This will be the third time I have seen the production live. The first time was at the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto in the early 1990’s. Second row seating in the orchestra pit, to the left of center stage. The Princess of Wales is a modern theater, and this was my first musical. Well, other than the King and I high school production!
The second time I saw the Phantom was at the Walnut Street Theater in Philadelphia. The seating was less comfortable – balcony seats that I believe have been outlawed by the Geneva Convention. The walnut Street Theater was founded in 1809, when people were smaller. Once I was wedged in my chair, I was not able to move until intermission. My knees were pressed against the back of the seat in front of me, and my feet were cocked at a painful angle with no way to adjust the position once I was seated. The discomfort did take away from the enjoyment of the production.
The ASU Gammage Theater is a modern building, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Phantom of the Opera was adapted and produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber – a perfect combination!
The original Andrew Lloyd Webber Phantom opened in London in 1986, and it is only appropriate that this iteration also opened in England. Tempe was the first stop of the North American tour of a grandiose presentation.
I was blown away by the production and set design. Our seats were in the balcony section, and we had an unobstructed view. I think I did get a nose bleed, though…
The sound was excellent, but at times I wished I had brought my binoculars – er, opera glasses, excuse me. The girl that played Christine had an angelic voice.
I am not big into musicals, but this is one that I always enjoy. I suppose that is why I have seen it several times.