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"PHANTOM OF THE OPERA" NEW TOURING COMPANY REVIEW

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"Phantom of the Opera" Touring Company Review





In
1991 the Broward Performing Arts Center opened in Fort Lauderdale with
the first touring company of Phantom of the Opera and last night, 23
years later, 28 years after it opened in London, 26 years after it
opened on Broadway, and still running in both cities, the touring
company has returned to the Arts Center in a somewhat reimagined
production.



The
main changes are in the set designed by Paul Brown, the lighting design
by Paul Constable and the choreography by Scott Ambler. The latter is
most notable in the Masquerade number with over 30 members of the cast.
There are 52 people between the cast and orchestra making this a full
production directed by Laurence Connor. The set design is a huge
cylindrical wall that moves, turns, opens, closes and, almost magically,
grows steps for the Phantom and Christine to walk down so they can go
to his living quarters.



With
all the changes it would not be a show without the story of the
triangle between the Phantom (Cooper Grodin), Raoul (Ben Jacoby) and
Christine (Julia Udine). The three leads are younger than in most
previous casts which brings another dimension to the musical. Grodin
tenor resonates in the title tune and The Music of the Night”
while Udine’s crystal clear soprano voice soars Wishing You Were Somehow
Herealon
g with her duets with both men. Jacoby makes All I Ask Of
You powerful but at the same time not overpowering Udine. The one
critical mistake is that there is no chemistry between the three leads
which takes away from the love stories.



A
standout in the cast is Jacquelynne Fontaine as the opera diva
Carlotta. Also giving strong support are Anne Kanengeiser as Madame
Giry, Brad Oscar as Monsieur Firmin and Edward Staudenmayer as Monsieur
Andre. The rest of the large cast and ensemble are of top caliber.



Oh yes, the chandelier is still there in all its glory



One note: the theatrical smoke and pyrotechnical effects are very heavy and infiltrate the orchestral level of the Center. At one point I was concerned for the musicians and cast because they were so heavy.



Running time: Act 1 An hour and 10 minutes Intermission 25 minutes Act 2 An hour.





phantom-sign.jpg



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQ86c_YPZsM&feature=youtu.be



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