Qoutes from Magazine & Newspaper Articles

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Patti Cohenour is no 'Phantom' to success USA Today July 25, 1988

Post  ladygodiva on Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:25 am

Patti Cohenour is no 'Phantom' to success USA Today July 25, 1988, by David Patrick Stearns

NEW YORK-Considering what Patti Cohenour went through before she landed the starring role in the Phantom of the Opera, it's surprising she's still in theater, much less on Broadway.

Having neatly ascended from Sarah Brightman's occasional fill-in to the megahit's full time star, Cohenour can now say that sacrificing her lucrative career as a session singer in LA was worth it.

Through fans and critics have said that she outshines Brightman, Cohenour's attitude toward her Phantom success has a cautions ring; " You just enjoy it as it happens."

Until now, the delicate, ethereal Cohenour, 35, was either surviving in flops like A Doll's Life (She understudied the role) or fending off total exhaustion from back to back roles in the Public Theaters La Boheme (She was Linda Rondstandt's alternate,) Big River, and the Mystery of Edwin Drood.

Even after achieving the broadway success she had been working for (Drood won her Tony and Drama Desk nominations)she returned to her native Alburquerque, N.M. for a year long rest.

Her father had just died and she'd broken up with her fiance of four years."I weighed 98 pounds. I was suffering form severe burnout., I was'nt singing well. It was time to take a break. and New Mexico is the best place in the world for chilling out"

For many fledgling performers, a year out of New York is professional suicide. But director Harld Prince remembered her from A Doll's Life. So instead of having to start over, she returned in broadways biggest show, singing the role of Christine Daae.

Cohenour does it without the benefit of formal operatic training. It seems to be in her blood. "My mother (Suzanne) was and opera singer and my father (William) was a physician who sang, they even had a radio progrma called sweetheart time something like Jeanette Macdonald and Nelson Eddy."

While her own background is mostly musica lshe began sinigng in clubs, troured with the New Christy Minstrels, Perry Como, eventually landed a recording-session jobs in Nashville and L.A.-Cohenour decided that wasn't enough. She wanted a long life in show business. " I will not allways be able to dance or sing, but I hope I'll be able to act."

Though she vowed after her experience in A Doll's Life never to understudy again, she agreeed to alternate with Brightman, performing twice a week in Phantom. She had no assuarance that she would succeeed Brightman upon her departure but soon became apparent that she was the choice.

Cohenour played well with the show's demanding star Micheal Crawford, whose make up leaves him unable to see well, thus she must be in the right place every time night after night.

That's much easier to accomplish now that she's playing the role full time. "When you do it twice a week, you are happy to get through it without bumping into furniture and in this show, there is a lots of furniture"

"Next, I'd like to do a play in which I'm wearing blue jeans, being funny and not singing and living in the 20th century'>


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January 26, 1987 Nine Faces of Peter Bishop Australian actor in plum West End role

Post  ladygodiva on Sun Jan 16, 2011 6:51 pm

January 26, 1987 Nine Faces of Peter Bishop Australian actor in plum West End role, by Lynee Bell in London

Peter Bishop could walke down any street in Australia and the kids would shout, "Hey, you're in the SDmiths Crisps ad". That particular tv commercial, however, is not aired in Britain, so Peter goes unrecognised by London's millions.


but the good-looking, 180cm, blue-eyed blond has turned his back on that kind of popularity, opting instead for "experience abroad"- and experience is exactly what he is getting! Peter has taken on the daunting task of playing nine different characters in the hit West End Musical-The Phantom of the Opera, because, he said succintly, "I'm here to learn everything I can."

Because he's the male dancer/singer in Andrew Lloyd Webber's latest show, Peter plays more roles than any other cast member-Slave driver, dreamer, man/woman, rat catcher, flunkey, stagehand, phantom double, policeman and autioneer.

"I never sit down, " he said with a laugh, "Except in the interval when I do the make-up for the man-woman character. I am running for well over three hours, eight times a week." it is a marathon he will maintain until his contract with Lloyd Webber runs out next October.

This time last year, Peter Bishop, 29, was one of Network Ten's Star Search winners with $21,000 in his pocket, eight years TV and stage experience and a big question mark hanging over his future, He had appeared in many segments on the old Mike Walsh show and it was Mike who encouraged him to pack his bag and head for London. He Even gave the young performer the name of his London agent.

The day after Peter arrived in London, he auditioned for the Phantom of the Opera. The next day he started work on a video for rock singer Bonnie Tyler. He has been constantly working in one of Britains toughest industries, ever since. He snatched only a few weeks' summer holiday when, as one of the bothers in Seven Brides for Seven brothers, he injured an arm.

Born in the NSW coastal town of Port Macquarie, Peter is delighted to have escaped the dole queue, the destination of all too many in show business, but not nessarily surprised.

"Performers here tend to specialise, they are either singers or dancers, or actors, In Australia we are trained to do it all" He said, because of his versatility, Peter beat a lot of home-grown competitiion to be cast in what is considered the current West End hit musical.

He has come a long way since he was a 20-year old, studying for a social work degree and spending all his free time working with children's holiday schemes, his mother, concerned that her son had little social life, suggested he join an amateur drama group.

she could not have known he would embrace his leisure-time activity with such enthusiasm, "I'd never shown interest in anything theatrical but I took to it all immediately" Peter remembered, Dancing classes had strong appeal-mainly the long-legged lovelies! "Women have always been a great attraction." He said grinning. with the disco boom at its peak, Bishop abandoned his social work studies and joined a new dance troupe. "I loved it, I never heard of nerves."

A natrally gifted dancer, Peter has appeared in most of the big musicals staged in Austrailia,-Evita, Oklahoma!, Sound of Music, and Fiddler on the Roof,among his many credits.

Part of his motivation for coming to London was to escape "A lot of hurt" over the failure of his marriage to a young dancer-singer he met during his disco days. "Life is never how you planned it." he said sadly. He still hopes for marriage and family life and has a very special girlfriend in Eva, a Swedish dancer.

Peter's mother is a Scot and so her son has no problem working in Britain."In Australia all the kids recognised me and I was getting a lot of fan mail, Here I had to go out and do all the auditions, I could manage just to get my name in circulation, London has done a me a lot of good.

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Re: Qoutes from Magazine & Newspaper Articles

Post  operafantomet on Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:54 pm

Thank you for posting all these lovely interviews and articles from way back. It's such an interesting part of Phantom history.

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Re: Qoutes from Magazine & Newspaper Articles

Post  Scorp on Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:02 pm

Contribution of the week (randomly selected from my getting-out-of-control Phantom folder):


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Re: Qoutes from Magazine & Newspaper Articles

Post  operafantomet on Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:23 pm

"In the early days, we were gluing every single moment. Things just weren't holding. The bottom lip kept falling off, and when the big kiss came, you just dreaded that Christine would walk away with your lip".

Hahaha!! Add that several Christines has said the lip is rather wet from sweat and stuff in the Final Lair, and I'm not so sure it is a dream role any more... Laughing But wow, to think that was the makeup artist's first job. Talk about flying start and putting her stamp on an iconic production!

Scorp, thanks a lot for posting this.

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Re: Qoutes from Magazine & Newspaper Articles

Post  SenorSwanky on Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:56 pm

Great article. I love reading about the makeup process.

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Re: Qoutes from Magazine & Newspaper Articles

Post  ladygodiva on Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:02 am

operafantomet wrote:Thank you for posting all these lovely interviews and articles from way back. It's such an interesting part of Phantom history.
any time, it will take me quite a while, I am trying to make a lovely assortment, If anyone has a request, I can try to do my best, literaly I have 3 file drawers full of magazine/newspaper articles of Phantom, and another fairly full drawer of other musicals articles.

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A New Face Behind the Phantom's Mask. December 1991 the Australian Womens Weekly

Post  ladygodiva on Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:28 am

A New Face Behind the Phantom's Mask. December 1991 the Australian Womens Weekly, by Veronica Matheson

Marina Prior has a new leading man... but they've trodden the boards together before.

Leading lady Marina Prior is about to meet her new leading man, Rob Guest, who, this month, takes over the title role in the Phantom of the Opera" at Melbourne's Princess Theatre.

Usually, such a meeting is tense, as the leading lady and leading man size each other up and wonder if they will make "magic" together on stage. But in this case, it is a meeting of two old friends who have already shown theatregoers that very special magic when they played opposite each other in that other huge musical, "Les Misertables."

It is like going home for Rob, Some of the 'Phantom' cast and crew were also in Les Miserables, as was the present Phantom, Anthony Warlow, who is leaving for other challenges. Meanwhile, phantom continues to play to full houses every night.. there are no good seats available until the middle of next year, and the show will be still running in Melbourne the year after.

Marina, who has already played the role of Christine for one year and has signed for another, says having a new leading man gives her role a new life, as Rob's Phantom will give it a different balance.

Rob is one of New Zealand's favourite sons-he migrated there from England with his parents when he was 12-and is regarded as their very own John Farnham, with his first hit song, 'Hanging On' in 1981, and regular tv spots, he as also appeared in many stage shows here and overseas, but feels most sentimental about Les Miserables, where he took over the role of Jean Valjean from Normie Rowe when it opened in Melbourne in 1989.

Like all theatrical types, a now clean shaven Rob- he was bearded Jean Valjean-is a mite supersititious, and has a warm feeling knowning that he steps into the role of the Phantom on December 9, "It's really a good sign, as I opened in Les Miserables at the princess theatre on that very same day two years ago, I call that auspicious!"

Rob's a great believer in luck, he says performers have to have talent, but they also need luck, he oney audition for Les Miserables at the last minute, and if he hadn't his carreer might now be off in an entirely different direction.

Right now, Marina and Rob can't stop talking. Of Weddings-Marina recently married actor Peter Lowrey (Yes, he was in Les Miserables, Too) and of recoring contracts. Marina's just released album, Leading lady is on the sony label, and features numbers form some of the best known stage shows, while Rob's album standing ovation, has already been released in New Zealand and will be available in Australia through EMI early next year.

Rob's album has a duet from Phantom-All I ask of you and his singng partner is his real life partner, Judy Barnes, who currently has her career on hold while she cares for their two lively toddlers. For Rob and Judy, too, marriiage is not out of the question, and is something that they will look at.

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Anthony Warlow A Phantom is born,Austrailia Womens Weekly,

Post  ladygodiva on Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:06 am

Anthony Warlow A Phantom is born,Austrailia Womens Weekly, by Veronica Matheson

Australia's own Phatnom is going on the record

it will take Anthony Warlow two hours to be made up as the Phatnom of the Opera. As he is transformed from his hansome, blue eyed, blond self into the dark-haired, sdisfigured Phatnomo, he will gradually step into character for another nitght of what is gauranteed to be a very long stage run.

for when the Phantom of the Opera has its Austrailian premiere at Melbourne's Princess theatre on December 8, ANthouny takes on the role coveted bya host of local and international names, even Michael Crawfrod, who made the role in the UK and then New York, would have been happy to come to Australia to play the Phantom. But, after the success of local casts in the blockbusters, "Cats" and "Les Miserables", it was decided there was sufficient home-grown talent.

Anthony shrugs off stardom, " It's like any other job. there is life outside the theare that's very important to me, it helps maintain my equilibrium. I have a job like anoyone else. It's shift work, so I start later than most, Fortunately. People don't recognise me when I step outside the stage door as I always seem to be cast in dark haired roles.!"

It's been one of those years for Anthony/ He won acclaim for his powerful portrayal of the student leader in "Les Miserables" staying with the production from its opening in Sydney three years ago until shortly before it closed in Melbourne last month. He also sang in an international cast recording of Les Miserables, what was a best-seller, and now Polydor is about to release his first solo album, appropriately called "Anthony Warlow-Centre Stage"

It highlights songs form grat musicals dating from 1924 to dtoday's Phantom, Chess, and City of Angels. which has just taken out Tony Awards for the best new musical on Broadway.


Naturally the smash hit Music of the Night from Phantom will feature.

Anthony allways wanted to sing, when high school friends listened to popular bands of the '70s like COld Chisel, he was honing his talents on Beethoven, and Mozart. He attened the NSW Conservatorium of Music and at 19 he was a guest artist with the Austrailian Opera, by 21 he was the youngest principal with that company. His talent was spotted by Richard Bonynge and he was awarded the Joan Sutherland scholarship to study with a renowned voice coach in New Zealand.

Anthony describes Phantom as a Juggernaut he feels real sympathy with the character who kills out of love, and says it is the classic love story.

Anthony has his own special love story and has been married for almost two years to Celia, whom he met at drama school, and whom he describes as "His third ear and His sounding board" when it comes to career moves he says if a role ever got in the way of his relationship with Celia he'd ditch the role without any hesitation.

Why did Anthony win the role of the phantom? he puts it down partly to actors paranoia, the worry of not knowing where the next role was coming from.. that demon turned to anger and expressed itself powerfully at hi all-important audition.


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More Power to the Phantom, Rob Guest as the Phantom..

Post  ladygodiva on Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:54 am

Monday Feb 8 1993 More Power to the Phantom, Rob Guest as the Phantom..by Simon Plant

In some ways, nothing has changed. The phantom is still haunting the Pincess stilll rattling the chandelier over astonished patrons, and still weaving a potent spell at the box office.

But reivsiting Andrew Lloyd Webber's hit musical after 2 1/2 years and focusing more on the story that the visual razzel dazzel. I came away feeling I had heard something fresh. A score that seemed more subtly colored than before and performances that carried more emotional weight.

The credit for this lies mainly with Rob Guest, Where Anthony Warlow's Phantom was sleek and almost reptillian, Guest's is full of gusto. He invests the demanding lead role with intense physical power and when unmasked in the finale, unleashes an almighty howl that sends a chill down your spine-and truly conveys the depth of his despair.

Rounds of applause also for Marina Prior's Christine, who still has the voice of an angel.

Jon Ewing and John O'May as the Paris Opera House owners, Back in Phantom after a six month break, they have sharpened their double act and given their caricatures real character.

On the down side, the shows chorus work is less disiplined, these frayed edges, especially in the colorful Masquerade scene, may have something to do with Melbourne's recent heatwave. Or perhaps it is the invevitable outcome of an un-usually long run.

whatever the case, the phantom's big scenes could do with a little fine-tuning, before they hit Sydney. As for the rest, it is still pure majic!

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Re: Qoutes from Magazine & Newspaper Articles

Post  ladygodiva on Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:13 am

does anyone have any preferences of what articles, I have thousands, I also have articles from Germany and London and LA and Canada, and New York, and Austrailia, any perferences, actors, you name it I probably have it

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Return to the Opera

Post  ladygodiva on Sun Feb 06, 2011 7:11 pm

Return to the Opera, Simon Plant re-visits Phantom of the Opera after 2 1/2 years to find two of the stars are back together-and that the show's essential magic is still very much in place.

As far as double acts go Monsieur Andre and Monsieur Firmin are a rare pair.

One is a talented artistic soul who knows how to calm a testy prima donna, the other a bossyboots businessman who only cares how many bums are in the seats

Together, they run the Paris Opera House in the Phantom of the Opera, and leaven the dark gothic mood of Andrew lloyd Webber's hit musical.

But when John O'May (M. Andre) and Jon Ewing (M. Firmin) adopt these parts they bring something extra with them. A mixture of onstage friction and offstage friendship that no amount of rehearsing can perfect.

"It's at team act. For whatever reason we have become terribly dependant on one another in this play." O'May says.

Absolutely," Ewing agrees. "We are joined at the hip:"

Ewing and O'may who could not be physically more dissimilar, have just rejoined Phantom after a six-month break and frankly admit they would probably not have replayed their roles if each other had been unavailable.

"Because these two characters depend on one another, I'd find it very difficult to play the role with someone I only had passing or middling respect for." Ewing Says.

Ironically,, Phantom is the first time O'may and Ewing have acted together.

The versitile actors have occasionally crossed paths. Both auditioned for Evita, for example, with O'May scoreing one of the leads. But over a 20-year period their respective careers have taken them in different directions. O'May into writing, singing and acting (The 20s, All that Jazz, Love Letters, Gershwin An Entertainment) and Ewing into acting and directing (Nicholas Nickleby, Broadway Bound, and Albin in La Cage Aux Folles.)

"I like to have my imprimatur on everything as a director." Ewing Says"Casting , design, wardrobe, everything. the strongest productions always seem to have one persons vision."

Phantom now in its third year in Melbourne, expresses vision of its New York director Hal Prince, so much so that when he was reharsing O'May and Ewing in 1990 he warned " There are 11 laughs in this show. if I hear there are suddenly 12, I'll come back and haunt you."

The disparate duo took Prince at his word, As O'May says "Monsieur Firmin starts out being bad-tempered and bossy about everything and then falls apart under that stress while Monsieur Andre, the real charmer, keeps his cool, he's more in control"

But using these loose brushstrokes as a guide, O'May and Ewing have sketched rich, rounded portraits full of pomp and pretension, during their quick-fire patter songs, the duo mine every line for bits of business, a raised eyebrow, a frown and a flourish of the hand.

"David Whitney and Lewis Flander, who replaced us last year found totally different things that we never thought of or wanted to do" Ewing says."But thats why these parts are so good because they drop in and out of the show. You have time to develop characters over a longer period and that's what keeps it fresh"

Neither Ewing nor O'May are locked into the Sydney season of Phantom, which starts in July, O'May, who played opposite Jackie Weaver in Six Degress of Separation during his last break. wants to "keep working in all sorts of areas" while Ewing has his heart set on a soujourn in Florence or the role of the butler in Andrew Lloyd Webber's New Musical Sunset Boulevarde.

But don't be surprised if both men don their mutton chops and waistcoats and head North, when, phantom's music of the night calls, these two actors always seem to respond-on the double."

Phantom fo the Opera is playing at the Princess Theatre until June, John O'May and fellow Phantom star, Donald Cant join forces to sing a selection of the show songs at Mietta's April 4, at 3pm. Cost:$20

Simoon Plant Herald-Sun Monday, Ferbruary 8, 1993


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1,300 Perfromances as Christine, Dale Kristien, Dramalogue August 6, 1992

Post  ladygodiva on Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:03 am

1,300 Perfromances as Christine, Dale Kristien, Dramalogue August 6, 1992

Forever Loved by L.A.'s Phantom (All of Them)

Long before anyone else knew, she did, Dale kristien would play Christine Daae in Andrw Lloyd Webber's Phantom fo the Opera. When she talks about the campain she waged for the role she does so with humor and confidence that belie the many anxious hours she spent before she was actually cast.

"Now my run is extending into a fourth year" she acknowledges." I fought for it and I am glad I did. I knew the phantom of the opera was coming to Los Angeles, and I knew it was perfect for me. There's not a lot that is perfect for me, you know, I'm not a belter."

"I told my acting teacher, Harry Mastrogeorge, "I'm going to be Christine in L.A"

"And he goes,"Well maybe you'll play it some day."

"And I said, No, I'm going to be the Christine in LA I just knew it."

She laughs and adds, "Because, as I suspected, there are only 3 people in America who can really sing this part, and we're all doing it."

Her first move as a phone call.

"Before Phantom opened in New york I called my agent, I knew Sarah Brightman was going to do Chsitine and I figured whoever would play her alternate would eventually take over the role. I figured that Sarah would be on Broadway for 6 months because of the Equity agreement regarding British performers working here. I guessed they would be seeing new people after about 5 months, I did'nt want to do it in New York, but I wanted them to know that I was out here and available."

"Sarah screwed me up because she only stayed 5 months. and I did'nt expect that. so I had to scramble for an audition. They had already seen about 200 people and were not much interested in seeing more, I had to talk them into it. through my agent, I said"I don't care if you think I'm a bitch. So do it I have to be seen' They responded 'Weve already had our auditions. We'll probably find somebody from them, and just wait until we're out in L.A'

"I said,'No, I have to bee seen!"
"They said,' Don't come out specifically for this'

"I said, 'I'll be there next Moonday. I'm going to be out there anyway, so please see me.' They agreed"

" I was the only person they saw that day. And the last person they saw out of several hundred women who auditioned, and they offered me the part. I had to sing the whole 'Wishing' song. I had to sing the cadenza from' Think of me'

I had to sing the beginning of the Phantom of the opera and the concluson of the Phantom of the opera' and as a result, the audition ran about 2 and 1/2 hours."

Interestingly enough, for all of her determination to do the show, Kristien was not that familiar with it;"I only listened to it once" she admits. "If I'm considering doing a show, I only like to get an idea of what it is, Because if you listen to something too often, I think, you're going to start imitating instead of creating""

"For the audition they wanted me to read some scenes. I asked, 'can you send me a script, they said,'Don't worry about it.'

"So, No, I did not know the story., Well , I knew the story but not this particular version.. I got the job, and then I saw it. They wanted me to do it in New York, as an alternate, and I only wanted to do it in Los Angeles. That was a tough descision to make, because Sarah left so early they were strapped for a Christine alternate, which is what I ended up playing. You know, I had only been married for 6 months. I had to choose to leave my husband. We agreed that I would do that. And 2 weeks later he said, "I don't like this at all."

I don't blame this role for my divorce, I'll never know for sure, of course, but I think that had I given up my job for him, and he left me anyway, what would I have, He was very supportive of the job, but not 3,000 miles it put between us."

returning to the auditon process, Kristien recalls, "the only people who heard me audion were the musical director, David Chaddick, and the casting people. The next day they asked me to sing for Andrew Lloyd Webber so I went to his apartment on the 60th floor of Trump Towers. all he wanted to hear was the wishing you were somehow here again, song, and he liked it. so he said' Hal should hear this' he didn't care about the high notes, the low notes or anything."

"So the next day, I went back to the theare to auditon for Hal Prince, it so happend, I was on my way to London and Hal asked, 'Can you do your dance audition there, and I sad, thank you ,yes, now I can write off my trip"

"I did my dance audition in London and the next day, they said I could have the part if I wanted it."

Earlier Kristien had mentionted the cadenza in "Think of Me during which she sustains a high C for what seems to be an impossible length of time "in the score you buy in the store that note is a B flat., but it's allways performed as a C. It just sounds better, I guess, and nobody has thought to revise the published score."

"it's a better note for me, My B flat isnt as good as my C. and its my favorite part of the show. Its so gratifying . it makes me feel good, somethtimes when I go out there, it produces a high feeling as well as a high note. It always gets a big ovation. I never misssed hitting it yet-well, don't put that in writing because somebodys going to send you a lettter complaining, 'well I heard her miss it."

"It seems like the second time Micheal Crawford played the phantom here. I held on that note for an hour. It was thrilling,. That night the audience was really there with me and they started applauding before I finished singing it."

Kristien has fond memories of the shows producer Cameron Mackintosh., "Heres a nice guy, He likes to keep his distance, I think, I was doing the show in New York, and there is a bar across the street from the theatre, it was late, nobody was there except Teri Ralson and me, and we were engrossed in conversation. (She had written a note to Hal Prince , at my request to, when I was trying to land the role, I had just wanted him to know that there was a person he respected who could vouch for me.)

"Anyway, she and I are sitting there, talking about the show, and going on and on about the people in it. and this guy walks up to me and -you would not know it to look at him-but its Cameron Mackintosh/ A little guy in a sweater and a pair of glasses, He's just an unassuming kind of guy, He approaches me and says' Dale"

"and I say, Yes"

"He said I'm Cameron Mackintosh' And very flustered, I said, thank you thank you for my job."



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Re: Qoutes from Magazine & Newspaper Articles

Post  SenorSwanky on Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:11 pm

I didn't realize she'd been married and divorced so quickly. That must be really tough. Show biz, politics, and sports are tough on families and marriages, especially new, young ones. Great stories in there, though. I know she can talk forever. I've seen her on different documentaries.

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Re: Qoutes from Magazine & Newspaper Articles

Post  ladygodiva on Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:39 am

SenorSwanky wrote:I didn't realize she'd been married and divorced so quickly. That must be really tough. Show biz, politics, and sports are tough on families and marriages, especially new, young ones. Great stories in there, though. I know she can talk forever. I've seen her on different documentaries.

Yes, she can blab on forever, I will complete the part two of the article below, I ran out of time last night, and she got divorced I believe around a year or so after the L.A. opening, I know when she was in L.A. when Phantom opened, she and her then husband (Former Days of Our Lives Hottie, Peter Reckell )were on A.M. L.A. at least two or three times. the first time she and Peter were on AM LA she and Peter were obviously still very much in love, and the body laungauge was hot and heavy and also sweet and warm, the next time they were on, still good body laungauge, but not as close. Before Phantom, Peter was definately the star of the couple(As much as a daytime soap star can be.), after Phantom opened, Dale and her star out shined him. Peter during the time that he was still married to Dale, was on Arsinoe Hall show, and Arsinoe kept saying how fine(At the time slang for beautiful) Peters wife was and how lucky he was.

I did not like how in the Dramalogue article when Dale said "Sarah really screwed me over,"

Apparently it was up to Sarah Brightman to let Dale know about it. NOT

more of the Dale dramalogue interview in a moment

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Dramalogue Dale Kristien interview continued

Post  ladygodiva on Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:04 am

"He said only nice things about my performance,for the most part every once in a while he'll come and give me a note. Once he said something to improve the dressing room scene, of course I did what he asked. It was a very little thing, I guess, when you've done it as long as he has or I have, that's what you're working on ...little things. You've pretty much got the big picture, I think."

Obviously afraid of being undiplomatic, Kristien reluctantly describes her feelings about the various actors she has known in the role of the Phantom.

"Christine and the Phantom hace such a personal relationship, I think" she says. "Christine is such a passive character. and as Christine I have to see what these guys are doing to before I know what to do. I can't just do what I do without regard for their behavior."

"Rober Guillaume was an angry Phantom, I think Michael Crawford and Davis Gaines are similar to each other."

"In the first scene the Phantom sings' Music of the Night' there is an unspoken communication that goes on. I am in a trance, strangley enough considering how passive the character is, I'm guiding my phantom sometimes, because I have to back up and that sets up their rythm. For much of the play, our connection is noverbal. I haven't ever had any trouble with the men who play the role becuse I like all 3 of them as pepole and I like what they do as actors. As long as you can work with them, you're happy!"

"Crawford really mesmerized me, Guilaume really terrified me, and Gaines really touches me-and each of them teaches me another aspect of Christines character. It makes you go, Hurrah, I've learned another facet of the diamond!"

"And I better be growing-1,300 shows under my belt should not go to waste, if you get 1,300 shots at any role, you ought to grow. Keep in mind that it's a live performance. Anything can happen. That certainly helps to keep our work fresh."

"My most embarrasing mistake was falling flat on my face, you're walking around and all of a sudden he floor's right there! and one of the fire pots exploded accidently a few feet away from me"

"Anything can happen, also, you got to remember that there are 2,000 people out there who may er have never seen the show and from my own experience as an audienc memeber,that I do not particulary enjoy seeing someone walk through a performance, that is not entertainment."

"I think the reason this show has lasted so long is that not one person on the stage is walking through it. We keep our practical jokes offstage, too, even Micheal Crawford, a real clown,did things like plant fake mice and mechanical mice in my dressinfg room. He never did anything on stage, no one does, if you started to slough off with this company the rest of us would never let you get away with it."

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Dressing for the Stage, the Province, Thursday June 6, 1991

Post  ladygodiva on Sun Feb 13, 2011 6:40 pm

Dressing for the Stage, the Province, Thursday June 6, 1991 By Damian Inwood,

Phantom's ornate costumes take hundreds of hours of work by a large and dedicated crew.

Top costume-maker Norma Hiebert would like to retire to Sooke and build her dream home with her electrician husband.

Hiebert, who got her first cutting job at the Arts club theate on Seymour street in 1970, lives in Toronto these days, but Vancouver theatre goers can admire her work in the Phantom of the Opera.

One of 9 cutters in the wardrobe studios, Hiebert made 30 of the 250 costumes in the show.

"Any costume on this show takes 200 hours-plus, including headress, shoes, tights, jewelry and accessories." she said "But these are a cutter's dream, and the nice thing about doing the same one again you can work out better ways of doing them"

The Phantom wardrobe studio on Dufferin Street, in Toronto is a rabbit warren of adjoining rooms.

People sit and stand, sewing frills on lavish gowns or working on ornate hats.

In charge is Janet Grant, a former special education teacher now turned costume designer.

"These costumes have infinite detail" she says "There are underpinnings, petticoats, and bone bodices, shoes and wigs, it's a whole lokk to re-create the perioid"

For the Phantom, Grant gets a costume design from Maria Bjournson in London and created a 3 dimensional costume from it.

"We're talking about 100 people, including tailors, costume makers, shoemakers, milliners, painters, and dyers, and decorators." She says. The Phantom team is based in live shops for the costume building.

All the men's suits are tailored in New york.

The show's costumes travel across Canada in 50 crates, and are very durable.

"The strength is in the underneath the structure." says Grant" They're built very strongly, but try to achieve the lightness of look o the outer layer."

There are hooks snaps and velcro to make sure nothing lets go.

The costume for the half-woman-half-man costume took 300 hours-plus to make.

On the wall Grant has an intricicate chart showing actors, scenes and their costume changes.

On tour, the costumes come under the watchful eye of wardrobe msster Kevin Jones, 38.

As well as 50 costume crates, he has crates of pantyhose, fabric, laundry detergents and irons. other crates are heated so costumes can be dried inside, and 25 lights in them so they can be quickly converted into quick-change booths.

As the chandelier goes up, 13 quick changes are going on in the wings." says Jones, "Quick changes are fun, they're what we live for."

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Vancouver Sun, Fitting the Phantom's fashions, May 23 1991

Post  ladygodiva on Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:20 pm

Vancouver Sun, Fitting the Phantom's fashions, May 23 1991
By Virginia Leeming.

Months of hardwork and scrupulous attention to detail go into dressing the cast for the Phantom of the Opera.

"relentless" this word crops up several times in my telephone conversation with Janet Grant.

Grant is in the Toronto wardrobe studio for the national tour of the Phantom of the Opera., she is the associate costume designer for the production that opens Monday in Vancouver and at the time of our interview, the 230 costumes, 115 wigs, and 150 pairs of hand-made shoes she is responsible for are packed in one of 18 trailer trucks making their way to the West Coast.

About 500,000 theatre goers will willingly pay between $70 and $100 for a seat at the gala opening night (Champagne and rtuffles included) and $36 to $75.50 for the remaing performances during the 5 month run at the Queen Elizabeth theatre.

the orignal production of the Phantom of the Opera. written by Andrew lloyd Webber, opened in London, October 1986.

Award winning designer Maria Bjournson did the sets and the costumes for that production, and from her sketches the costumes for the first Canadian performances at the Pantages, Theatre in Toronto were prepared. That was in September 1989. A national touring company opened this April in Ottowa.

Grant had already worked on the American procduction of the Phantom of the Opera. in New York January 1988 and knew how difficult it was to shop for the fabrics and trims required for the costumes. By December of 1988, almost a full year before the Toronto Opening, she was at work on the Canadian costumes.

Grant says her training at Dalhousie University in Halifax, where she studied theatrical costume design with Robert Doyle, and 5 years experience working in Stratford gave here the background for the enormous taks of recreating the costumes from Bjournson's sketches.

"I went to London with my bibles, (Notes and lists used by costumers.)" Grant says, about the 11 day trip to London, where she saw the English production, and began the process of ferreting out fabrics, braid and trims from Germany, England, and New York.

Grant says many of her best finds came at London's Portobello Road antique markets. At one supplier she bought out the entire stock of jet beading, she spent her evenings in London in the hotel room sorting samples of the fabrics and trim. "It's addictive" she says about the search.

In her search for antique lace, embroidery amnd trim, one surprise was Mokuba, a Japanese import company in Toronto, that had a rich variety of trims.

"Each costume has about five fabrics and 5 types of trim, Costumes are not so much sewn as they are constructed." Grant says Allowences must be made for ease of movement and comfort of the performers, this may mean adding a gusset for mobility, or replacing heavey glass jewels with similar plastic ones.

Special attention is given to making costume changes fast and simple, Hooks are large and spaced to the maximum, velcro occasionally takes place of zippers.

One of the fastest changes takes place when Carlotta, played by Mary Anne Barcellona, has only 60 seconds to shed her wig and Victorian dress, complete with bustle, in exchange for an 18th century costume and wig. 5 dressers simultaniously remove, and add her costumes, before she sweeps back on stage.

Above all, the costumes must be clearly 'read' by the audience as far back as the final row in the theatre. this is achieved thourgh the interplay of rich textures. colours and patterns and strong silhouette to give them depth and dimension. some fabrics are hand painted to create a strong pattern. "It's a challenge." Grant says.

but costumes weren't her only worry, shoes had to be hand made in England, New York and Toronto especially for the production. Feet were measured, and shoes adapted for foot problems. And not only women have to wear heels for the show, in a scene for the opera il Muto, men also wear heels, Grant says "When they first tried on their heels they rocked back and forth. thats one of the funny moments, they get vain about their calves. The technical run-through is an adrenalin pumping time for the wardrobe people, not until they are sure the cape won't catch on the set, the costumes won't hinder a performer from rising beneath the floor, and the shirts won't become untucked" does she consider the design complete.

Although Grant doesn't know how much each costume costs, she says it takes between 200 and 400 hours to make each one. When the curtain comes down after a performance the costumes are inspected, and the spots hand cleaned, On occasion they are specially dry cleaned by perfessionals, 2 washing machines, and 3 dryers are on duty to take care of the washables.

And after all this, how does Grant feel? "It's changed my life" She says, she has had fun traveling, has many new friends, and my yet have time to return to Portabello Road to shop for herself.




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By Marcus Franklin , who knew opera could be so gaudy

Post  ladygodiva on Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:04 pm

http://hippodromefoundation.org/interior2.php?section=Activities&subsection=YCR_poto_marcus_franklin

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Re: Qoutes from Magazine & Newspaper Articles

Post  Scorp on Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:07 am

ladygodiva wrote:http://hippodromefoundation.org/interior2.php?section=Activities&subsection=YCR_poto_marcus_franklin

Ouch! Surprised Can't say I agree with it...

Another random pick from my files...these are all courtesy of the wonder that is Google News and Google Books, which receive a lot of my time when I procrastinate (which happens a fair bit):









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Re: Qoutes from Magazine & Newspaper Articles

Post  operafantomet on Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:18 am

Scorp wrote:
ladygodiva wrote:http://hippodromefoundation.org/interior2.php?section=Activities&subsection=YCR_poto_marcus_franklin

Ouch! Surprised Can't say I agree with it...
It's one of those reviews trying to be serious and smart, but getting all the big points and credits wrong... I mean, "Even costume designers Sam Fleming and Janet Grant further the production more than the acting and vocals". Tsk-tsk... Smile

Scorp and Ladygodiva, thank you so much for the articles you've shared! Haven't gotten around to read them all yet, but I've highly enjoyed what I've read (especially the costume related stuff, squeee!). I still can't figure Dale Kristien out...

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Re: Qoutes from Magazine & Newspaper Articles

Post  ladygodiva on Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:26 am

operafantomet wrote:
Scorp wrote:
ladygodiva wrote:http://hippodromefoundation.org/interior2.php?section=Activities&subsection=YCR_poto_marcus_franklin

Ouch! Surprised Can't say I agree with it...
It's one of those reviews trying to be serious and smart, but getting all the big points and credits wrong... I mean, "Even costume designers Sam Fleming and Janet Grant further the production more than the acting and vocals". Tsk-tsk... Smile

Scorp and Ladygodiva, thank you so much for the articles you've shared! Haven't gotten around to read them all yet, but I've highly enjoyed what I've read (especially the costume related stuff, squeee!). I still can't figure Dale Kristien out...

Agreed, most critics and reviewers tend to think that they are far above everything and that they are telling the unwashed masses of their superior intellect. I think of most reviewers as the Brain from the animated show Pinky & the Brain.

One video I have is of a new york entertainment critic thrashing Phantom of the Opera when it opened in New York, this man said "I don't see this lasting 50 years," Well sir, I don't know where this critic is but Phantom is half-way there to 50 years.

and like I said about Dale, there are many things that I like about her, but some of her snippy comments are out there.

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The Orange County Register, May 29, 1991 OC Dancer reveling in rigors of Phantom

Post  ladygodiva on Sun Feb 27, 2011 6:44 pm

The Orange County Register, May 29, 1991 OC Dancer reveling in rigors of Phantom by Thomas O'Connor

Sylvia Rico Phantom of the Opera Los Angeles Dancer, Sylvia Rico commutes from Dana Point an hour each way daily to perform at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles

When the Phantom of the Opera becomes the longest running musical in local stage history Thursday night, Syliva Rico would rather not be at center stage.

Not, at least, if it involves traveling via the unplanned route the Dana Point dancer followed during a performance three weeks ago, when a hidden slick spot sent her tumbling to the stage floor of the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.

"I just went bam, straight down front and center, Said Rico, 27, who portrays one of the 7 ballerina friends of Christine Daae, the heroine of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical mega-hit.

"The audience could see it and hear it. it was a scene where we're supposed to be scared of the Phantom, I'm the first one onstage, and I'm supposed to scream. That's when my foot just slid out from under me. We carry these big garland hoops, and I was lying there with mine still over my head. Everything was going in slow motion, and I'm going 'Oh my God, you're such an idiot' " Rico said, "they said I popped up really fast, but I don't remember that."
For her pains-a sprained ankle and severe muscle strains-the slender, dark eyed Tucson native got 5 nights off from "The Phantom of the Opera" in which she has appeared since the musical opened 2 years ago friday in Los Angeles.

(That run is long enough to give the thriller the longevity record for a musical production in Los Angeles eclipsing a mark previously shared by long -run versions of "Evita" and "Hair")

Rico has managed Phantom's 8 Shows-a-week-run, for two years, with only three, One-week vacations, despite the one hour commute from Dana Point, where she lives with her parents, Leandro and Irma Rico, "I have a Jetta now," Rico said Tuesday by phone from Tuscon, where she'd taken a break to attend her high-school 10th reunion.

"I keep hesitating to move up to LA, because, I love Orange County so much," she said, friends in the cast occasionally put up when Rico's too pooped, and there is also a boyfriend, a medical researcher at University of California, Los Angeles, but the relationship is a little complicated "It's one of those up-and-down ones." she confided.

"Sometimes, I get in this mode where I want to go back to a ballet company because I'm stifled as a dancer," said Rico, who has appeared with small, Orange County troupes-Ballet Pacifica, South Coast Ballet-as well as the Houston Ballet. Her first venture beyond classical dance came in 1989, when the Crystal Cathedreal cast her as the solo dancer in its annual 'The Glory of Christmas" pagent.

But the scarcity of work for ballerinas in Southern California makes her appreciate "Phantoms" paycheck, "I realize it's not going to be this good forever." she said.

Her favorite of the 3 phantoms who have stared in the title role in Los Angeles? "Oh, Michael)Crawford, of course" Rico replied "Although this new guy, Davis Gaines (Who assumed the role April 30) has a spectacular voice." and she found Robert Guillaume, who starred as the phantom for 8 months in 1990 "The friendliest and most down-to-earth. Micheal Crawfrod was a funny guy, and I got along great with him, but he always had that 'star' attitude."

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The Province, Sunday June 2, 1991 Jeff Hyslop's talent helps pull it off

Post  ladygodiva on Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:43 am

The Province, Sunday June 2, 1991 Jeff Hyslop's talent helps pull it off

Is the Phantom dependent upon wishful thinking?

When he was starring in 'A Chorus Line' in London's West End and on Broadway, Jeff Hyslop used to stop the show nightly with a song titled 'I can do that'.

This week, as the star of the Phantom of the Opera, he came to Vancouver to show his hometown audience just how well he can live up to that promise.

Almost 20 years ago, Vancouver's summer entertainment was dominated by the musical 'Godspell'. Starring as Jesus was Jeff Hyslop, fresh from a role as one of the disiples in the movie of Jesus Christ Superstar.

Mawkishly sincere, filled with a hippie spirituality, it was a show for its time.

I remember dropping into Christ Church Cathedral once or twice a week for a little fix of its peculiar tuneful uplift- and Jeff Hyslop's almost mystically committed handling of the role was a large part of the draw.

Now he's back in Vancouver in the title role of the Phantom of the Opera-and once more he is fashioning something uniquely communicative out of th role investing it with something personal and magnificent, something that quite trancends the actual material at his command.

Against all you expectations, he sends you out of the theatre touched, even moved And his tremendous personal success in the role brings into focus a fasinating conundrum.

How is it that essentially trinket like entertainments like Godspell and the Phatnom fo the Opera have the spiritual dimension that they clearly do?

DIssect Phantom, after all,, and in the clear light of day you will find yourself surrounded by the makings of not much more than a high tech Playland.

The theatrical effects are often spectacular- the crashing chandelier, the suddenly materializing lake of candles, the sudden gust of hot air from the flashpots. But, they're not the makings of emotional transcendence.

Yet , somehow, Hyslop and his colleagues manage to fabricate something that speaks warmly and richly of humanity. It is a talent that has clearly been expanded by the Phantom experience, his voice broadened in range, reaching now into a new lower register that wholly changes and matures the nature of his presentation on the stage.

But it is still recognizably Jeff Hyslop-back in his home town once more, and once again showing us, that, yes indeed, he can do that.

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Re: Qoutes from Magazine & Newspaper Articles

Post  MajesticPhantom on Mon Mar 07, 2011 5:01 pm

Thank you so much for all of these articles! I actually do have a request: Are there any interviews/articles with Ron Bohmer during his stint with the Raoul Tour? Specifcally, I'd be interested to read anything in which his engagement in Providence, RI, is mentioned, as he was presented with the key to the city at that time.

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Re: Qoutes from Magazine & Newspaper Articles

Post  ladygodiva on Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:26 am

MajesticPhantom wrote:Thank you so much for all of these articles! I actually do have a request: Are there any interviews/articles with Ron Bohmer during his stint with the Raoul Tour? Specifcally, I'd be interested to read anything in which his engagement in Providence, RI, is mentioned, as he was presented with the key to the city at that time.

I may have a blurb, (a tiny article) somewhere, I will have to looky for it.


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High Profile Kevin Gray, by Janis Johnson Connecticut Post, September 2, 1992

Post  ladygodiva on Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:46 am

High Profile Kevin Gray, by Janis Johnson Connecticut Post, September 2, 1992

"We all have masks"

He has spent a year and a half, often playing 8 performances a week, in a half mask and a hideously deformed face as the Phantom of the Opera, but Kevin Gray doesn't mind being disguised. "We all have mask that we wear-that's one of the universal themes of the show." he says "everyone hides a little. What this character ultimately does is reveal himself without any mask. That's what is so catharic for people, because it's something most people never do.. How smart, how sexy, how physically fit, how rich, how famous-whatever it is the people think that they need to be accepted, the adjust their masks and their costumes" In the role Michael Crawford made famous, Gray at 33 finds "a great deal of emotional territory to call on " to provoke the phantom's extremes of seduction and rage. "there's all manner of disfigurement, but coping is in the mind. it's very much how you see yourself." the musical plays thorugh May 31 at the Forrest Theater.

Caring for his voice: "I have vocal-silence days, a couple days a week, which drive me and everyone else crazy... I'm rather careful about my diet... I've allways done that, once it became clear that my voice might be something out of the ordinary"

His background: His mother is Chinese, his father is Russian-German-Jewish. His roles include the Kiss of the Spider Woman musical, Raoul in Phantom, and Kayama, a Japanese samurai in Stephen Sondheim's Pacific Overtures.

Following Michael Crawford,: "It's always difficult to follow anybody, I fortunately and unfortunately never saw Michael. Fortunately for my performance-it allowed me to find my own way-and unfortunately for me personally...He was the creator..We owe him a great debt of service"

Tiring of the Phantom: "I have'nt yet. there is so much to plumb in the role, I have never come close to doing it in a way I thought was complete, he is a very elusive character?"

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Phantom of the Opera also an angel of ballet, L.A. Life, Friday June 16, 1990 Daily News

Post  ladygodiva on Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:57 am

Phantom of the Opera also an angel of ballet, L.A. Life, Friday June 16, 1990 Daily News, by Jody Leader Daily News Dance writer

Hit musical gives classical dancers a rare opportunity to cross over.

Ballet and musical theater don't cross paths very often. Most musicals burst with bump and grind jazz dance numbers or show-stopping tap sequences. Classical dancing is usually too stylized and formal to fit in.

Some older musicals-like 'Oklahoma' and 'West Side Story' have one ballet scene, but rarely are trained classical dancers a part of the core cast.

But then along comes The Phantom of the Opera, Andrew Lloyd Webber's smash hit about the Paris Opera in the 1860's and out come the tutus, lights and pointe shoes.

"Most Broadway shows do not have pointe dancing... it's really nice to utilize all those years of training." Said Phantom dance captain Irene Cho, who is in charge of maintaining the accuracy of all the staging and dance numbers for the Los Angeles show, which is currently running at the Ahmanson Theatre.

A dancer with the original Broadway Phantom of the Opera cast, as well as with 'Jerome Robbins' Broadway', Cho also has danced with the Joeffrey Ballet concert group, the Cleveland Ballet, and the American Ballet comedy.

She oversees 6 ballet dancers who portray the 'Ballet Chorus of the Opera Populaire' Precise classical technique is required for the 3 ballet numbers in the show-a scene from the Egyptian- inspired opera 'Hannibal'' the backstage scene near Christines dressing room, and the ballet scene from 'Il Muto' a comic baroque opera.

"Phantom requires real ballet dancers, as opposed to someone who just moves well." Production supervisor Denny Berry said by phone from New York, where she is also dance captain for the Broadway Phantom cast. Complicated turns on pointe, delicate beats, controlled balances and accurate balletic line must be mastered for the dancer parts.

It was Berry who auditioned dancers for the Los Angeles production, she learned the show first-hand from choreographer Gillian Lynne.

"We had two groups of 60 girls show up for the audition" said Berry, "I was shocked at the turnout, and the caliber of the dancers. Everyone said it was going to be impossible to find dancers-it was a great suprise."

Of the 6 dancers all from the Los Angeles area, most have performed with full-fleged ballet companies like the San Francisco Ballet, The Field Ballet, The Joeffry Ballet, and the Huston Ballet.

According to Berry, the trickiest part about being a dancer in Phantom is learning how to dance like a 19th century ballerina. Dancers of that era wore bodices with stiff boning that pinched at the stomach and limited their movement range. The stage was usually lit with footlights, so the dancers had to dance slightly bent over to keep their faces bathed in the light.

"Gillian took old fashioned lithographs fo Fanny Elssler and Marie Taglioni (2 famous 19th century ballerinas) and studied them" said Berry"especially important to her were the Degas ballet prints. The background sequence, in Christine's dressing room, is all based on the old Degas prints."

That's the scene where the ballerinas are rehearsing in a dimly lit backstage space while Christine is in her dressing room, the dancers wear white dresses and long, dark curly hiar, just like in the Degas oils.

For the Hannibal scene, Lynne "Studied the friezes that were found on the walls of old pyrimids." Said Berry, "'Hannibal' is modeled after 'Aida' the flatness of those pictures that you see on vases-she tried to get the girls to move like that."

The dancers mus dance not only like Egyptian slaves, but like 19th century French Ballerinas pretending to be Egyptian slaves, so it becomes a combination of flat, angulat movements that maintain the romantic softness and bent-over style dancing of the 1860's.

"The training today is very different from that of the 1860's" said Cho, "The manner in which you hold your body, it's much different in the 19th century.. lighting was on the floor, so, of course, you wouldn't play to the balcony. There is no faking it in ballet, and you cannnot fake it in this show, it's very cut and dried what the positions are, there is no in between."

The Los Angeles production is expected to run at least 2 years, all the dancers are on a standard production contract, 8 shows a week, 52 weeks a year. They can stay on as long as the show runs or bow out with 4 weeks notice.

Cho danced phantom for 9 months on Broadway, in Los Angeles, in addition to her duties as dance captian, she fills in whenever a dancer is sick, the Oxnard native still loves dancing in the show.

"The thing I love is the story" Cho said, "It's a wonderful love story, beautiful to look at, there's just enough dancing to make it feel fulfilling. I think it is a wonderful opportunity for a ballet dancer"

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Phantom in the Wings, Herald-Sun, Thursday December 20,1990

Post  ladygodiva on Sat Mar 12, 2011 7:29 pm

Phantom in the Wings, Herald-Sun, Thursday December 20,1990

Every time Anthony Warlow steps on stage to play the Phantom of the Opera there is another Phantom watching him. Not Fredereici, the celebrated Princess Theatre ghost, but a tall wide-shouldered figure wrapped in a cloak. A man who silently mouths Warlow's words in the wings and readies himself to don the Phantom's mask at the drop of a chandelier.

Simon Plant meets the Phantom's Phantom: the man who would be phantom is built like a tank, talks with a soft Canadian accent and sings for the Austrailian Army. He niether looks nor sounds like Anthony Warlow, the full time Phantom of the Princess, but if Warlow needs to rest his larynx or nurse an injured toe, Donald Cant is ready and waiting to step into his shoes.

Cant, 36, won the most sought after understudy role in Australia 2 months ago and has been taking intensive stage movement classes with assistant producers and choreographers ever since.

"If I have to go on tonight as Phantom, I can get away with it." he says "But that's all I'd be doing. I have no desire to go on for many weeks yet until I have had more stage rehearsal, right now, it's all Anthony's."

Cant, an accomplished actor and singer, in his own right. appears each night in Phantom of the Opera as Monsieur Lefevre, one of the phlegmatic Frenchmen at the Paris Opera House, and has mastered the quickfire patter songs of Monsieur Andre (His other undertudying role.)

But he admits nothing can fully prepare him, for the physically demanding and mentally exhausting part of the Phantom. Only now, as the Phantom of the Opera enters its 3rd week in Melbourne, is he starting to spot the dangers lurking in the Phantom's subterranean lair should Warlow make a temporary exit.

"I'm a bit larger than Anthony, A bit taller (6'3") and a bit heavier and the sets and props, of course, are more geared to him than me." The angel balcony, for example, from which the Phantom literally hovers over the audience needs an extra protective bar when Cant stands inside it.

More difficult is the high back chair which magically swallows the Phantom in the end. According to Cant, it is just wide enough to accommodate Warlow's willowy frame, but a tight squeeze for his own grid iron shoulders.

"Anthony has been worried about the chair for some time and when he learned I was going to be his undersudy, he said to me 'I hope they have to make a new one for you, then I'll use yours.'"

Cant fought hard to get his understudy role in Phantom . His credentials are impeccable-the title role in Sweeney Todd, a best actor award for his role in the Fantastics, and rave reviews for his performance in last year's Fall of the House of Usher-but it took a half a dozen gruelling auditions to win the confidence of Hal Prince, Cameron Mackintosh, and Phantoms other big guns.

"Part of the problem, if you can call it a problem, was that they had an absolutely brilliant Phantom of the Opera in Anthony Warlow; someone as good if not better than any other phantom in the world."

Cant, who studied opera at the University of British Columbia and made his Austalian debut in Der Fledermaus, suspects he finally won the coveted understudy job because he had a classically trained voice like Warlow's.

It is a voice he has worked on as resident singer with the Australian Army but he is quick to distance himself from Warlow's rich and resonant vocal power. "I can sing, but Anthony has the kind of voice I wish I had." he says

Cant doesn't subscribe to the idea of simply duplicating the stars movements either. Given the chance to play the grotesquely deformed Phantom. He feels he can bring something new to the part. Not a change in interpretartion he shares Warlow's view that the Phantom is deeply hurt and emotionally scarred man, but differences in emphasis.

"I should'nt be a copy of Anthony, just as he didnt want to copy Michael Crawford. But it's more difficult for me because I have been whtching Anthony for so long now. He has been wonderful and answered any questions I have asked him"

Cant however, has been careful not to intrude. "It's important that principal performers realise there is someone who can go on for them but there is nothing more annoying than an understudy hanging around all the time., I've been a principal myself with understudies and there is a line you can cross."

The only element which can't be controlled is fate. Broadway history if full of stories about undersudies becoming overnight sensations, one of the best known being Shirley MacLaine who stepped out to the chorus in Pyjama Game and caught the eye of a Hollywood producer in the audience.

Donald Cants story is very different and unfolding quietly in the bowels of the Princess; in the make up room, where his own disfigured latex head is being sculpted., in the dressing rooms, where his own cape is being stiched and hemmed; and in the wings where he is learning his lines.. over and over again.

Going on is daunting, Cant admits, especially when audiences have come to expect Warlow as the Phantom and nobody else.

"But there will be a time when Anthony will want to take a Monday off or need a bit of a break, that's when he'll be able to turn to me and say, 'You're on.'"


Last edited by ladygodiva on Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:21 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Qoutes from Magazine & Newspaper Articles

Post  ladygodiva on Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:16 pm

http://www.playbill.com/news/article/97252-PLAYBILL-ON-RECORD-BREAKING-NIGHT-Top-Cats-Now-a-Phantom-of-the-Past

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