22/05/10 Shannon/Treharne/Bailey

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22/05/10 Shannon/Treharne/Bailey

Post  starryeyed on Tue Jun 01, 2010 5:37 pm

I have done a few (if not nearly all) the London reviews on this board and had genuinely thought that I wouldn't do another one as people seemed to have settled into their roles and there was nothing more to be said apart from little things. However, after this performance I was just itching to do a review due to an incredible understudy being on and also the fact that David Shannon's vocal performance was almost the complete opposite to what I had seen before.

Overture - It still amuses me that Raoul walks on and sits in the wheelchair in this scene, I think I'll always notice it from now on after picking up on it some time ago. As always Simon sounded suitably old whilst still being audible to the audience. Phillip Griffiths wasn't the auctioneer and I am not sure who was, it was odd to hear but it's not a big role so didn't really impact on the performance! Unfortunately, this was the beginning of a few technical problems and the curtains went a bit crazy rising and falling...

Hannibal - It was a hot day and had been a long hot week in London and I thought that in this scene it really showed. The ensemble wasn't particularly large and everyone just seemed a bit tired. This was the only scene I noticed it in so people certainly perked up as the show went on. Once again I had Andrew Keelan as Piangi (Rohan has only been on once this cast when I've been there) and he was much improved compared to what I had seen before. He was really playing up trying to get onto the elephant. It was hillarious. Rebecca as Carlotta was perfection as usual, she really plays around in this scene. Really is a scene stealer!

Think of Me - I was really anxious to see what Katy Treharne would be like and she did not disappoint. She took a little bit to get into it but I have to say hands down it was the best cadenza I have ever heard. It was simply gorgeous and really seemed to float through the air. It was fantastic. Simon enthusiastic as always in the box, always makes me laugh.

Angel of Music - This is where I realised just how much on the acting side Katy brought to the role of Christine. As she lingers at the front of the stage as The Phantom sings his lines she was really looking around and there was something about her that meant you really knew she felt his presence. I really enjoy this scene as I love the current Meg Emma Harris and they worked well together, their voices were lovely and I really did enjoy it.

Little Lotte - There was nothing particularly new in this scene, although I do love Simon in this scene. They were both very sweet with each other and they both seemed rather wistful throughout, I liked it.

The Mirror - During the lead up there was something I couldn't put my finger on in Katy's acting which really made you feel The Phantom's presence through here. I have never thought many Christine's managed to convey this feeling, they seem anxious but it doesn't seem something tangible. With Katy it did. And as David's voice echoed around the theatre I actually wanted to start clapping. FINALLY he seems to have decided to let go throughout the whole show. He was really holding the notes and was actually reminiscent of Scott Davies. Both Katy and David were wonderful in this scene although I did pick out the ONLY flaw I could find with Katy, I don't particularly like the way she acts when "in a trance."

The Phantom of the Opera - I know half of it is pre-recorded but this was one of my favourite performances of this song. As it switched to live David was still holding the notes and Katy's voice sounded glorious. They both worked well together and it made me excited for the remainder of the show and even *gasp* Music of the Night.

Music of the Night - Well someone seems to have got rid of that ridiculous "lecture" direction that David had been told to do. It was a more sensual performance than I had seen him do before and combined with the fact he wasn't holding back as he has done previously it was a wonderful number to watch. I have noticed though that still there is a bit that was previously in the blocking is now missing. It is one of the times The Phantom and Christine are together, I want to say it is the "floating falling" part but I don't believe they'd take that out would they? Anyway there is a bit somewhere where The Phantom and Christine were previously together and they aren't anymore. Must figure out which part it is.

Stranger Than You Dreamt It - Nothing new here. I do wish David would really go a bit "crazier" here but it was definitely better than I had seen him before. I did miss Gina's way of waking up as though the monkey is like an "alarm clock" but Katy was good here.

Magical Lasso - Yes SJD is a great Buquet. We all know it Wink

Notes/ Prima Donna - Both FANTASTIC. I started noticing here that Simon was going back to the angrier interpretation and it was actually the angriest I'd ever seen him (more on that later.) I liked Mark Oxtoby as Andre and he does have a really good voice but I still prefer Gareth. The acting was fantastic by all and I still love the crick in the neck bit that Barry James does. After slating him for so long it is lovely to see him switching up parts of his interpretation. Prima Donna got a resounding cheer from the audience.

Il Muto - Raoul/ The Managers lines are pre-recorded here right? Well if they are (which I am cetain they are as they usually sound exactly the same) then they have re-recorded Simon's which seems a bit odd to do when he is leaving in September. Anyway it sounded quite, sarcastic? I am not sure if that was the right word but it really stuck out. Don Attillo was really going for it in this scene and I love the reactions of both the audience and those on stage, it's a wonderful bit. And I STILL love the Dancing Shephard here, he really reacts to everything - bless him he still gets ignored.

The Rooftop - Simon was almost spitting every line out, I really didn't like it but he seemed to calm down as it went on and Katy's voice really shone during the "soar" line. Like the TOM cadenza it just seemed to float through the air. And she really grabbed at Simon's arm and said "what was that?" he almost reassured her as they both investigated and when she was at the edge of the roof he said "Christine!" and then softly "no..." okay he might have been winning me back over again.

All I Ask of You - Vocally, this was a faultless and one of the best performances of the song I had seen. However, Simon and Gina's natural chemistry was definitely missing. Katy was acting her socks off but unfortunately it all seemed rather one sided. Especially the kiss it was very "Christine is into Raoul but he couldn't care" On the other hand their last notes really were "woah."

All I Ask of You (reprise) - As always David Shannon gives a fantastically broken performance here. He has a very different interpretation to any other Phantom in this scene and he really held the last note. He had definitely won me over by the end of the first act which is better than thinking "I can't wait until Act 2 when he really goes for it." As the chandelier came down Simon literally pushed people out the way saying "What are you doing? Get out of the way!" Nice little touch. Poor chandelier didn't crash well it stopped on stage then very slowly and robotically collapsed on itself (with very obvious mechanical sounds coming from it.)

I did mean to write the whole thing at once but I need to go for my dinner. Will review act 2 later Smile

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Re: 22/05/10 Shannon/Treharne/Bailey

Post  Helen on Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:42 pm

Loving the review so far, thanks for taking the time to write it!

Phillip Griffiths wasn't the auctioneer and I am not sure who was, it was odd to hear but it's not a big role so didn't really impact on the performance!

I've only seen it once with a different auctioneer, the first couple of lines sounded so strange!

Music of the Night - Well someone seems to have got rid of that ridiculous "lecture" direction that David had been told to do. It was a more sensual performance than I had seen him do before and combined with the fact he wasn't holding back as he has done previously it was a wonderful number to watch.

I'm glad of that. I felt MOTN was the weakest part of his performance, although I've thought that with a few other Phantoms too. I'd like to see David again at some point.


Magical Lasso - Yes SJD is a great Buquet. We all know it

It's true. I still want to see him as Phantom. It isn't going to happen, but never mind!


And she really grabbed at Simon's arm and said "what was that?" he almost reassured her as they both investigated and when she was at the edge of the roof he said "Christine!" and then softly "no..." okay he might have been winning me back over again.

Aww, that's sweet. I think I've seen another Raoul do that too, but I can't remember who!

Looking forward to act 2!

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Re: 22/05/10 Shannon/Treharne/Bailey

Post  starryeyed on Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:08 am

Thank you Helen for your thoughts. I would like to see SJD as Phantom too but I doubt I will as I am booked for a Scott performance and then cast change and SJD is leaving but at least I saw Scott is my reasoning. I have rarely seen anyone other than principal Phantoms.

I remember a Raoul doing it too so it may have been Alex Rathegeber? But I am uncertain, although Michael Xavier was pretty sweet in that scene too so could have been him.

Well, SATC box set is on and I am sitting in bed so may as well get cracking with Act Two so here it is:

Interval: I had noticed the man beside me was on his own and was half glancing over so I asked him if he was enjoying himself and he replied "what?" And I realised he was foreign, I then discovered he was German so re-phrased and asked if he was liking the show. He said that he didn't understand the language much but the music and the way people were expressing were making it a joy to watch. This really brought a smile to my face.

Performance in a nutshell: Simon goes bats*** crazy, David slips down in my estimations for going into holiday mode and Katy continues to impress.

Masquerade: The clown was back and terrifying as always however the fish was also back for the first time in a long time. It was a pretty standard performance and I liked seeing they have kept up the crazy ad lib dancing, it is really funny. Unfortunately after Why So Silent there was the final technical fault of the performance as David went down the trap door there was no smoke no bang no nothing so he obviously just went down a trapdoor. In the next week the trap subsequently completely broke down, not sure if it is working again.

Madame Giry's Tale : This was actually quite terrifying. Simon literally rounded on poor Nicky and kept grabbing her arm and pulling her right up to him. It really was very scary and didn't really make for a performance where you warmed to Raoul. He was really snarling - Nicky didn't half run off!

Notes II/ Twisted Every Way - Once more there was nothing particularly new here although I did notice Andrew was really growing into the role of Piangi, really bumbling around and almost imitating Carlotta, he really was much improved on what I had seen before, his voice even matched Rohan's. Twisted was very good, Katy was suitably faint with it and Simon was back to a softer approach until it came to threatening the Phantom and he was shaking his head and really yelling the words, very "schizophrenic" performance from him today, it made me realise he'd be a h*** of a Phantom!

DJT Rehearsal - Nothing new here but the laughing guy was actually hillarious and Rebecca rounded on him and was almost nose-to-nose with him!

Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again - I didn't really find anything spectacular with Katy's acting here but it was a good solid performance of the song.

Wandering Child - Katy's voice was floating through the air once more and David was extremely hypnotic. Once again I didn't find Katy's "trance acting" impressive but it wasn't that bad. Her voice is extremely powerful when she really goes for it and this meant Simon wasn't overpowering the scene too much. It was almost perfect. When David was taunting Simon she was really having to restrain Simon and she practically dragged him off stage.

Point of No Return - Katy was extremely playful in this scene and it was played beautifully between both her and David. I really noticed how well their voices go together. Katy has a wonderful rich tone to her voice that really suits this sort of number. It was very sensual and there was a raw energy in both their performances. She isn't as reluctant when being dragged back onto the stage I noticed. Also in the panic at the end I love how Emma seeks comfort in whoever is closest, this performance it was Simon and he patted her arm before the lights came back up and she was in Nicky's arms.

Final Lair - David was completely crazy here. It was great, he was really mocking Simon when he appeared and Katy seemed torn between her love for Raoul and trying to appease The Phantom. It was one of the best lairs I had seen. Unfortunately, and I'll blame it on David just being back from holiday but he sang the line "sins which are yours" and was still standing centre stage, I was thinking "errrrm what? What's going on?" Well Katy had already half ran off to leave Simon standing so Simon was just looking around confused and David seemed to then remember what he should be doing and sprinted and then threw the noose. This meant David seemed to sort of lose it for the remainder of the scene so didn't go to attack Simon so Simon couldn't get one of his famous ad-libs in Sad However it was still a powerful performance. When Katy returned with the ring they both looked utterly heartbroken and as she went off in the boat she wasn't looking at Simon and had her head bowed. As he sang his lines she almost was snapping out of a daydream. David's final line was extremely powerful making up for earlier mishaps. It is safe to say he has definitely settled into the role. Thankfully!

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Re: 22/05/10 Shannon/Treharne/Bailey

Post  operafantomet on Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:15 am

Oh, thanks for an interesting review!

What got me most curious is the changed David Shannon. I know he has it in him, he showed some moments of brilliantness, but much of the time he seemed to restrain it or... I dunno.

I hear ya' about Simon Bailey being Phantom potential. But I though the same about Ramin Karimloo back then. I loved his Raoul, one of the best I've seen, but when he returned as the Phantom I wasn't as impressed as I thought. Had the voice, sure, but... Neeeh, it just never clicked with me. My view can have been influenced by the fact that I didn't particularly fancy the female leads at the time either, but still. I don't want to change my mind about how fantastic Simon Bailey is.

Really curious about Katy Treharne now! I've only seen pics and was curious about what her Christine was like. Oh, and seconded about SJD. Who would think a Buquet could stand that much out (in a positive way)?

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Re: 22/05/10 Shannon/Treharne/Bailey

Post  Miss von Krolock on Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:51 am

dolly-ry wrote:The Phantom of the Opera - I know half of it is pre-recorded but this was one of my favourite performances of this song. As it switched to live David was still holding the notes and Katy's voice sounded glorious.
I'm really confused now... I always thought the title song in London was completely sung in playback? I could swear it was, on all 8 times I saw the show there...

dolly-ry wrote:Il Muto - Raoul/ The Managers lines are pre-recorded here right? Well if they are (which I am cetain they are as they usually sound exactly the same) then they have re-recorded Simon's which seems a bit odd to do when he is leaving in September.
Whereas ^here^, I think I remember someone saying a Raoul screwed up his lines once, so maybe this bit is indeed live, even though it always sounds the same?

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Re: 22/05/10 Shannon/Treharne/Bailey

Post  starryeyed on Wed Jun 02, 2010 10:42 am

Half the title song is definitely live. You hear a definite switch especially when people settle in (as David Shannon) and their lines start to sound completely different in tone. It started to become obvious with Earl Carpenter too as for some reason they never changed the first half during his run, now they appear to change them if the person stays for more than a year as Gina Beck's was changed just before cast change last year. I haven't explained it well but it is definitely half sung live - I have also heard comments about not being able to sing while climbing a ladder, meaning of course you can sing live in a boat.

ETA: The title song goes live from the chorus singing "He's there The Phantom of the Opera, Beware..." up until Christine's "He's there The Phantom of the Opera" of course the "sings" are live with the cadenza pre-recorded.

Also I realised I hadn't put my overall thoughts on people so here they are:-

David Shannon - Much improved and it really was unfortunate the slip up in the final lair which meant he sort of lost it immediately after. There is nothing I can think of vocally I have complaints with now so if in the last few months he just really goes for it with the acting he'll definitely become an outstanding Phantom.

Katy Treharne - A fantastic understudy and more than capable of becoming the alternate. I've always felt that she would have been the alternate had Katie Hall not left early last year and them having to get in a Christine who knew the role in Tabitha Webb. However, Katy has been getting lots of performances under her belt so it isn't that bad.

Simon Bailey - Not his best performance but I'll just put it down to some odd acting choices. He was a bit OTT angry and I heard a lot of comments about him coming across as "arrogant" not his usual Raoul style, he usually finds the right balance. Vocally he was brilliant as always.

Nicky Adams - I feel I've rarely mentioned her in my review, she is a perfectly capable Madame Giry and seems to be attempting to pull off Heather's "You were a DISGRACE." It doesn't have the same impact but I still prefer it to the usual "disgrace tonight."

Emma Harris - A fantastic Meg with a lovely voice, she also has good chemistry with everyone on stage and really seems to always be flitting about.

Rebecca Lock - This woman is perfection. That is all.

Andrew Keelan - Another fantastic understudy who has also been getting many performances it seems. I do wish they would sort out his "fat suit" though and Marc's while they are at it.

Mark Oxtoby - Perfectly good but did miss Gareth to be honest. Especially his "ballet."

Barry James - He really is hillarious, definitely most improved member of this cast!

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Re: 22/05/10 Shannon/Treharne/Bailey

Post  Helen on Wed Jun 02, 2010 4:08 pm

dolly-ry wrote:
I remember a Raoul doing it too so it may have been Alex Rathegeber? But I am uncertain, although Michael Xavier was pretty sweet in that scene too so could have been him.

It would either have been Michael Xavier or John Addison. I saw Alex Rathegeber, but I didn't really like him and remember very little about him.

Half the title song is definitely live. You hear a definite switch especially when people settle in (as David Shannon) and their lines start to sound completely different in tone. It started to become obvious with Earl Carpenter too as for some reason they never changed the first half during his run,

I'm sure Earl's title song bit was changed eventually. I saw him for the first time about a year or so into his run, and his title song bit was awful. It must have been recorded when he just started. It was obvious that it was pre-recorded, since his "Mirror" bit just before was excellent. The second time I saw him was about 6 months later, and his title song bit sounded so different. It had improved enormously. It matched the rest of his performance.


David Shannon - Much improved and it really was unfortunate the slip up in the final lair which meant he sort of lost it immediately after. There is nothing I can think of vocally I have complaints with now so if in the last few months he just really goes for it with the acting he'll definitely become an outstanding Phantom.

I'd love to see him again. He seems to have really improved since I saw him in December. Is he definately leaving in September?

Thanks for writing the review, really enjoyed reading it!

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Re: 22/05/10 Shannon/Treharne/Bailey

Post  starryeyed on Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:12 pm

We'll go with it being Michael Xavier then as I never saw John Addison and I wasn't impressed with Alex either Razz

I believe he is leaving yes, it's quite a change this year!

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Re: 22/05/10 Shannon/Treharne/Bailey

Post  operafantomet on Thu Jun 03, 2010 5:56 am

dolly-ry wrote:We'll go with it being Michael Xavier then as I never saw John Addison and I wasn't impressed with Alex either Razz

I believe he is leaving yes, it's quite a change this year!
Speaking of which, we have a fellow Phantom fan (though not known from forums) auditioning this year, for some key roles. Very Happy I can't tell you who he is yet, but he has a gorgeous voice and I really X my fingers for him. Auditions are held now + next week, maybe more later on too.

Still sad this fantastic cast is leaving, though. I know I've said it before, but it's one of the strongest I've ever seen in the West End production.

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Re: 22/05/10 Shannon/Treharne/Bailey

Post  starryeyed on Thu Jun 03, 2010 7:57 am

I know a few people too... I know a girl who has just graduated who went for the dancers call yesterday as well, fingers crossed for everyone!

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