International Phantom Fans Week 2009

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Re: International Phantom Fans Week 2009

Post  Raphael on Mon Oct 12, 2009 3:07 am

Afternoon Session: Hal Prince Keynote Address

Since you can all see Hal Prince's keynote address for yourselves due to the kind generosity of Lindsey, instead of a play-by-play rundown of what he spoke about, I'll wrap this review up with general notes about what it was like for me to be there and some highlights that I found interesting.

Most of the cast was in attendance for Mr. Prince's session, and I took a few moments before the show to talk with Anthony Crivello when he wasn't signing autographs. I guess that was why it really didn't really strike me that I was going to be in the same room with the legendary multi Tony award-winning director until he stepped out of the wings to a standing ovation.

Previous to that, producer Scott Zeiger provided a brief introduction, Talking about the origin of the show and how they could only go forward with it if they had the blessing of the original creative team and saying that "Phantom: the Las Vegas Spectacular" was Hal Prince's creation, his vision. And then there he was, signature glasses and all.

I think "Keynote Address" is a lofty title for what was basically Mr. Prince talking about the Las Vegas production, his history with the show and then taking questions. Not that I'm complaining, and even Mr. Prince said that he'd have a tough time trying to tell new things to a group of such dedicated fans anyway.

Hal (forgive me for addressing him in such a casual manner) started in by talking about what drew him to the original Phantom of the Opera project: it was a romance and there were so few romantic musicals around. He also said they took a great deal from Leroux's book to lay the foundation of the musical (he also said he enjoyed the book very much).

In recounting the development phase, he related his exploration of the Paris Opera, a tour that took him from the subterranean lake all the way to the top of the dome on the roof. Probably to placate Phantom fans, he started off with the lake, its purpose and how they would occasionally drain it until only a few feet of water remained so they could stick a ballerina in a boat and take publicity shots (I don’t know about you, but I'd love to see some of those photos). He also mentioned the Dancer's Lounge, situated directly behind the stage and how the ballerinas would "entertain" wealthy young male patrons there during performances -- to which I noticed the cast all turned simultaneously to look at Brianne Laughing But Hal assured us that the ballerinas entertained these patrons in a limited fashion and with utmost decorum. He also said that the dressing rooms are of the same proportions as the dressing room set in the show, which I found interesting since I didn't imagine they actually looked anything like that.

Hal went on to say how Maria Bjornson was brought aboard, having picked least likeliest of samples of her work for the August Stindberg play, "Creditors" (consisting of wood and slatted windows) as the most appropriate for the project. Amusingly, he noted that after they had planned out all the sets, they had apparently forgotten about the costumes, but Maria assured him that she could draw 50 costumes a day and keep them on schedule.

He also brought up something that he's said before in interviews, but I feel needs to be mentioned again. For him, the metaphor of the musical is "Don't judge a book by its cover." It is a story of a man unfortunate enough to have been born grotesque and has hidden away his entire life, and a girl who reacts to that grotesqueness as anyone naturally would, but over the course of the show falls in love with him and seeing him in an entirely different light. And at the end of the show, the audience should want Christine to have stayed with the Phantom, but know she couldn't, because if she did, it wouldn't be believable. Speculation and fantasies are fine, but leave it to fanfic. DO YOU HEAR ME ALW?!? DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE WORDS COMING OUT OF MY MOUTH?!?!? Anything more just ruins the beauty of Erik's sacrifice and nullifies his redemption.

Hal also gave us some insight into Raoul, the much-maligned third wheel and all-around phan punching bag. He saw Raoul's character arc as starting out as a wealthy, spoiled, willful, almost feckless young man who's used to getting what he wants. But over the course of the show, he becomes protective, brave and active due to his genuine love for Christine. He also called Andrew out as being a very good Raoul!

The Q&A portion of the session dove into various topics, from casting the original Phantom production to Hal's career, to his take on theatre. Some highlights for me were:

  • Mandy Patinkin was Hal's first choice for the Phantom.
  • Steve Barton essentially created the concept of a juvenile leading man role in Raoul.
  • Michael Crawford sang for Hal Prince at his first meeting with the director and within two minutes had the title role.
  • Hal's being a lonely child (yet having a good family and lots of friends) and enjoying privacy, his own company and the fantasies he came up with in his head, reminds me very much of myself.
  • Amusing anecdotes regarding how stupid the plots of musicals were back in the day (Ethel Merman unknowingly passing top secret info to the enemies of the US via graphite in her teeth, anyone?)
  • He's not keen on pop-style music in theatre since he feels it doesn't lend itself to developing characters.
  • He doesn't like camp (Uh oh. I'm in trouble…)
  • And finally, when asked if he missed anything that was cut from the original version to the Vegas version, "No, not a damn thing!" was his reply!

But I still miss the Apple Porn.

After a standing ovation for Hal, the surprise that had been alluded to was then announced: Hal would be at a table in the lobby signing autographs. I think all the requests by fans earlier in the week during the cast Q&A sessions must have prompted this last-minute change in plans. Thankfully, I'd been carrying around my copy of the PLV Alphabet book, so after grabbing some autographs from the cast after the session ended, I snagged a spot near the end of the line and had Mr. Prince sign my copy, which he did, right on the front cover. One of the most treasured items in my Phantom collection? I think so!

Hindsight being 20/20, of course, I should have waited to be the last in line so I could have talked to him a little more and possibly shown him my portfolio, which I also happened to have on me. But I never was good at the networking thing Rolling Eyes

R.


Last edited by Raphael on Mon Oct 19, 2009 12:43 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added the rest of the Hal Prince Keynote Address review)

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Re: International Phantom Fans Week 2009

Post  operafantomet on Thu Oct 22, 2009 8:51 am

Tell me more, tell me more... Very Happy

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Internatioanl Phantom Fans Week: Day Four - 9:30pm Performance

Post  Raphael on Fri Oct 30, 2009 2:41 am

Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular Crivello/Holden/Ragone - 19 September 2009 9:30pm (The Short, Short Version)

Twenty-One. That's a magic number in Las Vegas. It's the age you can legally partake of an alcoholic beverage while stumbling down the Las Vegas Strip. It's the winning hand at the blackjack table. And for me, it was the twenty-first time seeing the Phantom of the Opera. And what better way to celebrate than seeing it underneath the chandelier?

Seeing the show three times in as many nights can be taxing, even for a phan like me. And as I mentioned earlier in my Fans Week review, there is such a thing as a "Phantom hangover." Therefore, since many of the points I wanted to make regarding the show were addressed in my previous two, this landmark review will be kept short and sweet (yeah, right…).

That being said, this was the first show I'd see after Hal Prince gave his notes to the cast, so it would be interesting to see what was different this time around.

Prologue:
No changes here, so I guess they're all good for this scene. Although from halfway back in the auditorium, the scene looks a lot brighter than when I'm sitting up close.

Overture:
I don't care what people say, the Overture experience in Las Vegas is unequaled anywhere in the world. Sure, the suspended parts of the chandelier (literally "in pieces") take some getting used to, but once you get past that, the dance they do above the audience's heads, coupled with the newly-revealed opulence of the re-created Opera Garnier auditorium, the lighting effects, and the sound of the Overture pounding through your entire body really is something. And in fact, the Vegas chandelier looks quite a bit like the actual Opera Garnier chandelier when seen in its entirety (albeit stretched taller and not as filled out as the real deal); it's even completely circular as opposed to the squashed oval that the Bjornson chandelier of the original production is. Here are all three of them for comparison:


The REAL chandelier


The original Bjornson chandelier


The Vegas chandelier

Not necessarily saying one's better than the other. Just saying there's a resemblance.

Hannibal:
Again, everything basically was the same as I'd seen it Thursday evening. But I did take notice of moments I hadn't paid attention to previously. Like Carlotta swooning a bit during the Hannibal number when the Slave Master, who was poised at her feet, thrust his pelvis up in her direction before moving on with the rest of his choreography. Or Meg and another ballerina posing behind Firmin with coy expressions as if to say, "Care to patronize this, daddy?" despite the fact that he was completely ignoring them (I wouldn't if those eyes were cast in MY direction! Hubba hubba!).

I think Elena was playing Carlotta more at her wit's end than before -- the emotion was pushed a little further or took a slightly different track this time around. Also, much love for Bruce Ewing's ultra-rude Reyer. He's got to be my favorite.

Think of Me:
Kristi's voice was lovely, as usual, and for the first time I noticed the lack of attention her impromptu audition was getting from the rest of the cast (the Gollywog had his back turned and was reading a newspaper until Christine's voice began to blossom at, "when you are far away and free." Only then did everyone take notice.

The rest of the scene played out as usual. Kristi again bringing a great deal of energy to her role and Andrew infusing Raoul's introduction with a surfeit of boyish charm.

Angel of Music:
I'm not sure, but I got the feeling that all the female performers were putting a lot of breath into their voices that night. The gasps by the ballet chorus as this scene opened were particularly loud, for instance. And Kristi (like Kristen before her, come to think of it) sounded like she was on the other end of a 900 number:

Hi, I'm Kinky Christine. It's so lonely here in my big, secluded dressing room; so far away from prying eyes and listening ears. And it's so warm, too. I don’t know how long I can keep my clothes on… Oh poot, the lock on my door is broken. Some handsome, young nobleman could walk right in and catch me in my half-open negligee… Did I mention I'm Swedish?

Huh? Oh, right. The review. Uhh… I'll get back to you on that.

R.

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Re: International Phantom Fans Week 2009

Post  operafantomet on Fri Oct 30, 2009 7:49 am

Raphael wrote:
And in fact, the Vegas chandelier looks quite a bit like the actual Opera Garnier chandelier when seen in its entirety (albeit stretched taller and not as filled out as the real deal); it's even completely circular as opposed to the squashed oval that the Bjornson chandelier of the original production is. Here are all three of them for comparison:

http://i535.photobucket.com/albums/ee353/maskedmaestro/chandOG.jpg
The REAL chandelier

http://i535.photobucket.com/albums/ee353/maskedmaestro/chandelier.jpg
The original Bjornson chandelier

http://i535.photobucket.com/albums/ee353/maskedmaestro/0701edit15_sm.jpg
The Vegas chandelier

Not necessarily saying one's better than the other. Just saying there's a resemblance.

R.
I agree with you on that, and the chandelier Bjørnson designed is actually somewhere in between the Vegas one and the original. But I'd like to point out thing:

The pictures you posted above is a tad deceiving, I think. Posting a blurry b/w photo of the original opposite a colour model photo of the Vegas one makes it harder to compare them. I know finding a photo of the fully assembled Vegas one is a bitch, but from every photo I've seen it's looked less assembled and longer in shape than the model you posted. The three main parts looks further apart, reminding just as much of the chandelier in Monte Carlo's opera house (AKA Salle Garnier) than as the Palais Garnier one:



1. Salle Garnier, 2. Palais Garnier, 3. Vegas chandelier, 4. Original chandelier (US version)

For the original chandelier they've dropped the top section, for the Vegas chandelier they've removed details to make it flatter - which leaves us with two chandeliers which is close to the Garnier one, but in different ways.

However, my beef with the Vegas one isn't as much the look of it assembled - I just don't fancy the Overture "dance". People seems divided on this; whether it is utterly fantastic (most who's been to Vegas thinks so) or bleeh. I'm personally in the latter section (and to be fair, some people I know who's been to Vegas feels the same way), but I'm open for being totally wowed if seeing it live!

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Re: International Phantom Fans Week 2009

Post  operafantomet on Fri Oct 30, 2009 7:55 am

Raphael wrote:
Angel of Music:
I'm not sure, but I got the feeling that all the female performers were putting a lot of breath into their voices that night. The gasps by the ballet chorus as this scene opened were particularly loud, for instance. And Kristi (like Kristen before her, come to think of it) sounded like she was on the other end of a 900 number:

Hi, I'm Kinky Christine. It's so lonely here in my big, secluded dressing room; so far away from prying eyes and listening ears. And it's so warm, too. I don’t know how long I can keep my clothes on… Oh poot, the lock on my door is broken. Some handsome, young nobleman could walk right in and catch me in my half-open negligee… Did I mention I'm Swedish?

Huh? Oh, right. The review. Uhh… I'll get back to you on that.

R.

Laughing Oh no, please bring us more of those saucy details! He-he.

Interesting about the stage looking brighter from the back than when sitting up front (auction scene). Sounds like it's just as nice to sit a bit back to get the overview as to sit in the front.

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Re: International Phantom Fans Week 2009

Post  Raphael on Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:25 pm

operafantomet wrote:
The pictures you posted above is a tad deceiving, I think. Posting a blurry b/w photo of the original opposite a colour model photo of the Vegas one makes it harder to compare them.
Purely unintentional, I assure you. I just couldn't find a color pic of the original Bjornson chandelier in my archives that matched the angle of the other two photos and had enough detail.

For the original chandelier they've dropped the top section, for the Vegas chandelier they've removed details to make it flatter - which leaves us with two chandeliers which is close to the Garnier one, but in different ways.
Yeah, of the two replicas, the bottom of the original Bjornson looks more like the actual chandelier, but the top of the Vegas one looks more like the original as well.

However, my beef with the Vegas one isn't as much the look of it assembled - I just don't fancy the Overture "dance". People seems divided on this; whether it is utterly fantastic (most who's been to Vegas thinks so) or bleeh. I'm personally in the latter section (and to be fair, some people I know who's been to Vegas feels the same way), but I'm open for being totally wowed if seeing it live!
Well, you'll just have to come over to Vegas and see it firsthand then, won't ya? Say, for Fans Week 2010? Very Happy

R.

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Re: International Phantom Fans Week 2009

Post  Scorp on Fri Oct 30, 2009 5:23 pm

Raphael wrote:
Since you can all see Hal Prince's keynote address for yourselves due to the kind generosity of Lindsey, instead of a play-by-play rundown of what he spoke about, I'll wrap this review up with general notes about what it was like for me to be there and some highlights that I found interesting.

OMG! I still need to watch that. Does anyone have a link?

Guy with Apple Fetish wrote: He also said they took a great deal from Leroux's book to lay the foundation of the musical (he also said he enjoyed the book very much).

Is it possible for me to love Hal Prince any more than I already do? Apparently so.

Mr Malophile wrote:In recounting the development phase, he related his exploration of the Paris Opera, a tour that took him from the subterranean lake all the way to the top of the dome on the roof. Probably to placate Phantom fans, he started off with the lake, its purpose and how they would occasionally drain it until only a few feet of water remained so they could stick a ballerina in a boat and take publicity shots (I don’t know about you, but I'd love to see some of those photos).

I had one such photo saved on my comp. Then it died. Crying or Very sad (Have sent it off for the professionals to see if they can salvage anything...). The lake now though is completely full, so no-one can have a fun little boat ride there unless they drain it.

Hal went on to say how Maria Bjornson was brought aboard, having picked least likeliest of samples of her work for the August Stindberg play, "Creditors" (consisting of wood and slatted windows) as the most appropriate for the project. Amusingly, he noted that after they had planned out all the sets, they had apparently forgotten about the costumes, but Maria assured him that she could draw 50 costumes a day and keep them on schedule.

I read somewhere recently that Hal had a tantrum when he first flew over to see Maria's work and then flew back to the States. But then something changed and all was well, fortunately.

DO YOU HEAR ME ALW?!? DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE WORDS COMING OUT OF MY MOUTH?!?!? Anything more just ruins the beauty of Erik's sacrifice and nullifies his redemption.

Agh... Evil or Very Mad

Mandy Patinkin was Hal's first choice for the Phantom.

Wow, I never knew that. I'm not a fan though of Mandy's voice and mannerisms (seems to be an acquired taste), so glad they went with Crawford.

I snagged a spot near the end of the line and had Mr. Prince sign my copy, which he did, right on the front cover. One of the most treasured items in my Phantom collection? I think so!

JEALOUS. So cool they gave that opportunity to fans to meet him!

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Re: International Phantom Fans Week 2009

Post  Raphael on Sat Oct 31, 2009 11:45 pm

Scorp wrote:
Raphael wrote:
Since you can all see Hal Prince's keynote address for yourselves due to the kind generosity of Lindsey, instead of a play-by-play rundown of what he spoke about, I'll wrap this review up with general notes about what it was like for me to be there and some highlights that I found interesting.

OMG! I still need to watch that. Does anyone have a link?
Here you go. They're all available on Lindsey's YouTube channel:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRXQwK0z1Cc

sincerely,
Mr. Malophile

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Re: International Phantom Fans Week 2009

Post  Raphael on Sun Nov 08, 2009 9:20 am

Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular Crivello/Holden/Ragone - 19 September 2009 9:30pm (The Not Quite So Short Version) continued

Angel of Music (continued):

Kristi projected a very ethereal presence in this scene, in keeping with the way early Christines were, but it was an improvement over just seeming sleepy. I'd heard that the previous evening, when Madame Giry appears, Tina took a very long pause between the lines, "Meg Giry, are you a dancer? Well come and practice." So much so that it made Brianne squirm uncomfortably. This night it wasn't as long a pause, but longer than it had been the last time I'd seen it.

Little Lotte/The Mirror:
I guess Raoul was on the other end of that 900 number call because sure enough, he traipsed right into Christine's dressing room without knocking, cueing her breathy, "M'sieur?" that carried a subtext of: "Oh no! A handsome young nobleman has just entered my dressing room! Surely with a mind to take me in his strong, manly arms and ravish me with his enormous bank account (95¢ a minute, long distance charges apply)!"

Anyway, moving on to "The Mirror" I love how it is underlit once the Phantom makes his presence known - the visual definitely changes the mood of the scene. This also marked the one flub of the evening - most likely caused by how exhausted the cast must have been after the hectic few days of Fans Week. Here, Kristi forgot her opening lines in response to the Phantom's voiceover. It went something like this:

"Angel of Music --

…I hear you…

Angel of Music,
Hide no longer"
(etc.)


It was all of a few seconds, but it seemed like an eternity before she worked her way out of that one. A teeth-gritting, ass-clenching eternity. And that was just my reaction. Not sure why I respond like that when an actor forgets a line or something technical goes wrong. It's not like there's some horrible penalty if they happen to make a mistake. But anyway, Kristi picked it up a few lines in and the scene proceeded from there.

Phantom of the Opera:
I think I mentoned it before, but it really struck me at this point that Anthony's singing style reminded me very much of Robert Guillaume's. The lines are delivered forcefully and commandingly, but not quite Tim Gleason shoutily. Also, when Kristi lip-synched her line, "were both in you," she snapped her head back to look at the Phantom as if it was a surprising revelation - definitely a much more self-aware interpretation than I'm used to seeing. Once the transition was made to the lair, Anthony continued with his suave, self-assured interpretation of his character (i.e. no changes so far).

Question: Are all Christines restricted from using their arms during their cadenza at the end of this scene? I was just thinking of the Toronto PotO music video and how Rebecca Caine's arm gesticulations added something to that moment.

Music of the Night:
Anthony's "I Have Brought You" (or the Cooldown as I call it) that bridges the relentless beat of the title song and the slow, sensual MotN -- something the 2004 movie lacked, making the sudden, drastic change in mood between songs akin to falling asleep right after doing the dirty deed.

But I digress.

Anthony's "I Have Brought You" vacillated between forceful and gentle, almost line by line. And overall, his MotN was the same as I'd seen earlier in the week, but just a touch less on the romantic side, replaced by a touch more of that Svengali-like quality I'd seen early in the run. He tended to be very gentle with Christine - only using his fingertips to "turn (her) face away" and then bringing her face back to his in an intentional almost-kiss.

Kristi was also a little more self-aware than previously, running her hands over her torso as Anthony sang, "Hear it, feel it, closing in around you."

80s break in three, two, one…

"I don’t want anybody else
when I think about you
I touch myself"


</80s break>

Anthony also snapped into the next movement after "savor each sensation" very sharply. Doesn't really work for me, even if the Christine reacts strongly to the Phantom's hand running up her body, but whatev.

The rest of the song was fine. Lots of applause as the scene faded to black.

And the sound of Anthony's squeaky shoes as he moved to his next mark at the organ.

squeaksqueaksqueaksqueak

Wow, that really pulls you out of the show real quick.

Stranger than You Dreamt It:
Remember when I was saying that arm gesticulations can improve things? Not always the case. At the top of The Morning After scene, when the Phantom's through pounding on his organ, Anthony capped it with what essentially was a fist pump while mouthing "Yes!" over and over to himself. Granted, when I'm in the throes of reaction, I can get very excited too, but the gesture felt like it was a little too much here. Kristi also added a few more touches to her reaction to the Phantom during STYDI, scrambling backwards upon his getting closer to her.

Notes/Prima Donna:
I enjoyed how clueless John's Andre was throughout the show -- in this scene, he read the entire note in a very pleasant manner and only after he was done did his expression change to a "WTF?!?" look. Lawson's Firmin, on the other hand, had an attitude of not having the time or patience for all this opera drama. And Brianne was adorable as always when she got up en pointe to try to sneak a peek at the Phantom's notes.

John and Lawson really milked "Priiiiiiimmmmmmmaaaaaa Donna!" for all it was worth, and again there were definitely wheels turning off to the side with Raoul, Madame Giry, and Meg's little moment as Raoul began to suspect that the Angel and the Phantom were one in the same and perhaps Mme Giry knew more than she was letting on.

Il Muto:
Lawson acted particularly jovial that all the seats were sold and Kristi's Serafimo ass volcano was awesome -- so much so that it deserves a duet by Nelly and Sir Mix-A-Lot. This scene also noted a distinct change in Elena's performance. Instead of a croaking sound, she actually said the word "ribbit" in her low register -- much like Patricia Phillips did on Broadway. Thing is, Patricia's "ribbit" actually sounded like a real one. Unfortunately, Elena's wasn't quite there so the joke fell sort of flat.

The Vegas Il Muto ballet still is, I believe, the only one that you can still see the ballerina's react in a significant manner to what's going on behind them. And would wardrobe please strap Jordan Ashley down? She looks like she's in constant danger of popping out of that costume throughout the entire scene.

All I Ask of You/Reprise:
Is Raoul wearing a black scarf in this scene? Is this something new that I haven't noticed until now? Other than that, nothing new to add here.

Anthony's angel reprise was closer to his earlier one that I'd seen previously at Fans Week. Mournful but not overly so, crushing the brim of his poor fedora with his hands, and bursting into a rage at the end. Nice job!

R.


Last edited by Raphael on Sun Nov 29, 2009 4:39 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: International Phantom Fans Week 2009

Post  Raphael on Mon Nov 23, 2009 4:05 am

Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular Crivello/Holden/Ragone - 19 September 2009 9:30pm (The "Okay, It's Just as Long as All My Other Reviews" Edition) continued

Masquerade:
HIP SWISH FOR THE WIN!!!!! Mmmmm… yeah… Daddy like…

Giry's Confession/Notes II/Twisted Every Way:
The only note I have here is that in the brief pause during the line, "and yet… I wish I could," Kristi had this hopeful look on her face, which I thought quite nice.

Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again/Wandering Child:
Yay "fatherly gaze"! Boo Zombie!Christine!

Before the Premiere:
I noted a little extra action that I hadn't seen before between the Fire Chief and Raoul as they looked up at the corner of the proscenium arch where the Phantom suddenly appeared before Quick Draw McGraw opened fire on him.

DJT/Point of No Return:
It seems all that all the sexiness of The Apple has been redirected into Brianne's little moment at the beginning of the scene. Rawr… purr…

Speaking of The Apple, Kristi had it on full display for the majority of the song, but used it in a very subdued manner. The only other comment on this scene was that Anthony forced the ring onto Christine's finger. I think this makes the most sense, having seen Christines sometimes take the ring and put it on themselves, seems to me that she should be surprised by this (as well as his mimicking Raoul's word so of love from the rooftop scene) and that should trigger her to unmask him then and there.

Down Once More/Track Down This Murderer:
I liked how Anthony sang his "Hounded out by everyone," lines as if his chest was so tight that he could barely breathe. It brought a lot of angst and emotion to the scene.

Final Lair:
Anthony kept his panicky entrance into the Lair (looking back the way they came and up at the portcullis) which I felt added something to the scene; that things weren't quite going according to plan and he was barely keeping himself in check. But a new little addition to Anthony's performance came when Raoul emerged from the lake. As Anthony reacted to his appearance, he took a cue from the Red Death and condescendingly flicked his fingertip beneath Christine's chin as he sang, "I think my dear, we have a guest!" His Phantom was equal parts bitter, sarcastic and angry throughout the bulk of the scene. At the end, he did pause briefly between his lines, "You try my patience. Make your choice!" instead of running through them immediately. A slight improvement, although I really like how old school Phantoms tend to draw that out to an almost extreme degree.

The kiss was now sans embrace on the Phantom's part, back to just trembling arms that start to go around her but then fall limp at his sides. I still wish having the Phantom pull out of the second kiss (a la Brent Barrett) should be standard choreography, but that's just me. After chasing Christine and Raoul out of the Lair, the Phantom made his way to the monkey music box, Anthony's voice breaking as he sang, "… so the world will never find you." The return of the ring found Anthony standing up in surprise and smoothing his clothes down hastily until Kristi held it out to him. Taking her extended hand in one, then both hands, he held her there until she slowly pulled free from his grasp and ran off. It was very moving.

Then Anthony started slapping the ring against his chest and it kinda broke the mood for me. Oh and hey, I could also see Andrew kneel down on the boat and kiss Kristi just before they sailed into the wings. Usually they vanish from site as Raoul's starting to kneel down. Never saw that before. Then Meg and the mob climb down the portcullis, there's the traditional yanking off of the cloak and spotlight out on the mask.

The End.

Curtain Call:
Again, 9:30pm audiences suck, even if they have us die-hard phans to help boost things. I expect a lot of them (most likely the fellas) thought a second show meant a Vegas "second show" and were disappointed that Christine, Meg and the other girls weren't parading around in more revealing outfits. The applause nearly died out entirely before the curtain came up for the cast to take their bows. But once they did, the applause ramped up a bit and built until the very end. And despite the mediocrity of the rest of the audience that night, it was a great finale for Fans Week.

R.

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International Phantom Fans Week: Day Five - 20 September 2009

Post  Raphael on Mon Nov 23, 2009 4:13 am

International Phantom Fans Week: Day Five - 20 September 2009

Brunch
The Farewell brunch was a quiet, intimate affair. And in my traveling clothes, I felt a little underdressed since this happened to be a very upscale restaurant. But we did get to chat a little with Mark and JD and a friend of JD's who joined us at our table (turns out Mark worked on the Paris production of Les Miserables. How cool is that?) Not all that many phans in attendance, but the food was excellent and the staff was very courteous and attentive. The add-on was worth every penny.

Stories were shared, pictures were taken, and there was much loitering afterwards as phans so often do. I feel sorry for anyone who has to wait around to clean up after us. We never seem to leave.

Killing Time
After brunch, Mandy, Lindsey, Bryan and I headed back to kill some time wandering around the property before Mandy and I had to catch our shuttle to the airport. It would actually be Mandy's first time venturing outside the usual locations associated with the Fans Week events. Not really much to note here except right after we left the restaurant and were waiting for the elevator (next to a couple of security guards apparently escorting a worse-for-wear guest back up to his suite), Sarah Brightman's "Think of Me" was just finishing up over the sound system which promoted Mandy to break into spontaneous ToM finale choreography right there on the spot (drop to knees and bow. The whole shebang). Which completely weirded out said guest and guards. Man, did they get the h€ll out of the elevator ASAP.

Departure
Once we got to the airport, we met up with Andy who was taking the same flight back as we were and got to chat for quite awhile at the gate.

So two months after the event, that wraps it up my review, folks. Goodbye Venetian hotel and your luxurious accommodations! Goodbye fellow phans; I'll always remember the fun conversations and overpriced food we shared! And I think I'll miss you most of all, Masquerade Hip-Swish!

See you next year!

R.

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Re: International Phantom Fans Week 2009

Post  phantom10906 on Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:12 am

Thank you for the round up Raph. I'm reliving the fond memories now. Mandy's TOM must have been a riot. Can't wait to get back next year. Very Happy

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Re: International Phantom Fans Week 2009

Post  Christine's Shadow on Mon Nov 23, 2009 9:13 am

So.

Having now actually been to Vegas and actually having seen the show. I will murder someone (*coughparents/gaurdianscough*). If I am not at Phans Week next year.

*takes christmas money phantom money jar out and sets on bedside table*

Awesome review.

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Re: International Phantom Fans Week 2009

Post  Madame Giry on Mon Nov 30, 2009 1:42 am

So since I finally got around to reading this whole epic thread, thank you, Raph, for putting together such a great review of Phans Week (especially for those of us who could not attend!). It was really informative and interesting to read, not in the least because of your signature sense of humor and unhealthy obsession with a certain fair lady's 'hip-swish'. Smile

~Madame~

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Re: International Phantom Fans Week 2009

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