version revamped most of the show, creating a poorer version, in my opinion.

This production used a revolving set, which only used about 70% of the stage.  The sets were smaller, and also cheaply made. 

I have been to numerous performances of Phantom, and have seen the original Phantom, Michael Crawford, Robert Guillaume, Davis Gaines, and 2 others which escapes me.  In the original productions, they used the entire stage, to really make the scenes believable.

In this production, they took away from the special effects, from as early as the chandelier scene in the opening of the show.  They shortened the boat scene, but making it less foggy, less candles, and didn’t even have the Phantom come down the stage in the gondola.

I was especially disappointed in the Masquerade scene, where this production didn’t even use a staircase, and they even limited the Phantom.  In the original production, the audience would see the Phantom pop out all over the theater, such as in the cat walk, on the chandelier, hiding behind the statues on the rooftop, and even casted a shadow before he murdered Joseph.  None of these happened.  Either it was a safety issue, of this new production lacked the creativity to make the Phantom mystical.
Overall, it was a “Just ok” performance of the Phantom.  I don’t know why this new production had to ruin the once classic scenes.  Perhaps they had to since it was not Andrew Lloyd Webber’s production?

Not a fan.

New production, and new color. 


View from our seats in row V