Fantastic Phantom of the Opera

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A re-imagined approach sheds fantastic new light on the wildly popular musical.

Broadway at TPAC presents:
The Phantom of the Opera (Oct. 24 – Nov. 4; Ages 8 & older)
TPAC’s Jackson Hall
505 Deaderick St., Nashville
615-782-4040 • tpac.org
Show times: Tue – Thu 7:30 p.m., Fri 8 p.m., Sat 2 & 8 p.m., Sun 1 & 6:30 p.m.
Tickets: $65 – $105

The longest running show in Broadway’s history is also the most successful commercial entertainment event to date with worldwide box office sales of more than $6 billion! Andrew Lloyd Webber’s smash musical, The Phantom of the Opera, is the hot ticket in town this week.

Phantom first opened on London’s West End in 1986 and on Broadway in 1988 winning seven Tony Awards. They include Best Musical and Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical (Michael Crawford who originated the Phantom role).

Aside from writing the music (with lyricist Charles Hart), Lloyd Webber also co-wrote the book with Richard Stilgoe. The Phantom of the Opera is based on Gaston Leroux’s French novel Le Fantome de l’Opera. In case you’re unfamiliar, the plot revolves around a love triangle involving a mysterious, disfigured musical genius (the Phantom) and his obsession with a beautiful young opera singer whom he’s been training (Christine Daaé). She in turn is in love with her childhood friend and suitor Raoul (deftly played by Jordan Craig).

A WONDERFUL NEW APPROACH TO PHANTOM

The Phantom tour comes with lots of re-imagining thanks to Cameron Mackintosh. Mackintosh is the acclaimed theater producer who’s brought audiences great shows like Les Miserables, Mary Poppins, Oliver!, Miss Saigon, Cats and Hamilton.

This spectacular production sheds new light on the dramatic tale. You’ll experience a darker, more brooding approach than before. Paul Brown’s scenic design gives the audience a whole new experience with access to the Paris Opera House’s backstage areas, the manager’s office and the breathtaking journey to the Phantom’s sinister subterranean lair located deep below the opera house.

One of the most visually stunning elements of the cylindrical set is the descent to the Phantom’s abode. Steps magically protrude from its surface as fog rises from the underground lake while the show’s title song fills the air.

In addition to the phenomenal set, this production includes lots of new pyrotechnics, including large pillars of fire bursting from the stage floor; the effect is boldly intense, especially if you’re sitting within the first few rows of the stage on the orchestra level.

A signature moment of Phantom is the dramatic dropping of the giant chandelier. It continues to be an audience favorite in the show.

THE MUSIC OF THE NIGHT

Lloyd Webber’s robust musical backdrop sounds better than ever. A 15-piece live orchestra backs the incredibly talented cast boasting tremendous vocal prowess across the board. Trista Moldovan as Carlotta sets the stage for a night of dynamic singing at the beginning of Act I as she belts through “Think of Me” during the dress rehearsal scene.

As Christine, Eva Tavares alone is worth the price of admission. Her talent is immense. She delivers many goose-bump-inspiring moments. Tavares’ out-of-this-world vocal range is evident in crowd-pleasing numbers like “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again” and “The Point of No Return.”

Michael Crawford’s Tony-winning performance as the Phantom is legendary to this day. Taking that into consideration, a lot rests on the Phantom’s shoulders. Quentin Oliver Lee bears that mantle with the utmost skill. Lee infuses a dynamic range of emotion in the Phantom. He provides a fantastic emotional spectrum as his character is disturbing yet deserving of compassion. Throughout the show, Lee performs each of the Phantom’s musical numbers with ghostly precision. Lee’s delivery is remarkable and memorable, especially in his rendition of the show’s signature tune, “The Music of the Night.”

This production of The Phantom of the Opera proves to be a grand night of musical theater your whole family will enjoy — whether it’s your first Phantom experience or your umpteenth!

 

Chad Young is the managing editor and arts/entertainment editor for this publication.

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