Wednesday, January 11, 2006
A milestone for "Phantom"
The Phantom of the Opera has made history, becoming the longest-running Broadway play.
On Monday night, Phantom marked its 7,486th consecutive performance, surpassing Cats.
I had the pleasure of witnessing one of those Phantom performances this past May. It was my first Broadway play, and it came under rather harrowing circumstances, and I was way up in the balcony, but I enjoyed it immensely. (I also saw it in Chicago with Gary Mauer in the role of the Phantom, and it was outstanding.)
Phantom is one of my favorite musicals. I guess the sheer romanticism of the story and the beauty of the music, are what attracts me to this production.
As for the movie version--I like it very much too, although it is of course different in many ways from the play. Gerard Butler as the Phantom isn't a great singer like Panaro, Mauer and Michael Crawford...but Butler had me at hello. Or should I say, at the first flourish of his black cape. The movie is visually stunning as well.
I think Butler--unhampered by the need to be "big" and theatrical for a stage audience--was able to intimately capture and portray the pain and pitifulness of the phantom. (Wow...check out the alliteration there! :))