Las Vegas 13/11/09

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Las Vegas 13/11/09

Post  Christine's Shadow on Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:55 am

I get rather envious when I see others have gone to another country to see another Phantom production-- I could say that for Wicked after I saw it in LA, and now I can gladly say I did it for Phantom-- my only regret is not doing it sooner. So, I'm going to try and keep this short by not doing it scene-by-scene (I think not only would every one else just ignore the review, but my brain would explode as well.).

Starting way back in 2008, when my dad announced he was going to get married, I was really excited. When he said it was going to be in Vegas, I just about did a backflip. I ended up staying out in Henderson, which is a nice area about 45 minutes outside the strip (If i can remember correctly, I know it was about 65$ in cab fare. yeesh.) I had begged my grandma to let me have just ONE night on the strip, which turned out to be the friday evening I had flown in. I'm only 18, so, to say the least, there's not much else for me to do on the strip OTHER THAN see shows. Quite frankly, Phantom was the ONLY show I was h€ll bent on seeing. I rallied for two tickets, just to keep my grandma happy that I wasn't going to be going alone, and by friday morning as soon as the plane landed, I was counting down to Phantom (and the wedding, but I insisted that keeping track of phantom was assisting on counting down to the wedding.)

Brianne was also SO kind in offering to give myself and whoever ended up coming with me (my step-mom's friend) a backstage tour-- Thanks again Brianne!

Seeing the show was completely amazing. The last time I could remember being that giddy before seeing a show was the first time I saw Phantom in Toronto for the Tour, and it essentially was my first time all over again, just because PLV is so different from the Broadway/Tour show. I was really happy that I was there with someone, I could administer less self restraint while waiting for the show ("Jen! IT'S 7:03 AND THE SHOW HASN'T STARTED. DID SOMETHING GO WRONG?"). I also happened to meet two very nice phans who had seen the show a few times in (I think it was) Oklahoma. The theatre was absolutely BEAUTIFUL. I wish the Majestic and Her Majesty's could be that cool, but then PLV would have to up the cool factor even more, and it would just result in a cool-factor war that could either end so amazingly all the Phans would die of the coolness overload or it would be a rather scary mess like the movie was. But it's more likely that RUG would end up killing all the shows with trying to make it "Cool". Purple show signs anyone? [/rambling]

Anyway. The cast I saw was wonderful; Michael Lackey as the Phantom, Kristi Holden as Christine and Andrew Ragone as Raoul. Part of me was disappointed that I wasn't going to see Anthony, but since it was my first time seeing this production any actor was going to do well in my books. Michael definitely made a mark as the phantom, and I am quite frankly in love with his MOTN. The way he carried his Phantom through the show was great, there was emotional changes from his moments during the mirror all the way to the final lair which was so angry and desperate. There were tastes of insanity too, but I was happy he kept that to a reasonable level. Don't get me wrong, I love me some crazy phantom, but some Phantoms play to the insane side so much that it leads to over-acting. Michael did a great job of keeping an even balance throughout the scene. The kiss was wonderful, and the moments after? Michael completely fell apart in shock. Literally. He kept touching his mouth as though he could not even comprehend what had just happened, he let Raoul go, and while Christine and Raoul were standing there, he wiped his mouth as though he still couldn't believe he had just been kissed, and as though he didn't deserve it (or yanno, maybe just had a bit of spit on the side. either way.). When yelling "leave meeeeeeeeee (etc. etc.)" he held "me" for eternity and completely fell to the ground and curled up into a little ball, sobbing. My heart broke. Overall? Wonderful Phantom, and I am so excited to say that I have seen him play such an awesome role.

I was also very impressed with Kristi's Christine, she did very well in terms of her voice control. I've come to not really like the Christine's who act extremely nervous while starting TOM and then suddenly springing into uber-confident mode within a few bars, and I think Kristi did a great job between those two stages. She didn't act so nervous that it almost seemed like a complete turn on a dime moment when she became more confident, it was all very natural. What I think I was most impressed with was her entire progression through the show. She seemed great at the beginning, but she actually matured throughout the show and I found there was such a huge but natural contrast to her voice and character from the beginning of the show even to Wishing. I mean, there are always differences between the beginning of a show and the end, but it seems as though some Christine's just make a dramatic shift between Wishing and PONR, and again at the Final Lair, but Kristi kept growing through the entire show, which I appreciated and kept Christine very interesting to me.

Andrew. Andrew, Andrew, Andrew. Lovely. Wonderful. Can I take him home with me next time? His Raoul was gracious, composed, I still wanted to hit him during We Have All Been Blind, but my word. I've always been on the E/C shipper side, but I love when a Raoul can come and be like, "Yo. I make Chivalry awesome. Christine is meant to be with me." His Raoul wasn't just a bystander who jumped in a the last second, but he kept his character engaged. His singing? Perfection. I loved All I Ask Of You. 'Nuff said.

Managers were wonderful in all their paring moments, Elena was completely flawless with her Carlotta and her soprano. GAH. Her soprano. <3 Diva and Prima Donna, most definitely! Brianne = Win. I was completely and utterly satisfied in the best possible way with Angel of Music. Balance between Christine and Meg's parts were perfect and I'm so happy that I could *Finally* hear Meg's part.

The changes made in the show itself worked well, but were all a little off-putting with the music and song cuts, especially with the lasso gone. Yeah, it sort of takes away from the punjab lasso thing and "your hand at the level of your eyes" but I was also getting tired of seeing Raouls struggle with the lasso for the first 40 seconds of it being around their neck and then just standing there, singing away with their hands still at points a and b. The cage worked wonderfully in making both Raoul and Christine utterly defenseless during the last scene. And besides, something obscene like 7 feet of steel in some redonkulous time just plain looks cool.

I was happy where I was sitting (Row B, seats 3 & 4) The *only* thing that I couldn't see was Michael's entrance behind the mirror, I ended up seeing his totally ominous and epic shadow, and the brim of his hat before epic amounts of smoke came up. That was it. Otherwise? Awesome seats. I had to turn around to see the Chandelier, but I didn't care! It made the show a complete 360 experience. I was able to pick out little things, like Brianne dancing during the Il Muto Ballet. I didn't know that Megs performed in that until I saw Brianne dancing! I love learning new facts like that.

The Chandelier. OMG. The Chandelier. I'm going to LAUGH at that little bean of a chandelier next time I see the Tour or on Broadway. Overture? completely awesome. Phantom stunt man coming down the middle of it? Even more awesome. Chandelier crash? EPIC PLETHORA OF AWESOME. There were at least 2 or 3 women that *screamed* as it dropped. I'm not going to lie, I tried not to laugh, but failed miserably. But I probably would have done the same if I had been sitting under it. It was so so so so amazing.

I have yet to post my pictures from Phantom anywhere (They are actually still on my camera), but I was SO excited to go backstage. I was able to talk with Michael as his makeup was removed and while waiting for Brianne, and when she arrived I gave her a candy apple as a thank you gift for agreeing to bring myself and a guest backstage. It was wonderful talking to Michael about the various deformities, including the movie one and I laughed when we both said "it looked like a sunburn with bad acne". Going backstage was so awesome, and being a tech geek at school, the tour guide Daniel took me under the stage to see where all the pumps and workings backstage were--and one of the coolest things I ever got to do was sit on the mat that Raoul lands on when jumping into the lake. That thing is SMALL, kudos to all the Raoul's who can make that jump without breaking anything. I was taken into the wig room, which was rather big (But I guess it doesn't seem that big during a show when you have the wig masters and actors and what have you back there) and Brianne and I talked about the wigs a bit before discussing a bit of the various conventions that go on with Daniel and the two other guests that were there on the tour as well, including the various porn conventions (the looks on the other guests faces were hysterical) before talking a bit of the Phans week, and how epic Lindsay and Brian's costumes were. Following, I saw the understudy practice costumes, we went past the dance warm up room and then to Brianne's dressing room. Everyone sort of hesitated at the door before being told to come in which was slightly odd and funny now that i think of it, but anyway! Brianne let the group of us hold a few of her costumes, and JEEZE. Some are so heavy! (Paula, I think this is where you might have had to bail me out from Jail, I was so tempted to steal some of these costumes... but look! I resisted!) Following after, Brianne left after taking a photo with myself (okay, two after i ruined the first one with a stupid face) and signing Jen's CDs and Daniel the Epic Tour guide continued to show us around. Seeing under the stage came after seeing the costumes and seeing Brianne's dressing room (the group had split up when another tour guide had gone off with the other two guests), and after I was taken to where I could see the flies, the costume room where most of the masquerade costumes are kept (excellent camera opportunities there) and I got to go somewhere so epic I could hardly comprehend the epic-ness. I'll have post a picture later, and see who can guess. Standing on the stage was so cool and I never got to ask, is it on a rake? Anyway, after the tour Daniel and I were talking about some of the most random things, and I found out why he wasn't allowed near the pyro room. lol! The experience was amazing, and I got to keep a wig pin I found on the floor of the elevator (god I'm a nerd) and it made it through airport security too (I would have caused quite a scene if they had tried to take it away. Instead the security guard made fun of my mis-matched socks). It is now happily situated with my theatre makeup stuff as some odd omen/good luck charm for motivation.

It was a wonderful experience, I nearly died of happiness on the cab-ride home (unless that was just the cab driver going 80 miles per hour down the freeway). Thanks again Brianne, it meant so much to go backstage to the show that really got me started on my whole career track and just spurred my whole theatre obsession.

Nevertheless, I will share pictures as soon as I'm not lazy and have time to go through my camera! (looking at the review now, so much for being short...)

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Re: Las Vegas 13/11/09

Post  MasqPhan on Wed Nov 18, 2009 8:38 pm

I loved your review and the way you described things. It didn't feel too long at all so don't worry about that. I think most of us feel the more detail, the better. It was easy to feel your excitement and it made me wish I back in Vegas again.

You're so lucky that you got to see Michael Lackey on as the Phantom. What a great adventure you had after the show too! Isn't Brianne awesome? Daniel is a lot of fun too.

Hope all went well with the wedding. Smile

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Re: Las Vegas 13/11/09

Post  operafantomet on Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:34 pm

Thanks for a cool review, glad you had a good time!

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Re: Las Vegas 13/11/09

Post  Christine's Shadow on Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:46 am

And here we have it! the entire album of my Las Vegas adventure, including the wedding shots. The pictures from Phantom are towards the middle ish.

the clicky!

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Re: Las Vegas 13/11/09

Post  operafantomet on Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:11 am

Nice pictures! I love the dead Buquet one. Very Happy

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Re: Las Vegas 13/11/09

Post  Christine's Shadow on Thu Nov 19, 2009 1:27 pm

lol thanks! when i first saw it I didn't know what to say and then Daniel said "Get a good look at the face." it was sort of dark so you couldn't see to well, so I snapped a pictured and nearly jumped when I looked Laughing

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Re: Las Vegas 13/11/09

Post  Raphael on Sat Nov 21, 2009 4:02 pm

Christine's Shadow wrote:So, I'm going to try and keep this short by not doing it scene-by-scene (I think not only would every one else just ignore the review, but my brain would explode as well.).
Are you kidding? Have you read some of the reviews here? More is ALWAYS better Very Happy

Glad you got to experience the Vegas production with an old-school Phantom in the leading role Smile But I wonder why they have a dead Buquet mannequin when there's no need for one in the show?

R.

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Re: Las Vegas 13/11/09

Post  operafantomet on Sat Nov 21, 2009 4:07 pm

Raphael wrote:But I wonder why they have a dead Buquet mannequin when there's no need for one in the show?

R.
Oh, but he's been in the show so long, they can't fire him now! Financial crisis and all Laughing

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Re: Las Vegas 13/11/09

Post  Christine's Shadow on Sun Nov 22, 2009 5:18 am

Raphael wrote:
Christine's Shadow wrote:So, I'm going to try and keep this short by not doing it scene-by-scene (I think not only would every one else just ignore the review, but my brain would explode as well.).
Are you kidding? Have you read some of the reviews here? More is ALWAYS better Very Happy

Glad you got to experience the Vegas production with an old-school Phantom in the leading role Smile But I wonder why they have a dead Buquet mannequin when there's no need for one in the show?

R.

turns out it's for rehearsals-- or for way back when (so I was told) either way-- he's still kinda scary. Shocked

operafantomet wrote:
Oh, but he's been in the show so long, they can't fire him now! Financial crisis and all Laughing

yeah, and that too! Laughing

ETA I cannot believe I didn't put this in! this was for the ENTIRE cast! I've always been terribly picky about my North American casts, which is bad enough as it is, but having heard a North American cast with such AMAZING diction and enunciation! OMG. This is where I am stedfast in my vocal lesson ways. The one thing I *CANNOT* stand about some casts from North America is that every thing is very wide in the way they sing. All I AHsk of You often becomes All I Aaaesk of You. (did that make sense?) With a show like Phantom I always LOVE a darker more rounded sound in the words-- Which most European English casts do naturally. All I can say is, THANK YOU PLV for having such wonderful sounding, rounded words. [/singersrantapriciation]

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Re: Las Vegas 13/11/09

Post  phantom10906 on Mon Nov 23, 2009 9:26 am

operafantomet wrote:
Raphael wrote:But I wonder why they have a dead Buquet mannequin when there's no need for one in the show?

R.
Oh, but he's been in the show so long, they can't fire him now! Financial crisis and all Laughing

I guess some jobs truly are recession proof. Laughing Laughing Laughing

Great review. I'm so jealous you got to see Michael as the Phantom Very Happy

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Re: Las Vegas 13/11/09

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