Qoutes from Magazine & Newspaper Articles

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Phantom of the Opera night of Theatrical Magic, December 13, 1993

Post  ladygodiva on Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:38 pm

Phantom of the Opera night of Theatrical Magic, December 13, 1993, by Robert Hurwitt, Examiner Theater Critic

Hit musical's cast does a beautiful job, but the real stars are the sets and costumes


Phantom of the Opera hit the Curran Theatre Sunday, climbing all over the procenium scuptures and rattling the chandelier, it may have taken him a long time-7 years-to get here. but as played by Davis Gaines, he's a pretty welcome guest.

Yes, it's the Andrew Lloyd Webber megahit, Phantom of the Opera based on the novel by Gaston Leroux as adapted by Richard Stilgoe and Lloyd Webber. Music by Lloyd Webber. Lyrics by Charles Hart and Stilgoe. Directed by Harold Prince. Produced by Cameron Mackintosh and Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Theatre company. and present here, we're told, with the same intimate splendor of the 1986 London original, without the original stars, Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman, Lloyd Webber's then wife, for whom he wrote it.

That may be just as well, to my ears, based on the original cast album, Gaines and co-star Lisa Vroman, have richer voices, however it does'nt mak a difference, the true star of the Phantom of the Opera is designer Maria Bjornson. Bjornson's set and costumes, and the magical use Prince makes of them, are spectacular.


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New star enjoys moment of triumph Times of London April 25, 1987

Post  ladygodiva on Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:45 pm

New star enjoys moment of triumph Times of London April 25, 1987 by Johathan Miller

James Paterson, the overnight star of The Phantom of the Opera, stood on the roof of Her Majest's Theatre in London's Haymarket yesterday after noon and said he was fully aware that he was only temporary knig of the roost.

Mr. Patterson, the second undertudy to play the phantom at least three more times after the first undersudy , Steve Barton, had to withdaw with a leg injury, Micheal Crawford, who has played the part since the musical opened last year, is still out of the cast with a hernia.

Mr Paterson , in his first West End role, said there was only one problem on Thursday night when he took over the part, at one point in the performance, durng a costume change, he threw his coat off into the middle of the stage instead of into the wings. "Michael is left handed and I am right handed, I'd forgotten that" he said

He learnt that he would take the leading role on Thursday afternoon, he said the was not surprised and he would not be disappointed to return to the two minor parts he has had in the show "I am an understudy, it is Michaels role after all" He said.

He said he will play the role slightly differently to Mr. Crawford "I've seen Michael do it 200 times, but I'm not Michael Crawford, I'm James Paterson."

Mr. Paterson, aged 35, was born in Ayrshire, and began as a textile designer and a teacher of Art before joining Scottish Opera in 1974 where he played Papageno in the Magic flute, and Demetrius in Midsummer Night's Dream among other roles.

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Woman In Motion, Gillian Lynne, by Sheridan Morley for Playbill

Post  ladygodiva on Tue May 03, 2011 11:53 pm

Woman In Motion, Gillian Lynne, by Sheridan Morley for Playbill

Gillian Lynne, who choreographed Cats and The Phantom of the Opera, has revolutioniszed stage dancing in Britain

To have choreographed the 2 biggest musical hits in current Broadway and West End history is a rare achievement of which even the late and much-missed Bob Fosse might have been unusually proud. The fact that the double has been achiebed by an English dancer and director, who at one recent moment could be found simultaneously choreographing the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Muppets, suggest that there is comething remarkable about the career of Gillian Lynne.


First of all, unlike the rest of the Cameron Mackintosh/Andrew Lloyd Webber team, who seemed to invade the Broadway musical hearland like a task force from London, first with Cats and then The Phantom of the Opera, the choreographer of those two shows is no 1980's newcomer to New York. Almost a quarter of a century ago, gillian Lynne first crossed the Atlantic to work for David Merrick as the choreographer of both Pickwick and The Roar of the Greasepaint the smell of the crowd, and that, as she says, was the best of Broadway beginnings:

"Merrick was a great discoverer of talent in unlikely places, and indeed he came all the way to the Endinburgh Festival in 1963 to see a dance show I'd directed and choreographed there called Collages, set to music by Dudley Moore who was just starting out in Beyond the Fringe. Merrick came backstage after the performance and asked if I'd ever heard of Broadway, which was a bit daft as when-ever I'd hav a break and the ticket money I'd been going over there to study jwith Matt Mattocks who taught me jazz techniques after my classical upbringing. So then David introduced me to Broadway for some of my very first jobs as choreographer. I was terrified that no Ameriican dancers would come to audition for me, as I was so unknown and the shows weren't exactly famous either. Merrrick thoughtabout that for a moment and then said, 'They may not come to audition for you, kid, but they sure will come to audition for me.' and sure enough they did. But that early American experience was very useful for me, beacuse it meantthat when I came back 20 years later to do Cats, I already knew a good deal about American dancers and the way that the theatre works in New York."

"Merric was also the most terrifying of taskmasters: you'd be there, in trouble with some dance number, and he'd simply walk past you in the stalls and say, 'Garbage, Kid, you're putting garbage up there on stage.' and you'd know you had to come back in the morning and start staging it all over again in some quite different way. I was just amazed that he'd made this commitment to me based on one show seen in an Edinburgh cellar, and what's more that he then stuck to it."

But in England Lynne was not, of course, unknown by the time that she first came to Merrick's attention. Borning in South London, she started out as a ballerina at the Royal Ballet School and had risen "sixth from the top" of her Sadler's Wells generation when she dicided to abandon the classical world and go to work as a principal dancer in revues at the London Palladium.

"I was bored and irratated by the barriers that existed in the early 1950's between the worlds of classical and show business dancing. In 7 years at Sadler's Wells I'd danced leading roles in Giselle and Sleeping Beauty, but the work waws getting more and more repetitive, so when the Palladium came along and said would I be their principal dancer on variety bills with comics and singers from all over the world, I leapt at the opportunity."

In America by this time, legendary choreographers like Agnes de Mille had already establiished the central importance of dancers in the revolution that overtook the stage musical with Oklahoma!, but in Enlgalnd musical choreographers have always been a rathr less starry breed, and Lynne was one of the very first to make the breakthrough into directing as well as dance-directing her own productions. Recently she was in sole charge of the London revival of Cabaret, and althoughon most of the dozen or so worldwide productions of Cats she is still only billed as choreographer, on the one still playing in Vienna, she is sole director.

After Cats, and her considerable perfsonal success with Cabaret and a recent British stage and television ballet (A Simple Man) derived from the paintings of L.S. Lowry, for which she won the British Acadamey of Film and Television Arts award, Lynne was uncertain about whether or not to go back to working purely as a choreographer on Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera:

"But then when the chance came along to work with Hal Prince, whom I'd always idolized from my earliest days in America, of coursee, I couln't resist it, and in fact I've done much more work on the American staging of The Phantom of the Opera, than I ever did in London. We've changed it a lot for Broadway."

As her track record would suggest, Lynne is one tough lady; not for nothing was she known backstage as the Iron Maiden before that title ot politically appropriated by another great English femal survivor, Magaret Thatcher. But those who know Gillian well have lately noticed a considerable softenting of her offstage manner, one easily attributable to a wonderfully happy second marrige, having lost her mother in a car accident just before the war, and her father soon after it, she marrried first whe she was only 19:

" I should have never done that; he was a lovely man, a solicitor, but I knew nothing at all about life, and dancers really do inhabit a different world. The disipline has to be tremendous, especially as you are always watching yoursel in a mirror, and there really doesn't seem to be time for anything else. So when that marriage fell apart I stayed single for many, many years until about five years ago when I was choreographing the revival in London of My Fair Lady during which Alan Jay Lerner fell in love with his last wife Liz Robertson, and something must of been very romantic about those rehearsals because that was where I fell in Love, too."

The man in question is an actor-turned-agent called Peter Land, and their marriage caused a consideralbe stir in the British press for the simple reason that he is 22 years her junior:

Everyone thought it was going to be a terrible mistake, and at first neither of us had any real intention of getting married; we just reckoned it was going to be a wondrlu and maybe never-ending affair. I tried to make Peter aware of all the drawbacks, such as the fact that my fact was never going to improve and that by the year 2000 I'd be 68, but he seemed remarkably unperturbed by any of that, and so in the end marriage just seem the natural thing to do. I don't think if it had been the other way around, and Peter had been 22 years older than me, that anyone would have turned a hair. Of course, I regret not being young enough to give him children, so there'll be no heirs to leave our marvelous new country house to, but beyond that we don't seem to have any problems or regreets at all, and it is amazing the amount of working energy you can derive from a happy marriage. I think I must be a much easier and less obsessive director to work for, not that I've found some peace and happiness in my own private life. Before Peter all I had was work, so I expected all my dancers to be equally minded; now I do allow them the occasional hour or two away from rehearsal."

No choreographer of her or any other generation has more experiance working with dancers over long periods of time on both sides of the Atlantic;precisely because Cats and The Phantom of the Opera turn up in a new production and new city somewhere around the world 3 or 4 times a year, Lynne is running almost permanent auditions and workshops in either London, New York, or Vienna. So what, I wondered, were the principal dirrerences between American and British dancers?

"Well, when I first came to work in New York, the Americans all seemed vastly more experienced and energetic; back in London I was really the only one pushing for more of a crossover between classical and show business dancing, and befor Andrew's timethe big West end musicals were very few and far between.

"But alsot changed with teh coming of Cats, and the Atlanic no longer seems nearly so wide. I think in London we do now at last have the same standard of theatre dancing that you can find in New York, though in the West End there is still a faint feeling that dancing in musicals is somehow inferior to dancing in ballet, and they are all still a little more casual in their approach to the business, the wonderful thing about New York dancers is that they all work, even at matinees, as though the audience was full of men like Darryl Zanuck and Louis B. Mayer just waiting to discover them."

Thought her idols tend to remain dance directors like Robbins and Fosse, Lynne has lately also been carving for herself a career in the British theatre as the diector of straight plays ranging form Coward to new children's dramas. For five yeras berfore Cats, she had been Trevor Nunn's semi-resident choreographer at Stratford on a series of classic productions from The Comedy of Errors, through As you Like It, to the Kaufman/Hart Once in a Lifetime, for which she directed what is genereall agreed to been the most dazzling sert of curtain calls in the recent history of the Britsh theatre.

But the one constant aim of her career has been to break down the barriers that used to cut across the world of dance:

"When I first came to New York to work on Cats, I know I did'nt want the old Broadway hoofers; I wanted kids with a classical training who could do jazz and modern but still went to ballet classes. Also, they had to sing. So we held open auditon all day, every day for 2 weeks, which apparantly no one had ever done before. Ireall believe tin what they horribly describe in New Yrok as the 'cattle call' where everyone gets achance to auditon instead of just the best 50 or 100. I was looking for people who werere dangerous and unafraid and not into all those Fosse struts; I wanted people who were willing to fling themselves around a stage not to be too buttoned up.. I had every one learn Jellicle Ball, so that they knew somethingaobut the show and the etheral quality of it; and now, after all these years, Cats seems to have created an international communtiy of dancers, so I once found the Vienna company spending their summer holiday seeing the show in London and New York."

"For along time in new york , if you could do those slick Fosses walks and isolate your hips and shoulders and head, you could get away without pirouttes or much else, but for Cats Ireally did want everything, I wanted a whole new generation of dances. to this day I love doing the show, but I have to be careful to keep the rest of my career going as well, orther wise, I could just go to my grave organizing revivals and recastings of that one single produciton."

"The Phantom of the Opera is very different, in that it is not nearly such a dancing show. But I still love it, and indeed I turned down Sondheim's Into the Woods, because I was so keen to work with Andrew agian; whatever some critics say about his work, it's Andrew alone who has reallyrevitalized athe big musical on both sides of the Atlantic. He said he din't want to have a start on The Phantom of the Opera without me and that was really very heady wine."

First after Phantom will be a major British television series with Sarah Brightman based on the life and career of the legenday 1930's British stage and screen star Jessie Matthews. Meanwhile Phantom geos to Vienna in December and has already been to Japan, Cats was done in Moscow and by the end of next year there will be other productions of those to stage
"


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Re: Qoutes from Magazine & Newspaper Articles

Post  operafantomet on Wed May 04, 2011 2:37 pm

Another very interesting article, thanks for sharing with us. Anyone wants to elaborate on this line?

I've done much more work on the American staging of The Phantom of the Opera, than I ever did in London. We've changed it a lot for Broadway.

I know minor stuff in MOTN, Masquerade and Wandering Child has changed, but I fail to see the dramatic changes. Anyone else have an input on this? I assume it's more "invisible" blocking changes, or maybe I've overlooked something fundamental?

_________________
JOSEFINE TO THE PHANTOM:
You come off as... somewhat... rough...

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Re: Qoutes from Magazine & Newspaper Articles

Post  ladygodiva on Sat May 21, 2011 6:43 pm

operafantomet wrote:Another very interesting article, thanks for sharing with us. Anyone wants to elaborate on this line?

I've done much more work on the American staging of The Phantom of the Opera, than I ever did in London. We've changed it a lot for Broadway.

I know minor stuff in MOTN, Masquerade and Wandering Child has changed, but I fail to see the dramatic changes. Anyone else have an input on this? I assume it's more "invisible" blocking changes, or maybe I've overlooked something fundamental?

since I have never seen London, I have asked my fellow phans who have seen it in both London and New York, a few little tiny changes like in Notes/Prima Donna, Il Muto, Don Jaun,

I am still trying to get the other older phans to contribute, they have skimmed the Deserted phans though and liked it. hopefully they will add to this.

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How the Phantom plays in Tokyo New York Times, June 9, 1988

Post  ladygodiva on Wed May 25, 2011 11:14 pm

How the Phantom plays in Tokyo New York Times, June 9, 1988, by John Rockwell, special to the New York Times


Review/Music; How 'The Phantom' Plays in Tokyo
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By JOHN ROCKWELL, SPECIAL TO THE NEW YORK TIMES
Published: June 9, 1988, Thursday

LEAD: The world of Andrew Lloyd Webber's flossy but spectacular musicals has expanded from the West End and Broadway to far, far beyond. Productions of ''Jesus Christ Superstar,'' ''Evita,'' ''Cats,'' ''Starlight Express,'' ''The Phantom of the Opera'' and other hits by the British composer now circle the planet, appearing with startling frequency in Japan, Australia, Europe and South America as well as in many North

The world of Andrew Lloyd Webber's flossy but spectacular musicals has expanded from the West End and Broadway to far, far beyond. Productions of ''Jesus Christ Superstar,'' ''Evita,'' ''Cats,'' ''Starlight Express,'' ''The Phantom of the Opera'' and other hits by the British composer now circle the planet, appearing with startling frequency in Japan, Australia, Europe and South America as well as in many North American cities.

No country has been more eager to import these shows than Japan, which seems to be gripped by a mania for Western musical theater and opera. A few years ago, hit Broadway shows traveled infrequently to Asia, and even the Metropolitan Opera had trouble selling out here. Met productions are packed for the current tour of Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya; West Berlin's Deutsche Oper visited Japan recently; La Scala is due soon, and the Bolshoi and more are ready to come. The Shiki Theatrical Company has been assiduous in mounting Tokyo productions of Mr. Lloyd Webber's shows as well as other musical hits; the staging of his ''Song and Dance,'' with the protagonist alternating between the English Marti Webb and a Japanese singer, has just been announced. ''The Phantom of the Opera,'' which settled into the Nissei Theater opposite the Imperial Hotel on April 29, is playing to sold-out houses. The composition of Monday's audience (said to be typical) was surprising to a New York visitor. The crowd was remarkably, even astonishingly young: there hardly seemed to be anyone over the age of 20. And all these teen-agers, who sit politely and quietly and applaud politely and quietly at the end, had paid up to $80 a ticket.

For a Westerner, of course, the more curious aspect of the evening was that ''Phantom'' was sung and spoken in Japanese. Actually, the Japanese do cheat a little. Key phrases are rendered in Japanese-accented English - ''The Phantom of the Opera'' itself, ''Masquerade'' and most prominently, twice: ''Christine, I love you.'' This, presumably, reassures the Japanese that they are getting the genuine article.

And they certainly are. Mr. Lloyd Webber; the show's director, Harold Prince; its designer, Maria Bjornson, and others in the show's Tony-winning team spent weeks in Tokyo, making as sure as they could that this production would match those of London and New York. Language aside, the biggest problem is in the configuration of the Nissei Theater. Its playing area is wide and reasonably deep (the emergence of the Phantom's ghostly boat through the candelabra rising out of the subterranean lake works better in London and Tokyo than in the Majestic Theater in New York, which has a shallower stage). But its proscenium arch is very low, making the playing aperture more like a Cinemascope screen than a square. That lends the whole show an oddly squashed look, with any scene requiring height (the descent by tilting ramps to the depths of the opera house, the starry sky above the roof) downright claustrophobic.

Technically (one snagged fabric aside) the show went smoothly, with excellent, undistorted amplification compensating for what sounded like a smallish pit band. Shoichi Kawai, the conductor, kept things moving briskly, providing a nice momentum but sometimes rushing the lyricism, as in the song ''Music of the Night.''

The Tokyo ''Phantom'' now plays 8 shows a week and will go up to 10 this month. That means alternating casts: four Phantoms, two of whom play Raoul, the Phantom's rival for Christine's affection, when they aren't in the title role; a third backup Raoul; three Christines and two backups, and so forth. Monday's alignment offered the principal Phantom and Raoul, if primacy in the cast lists means anything, and the third Christine. They did very well indeed, as did the company as a whole. Masachika Ichimura's Phantom caught the tortured conflicts of the title character adeptly, matching some of Michael Crawford's flaws (the strangulated yell at the loud high notes) but some of his vulnerability and sensuality as well. In a Japanese context, the Phantom's mask seems overtly reminiscent of Noh drama, and his disfigured face perhaps deliberately evokes Kabuki makeup. Mr. Ichimura couldn't quite control his voice in the high soft crooning, and his hand gestures missed Mr. Crawford's snaky sexuality. But this was still an admirable job.

Kyohko Suzuki, the Christine of the night, did well, too, offering a more conventional lyric soprano than Sarah Brightman's, although Mr. Lloyd Webber made expressive use in his writing of his wife's folkish simplicity of utterance and her Lily Pons-like coloratura top, and Miss Suzuki wasn't so sure up there in the vocal stratosphere.

The best of the Tokyo principals was Yuichiro Yamaguchi, who offered a strong, dashing Raoul and sang with a firm baritone; he is one of the occasional Phantoms, and it would be interesting to encounter him in that guise. The rest of the cast, from the theater owners to the aging opera singers to the imperious ballet mistress to the ballet ingenue, were all surely done, even if the policemen seemed a little too close to ''The Mikado'' for comfort.

In sum, the Japanese can rest secure in the knowledge that they have the real goods; Western visitors might well want to check out this latest instance of cross-cultural synthesis, and Mr. Lloyd Webber seems to have tapped yet another long-running source of income.









Last edited by ladygodiva on Wed May 25, 2011 11:25 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : found it on the web, then lost it then found it)

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Hal Prince

Post  ladygodiva on Sun Jul 17, 2011 6:31 pm

http://broadwaysalsstagehanddemocracy.blogspot.com/2009_09_01_archive.html

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Re: Qoutes from Magazine & Newspaper Articles

Post  ladygodiva on Sat Aug 13, 2011 8:41 pm

http://www.whatsonstage.com/interviews/theatre/london/E882991160265/20+Questions+With...Dave+Willetts.html

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Re: Qoutes from Magazine & Newspaper Articles

Post  Madame Giry on Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:27 pm

So I was doing some research and found these scans from an old New York magazine from 1988 on Google Books, in an anthology of the magazine's regular feature 'The Way We Live Now'. This particular one features an interview/account of the behind-the-scenes action with Michael Crawford from the early days of Phantom on Broadway.





Fascinating stuff, and at times quite funny. Enjoy!

~Madame~

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Re: Qoutes from Magazine & Newspaper Articles

Post  SenorSwanky on Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:29 pm

Great article. I'd seen the pic before, but don't think I'd actually read the article.

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Re: Qoutes from Magazine & Newspaper Articles

Post  ML6 on Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:35 pm

SenorSwanky wrote:Great article. I'd seen the pic before, but don't think I'd actually read the article.

Me either.

Wow, reading the bits on how Crawford would get into the character. Fascinating! :O

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Re: Qoutes from Magazine & Newspaper Articles

Post  ladygodiva on Sun Dec 11, 2011 7:08 pm

many interviews on phantom
http://accesslondon.blogspot.com/2011_09_01_archive.html


Sarah Jean Fords dressing room, with costumes in background
http://www.broadway.com/buzz/my-space/?page=5

Ask a broadway star
http://ericwhitacre.com/blog/ask-a-broadway-star

interview with Sophia Escobar
http://www.lastminutetheatretickets.com/blog/index.php/9293/interview-with-sofia-escobar-christine-daae-in-the-phantom-of-the-opera/

Spanish Phantoms
http://teatromarlie.blogspot.com/2010/12/con-reparto-espanol-y-montaje-traido.html


Last edited by ladygodiva on Sun Dec 11, 2011 7:41 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : added)

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Re: Qoutes from Magazine & Newspaper Articles

Post  PhantomsGhost on Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:57 pm

I found this article about shoes and the South African Phantom. Has a few pics with it:

http://www.iol.co.za/tonight/news/special-features/shoemaker-of-the-opera-1.1197447

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Re: Qoutes from Magazine & Newspaper Articles

Post  SenorSwanky on Mon Dec 19, 2011 6:03 am

This is a video from a CNN interview, not a print article, but about 4:20 in, and for the next few minutes, Paul Stanley makes mention of playing the Phantom as one of his great and unexpected accomplishments, and then answers a question about having been bullied for a birth defect when he was a child, something that played into his portrayal of the Phantom.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-wnD_rFEyE

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Re: Qoutes from Magazine & Newspaper Articles

Post  ladygodiva on Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:16 pm

South Africa

http://www.iol.co.za/capetimes/phantom-offers-operatic-festive-feast-1.1190193

http://www.peherald.com/news/article/3693

http://www.48hours.co.za/capetown/stories/2december/story03.html


Last edited by ladygodiva on Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:21 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : added)

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Interview with Rebecca Caine

Post  ladygodiva on Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:27 pm

http://www.thepublicreviews.com/interview-ten-minutes-with-rebecca-caine/

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Re: Qoutes from Magazine & Newspaper Articles

Post  ladygodiva on Sun Apr 01, 2012 6:38 pm

http://broadwaystars.com/ellis-nassour/2006/01/08-week/

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Re: Qoutes from Magazine & Newspaper Articles

Post  ladygodiva on Sat Apr 07, 2012 7:25 pm

http://ecentral.my/news/story.asp?file=/2007/4/3/soundnstage/17311505&sec=soundnstage

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tabitha webb interview

Post  ladygodiva on Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:31 pm

https://thecuriousspectator.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/tabitha-webb-speaks-about-her-experiece-of-playing-christine-in-andrew-lloyd-webbers-the-phantom-of-the-opera/


Phantastic!

The World of West End Theatre










Tabitha Webb speaks about her experience of playing Christine in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘The Phantom of the Opera’






It’s been nearly a year and a half since wonderful Tabitha Webb left her role as alternative Christine at Her Majesty’s theatre, London. Tiny, charming, beautiful soprano with a gorgeous smile, she had been one of the favourite Christines for many ‘phans’. Over her Phantom history, which began in 2005, Tabitha played opposite such highly praised theatre actors as John Owen-Jones, Earl Carpenter, Ramin Karimloo, Simon Bailey and others. Now she is happy to celebrate the birth of her baby boy, who is 12 weeks old.

Do you remember your first night as Christine?

Yes! I was an understudy and I hadn’t had much rehearsal, but I had to play because both Christines were ill. I had an about half an hour notice. It was very nervous. I think I did a good job, but I can’t remember most of it.

How do you warm up before a performance?

Vocally I like to warm up at home. It’s good to check your voice is in the right order. When I got to work, I used to go to a bar on the first floor. They had a piano there and they allowed to me use it. Also, I find it very relaxing to sing songs.

Do you share dresses with other Chrisitines or does each have her own?

When I was an understudy, they would find an old Christine’s one and fit it to you, because dresses are extremely expensive. But when I came to play the part myself, I had my own ones. I was such a small Christine and they scaled the dresses specifically for my height. Entirely, it cost £24,000, they told me. All the detailing is so expensive.

What is your favourite dress?

We call it ‘the blue manager’s dress’, in which Christine sings Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again. It has beautiful silk and small flowers on it. I’ve got some lovely photos of me in this dress.

Does it make a big difference what actor you are playing together with?

I enjoy that because it brings a fresh change to the character. You don’t want to be doing the same night after night after night. To have a new Raoul and a new experience makes it more vivid. But in the other way, when you are dancing with someone, it can be difficult to suddenly have someone different to what you are used to. Obviously, when I was an understudy, I played opposite so many of Phantoms and Raouls.

How important is physical chemistry between Christine and the Phantom and Christine and Raoul?

As for an actress, it doesn’t matter. You have to make it. Sometimes you get actors who are very difficult to work with and you might not like them personally, but you still have to do it. It is quite difficult when you play a love duet with someone you don’t like. But I need to remember that it’s not me falling in love with them, it’s Christine.

Who are your favourites?

That’s very difficult. Gosh, who was my personal favourite?.. I think my favourite Phantom is Earl Carpenter. His portrayal is so true. His acting, his intensity are so real. Ramin Karimloo was great. His Phantom was wild, unpredictable. He has such a strong voice, so he sang it effortlessly.

How would you describe your Christine? What was special about her?

Well, I tried to make her special, to portray her growth as a human being. At the beginning she is scared under the reign of her angel. An at the end we see the strength of her character. She’s no longer manipulated, no longer under his spell.

What do you think Christine felt for the Phantom?

I think in the beginning she’s confused between his being a father for her and being a lover. He’s got power over her and she’s manipulated by him. She fells protected by him until he kills Buquet. It’s almost like a lover who’s cheated on. At the very end this is empathy and compassion, but she’s not in love with him.

How do you interpret their final kiss? What did she do it for?

Compassion. I really think she did it out of compassion. She was scared, manipulated, he let her down in so many ways. At that moment that compassion helps him realise that he had to let her go.

Is it emotionally difficult to play this role?

It’s exhausting! From the beginning you go through the emotions of a young girl. Because she’s an orphan, she thinks she has to work really hard, because they gave her roof above her head. She’s very fragile. She’s manipulated by the Phantom. You go through so many emotions. Raoul promises that he will protect her and next minute betrays her. The Phantom kidnaps her, strips her off her clothes. She’s afraid he will rape her and kill her. It’s very difficult emotionally. You do need that time on a train back home to become a normal person again.

What is the most difficult singing part?

Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote this piece of music specifically for Sarah Brightman and she didn’t sing it how we sing it now. It’s wasn’t so emotionally driven. To have a top E you need to be a very high soprano which I am, but sometimes it’s really difficult to go to low parts. You have to be very good to cope with this wide range of notes.

What is your favourite song from the show to perform?

I love Wishing. It’s a beautiful song. She grows up and says goodbye to her angel. It’s also one of my father’s favourite songs, so that’s one of the reasons why I enjoy singing it.

Was there any case you were afraid you wouldn’t be able to continue the scene properly because of technical difficulties?

So many things can go wrong! Once my dresser put me into a wrong skirt for Think of Me and I had to sing the whole scene in it. I had to dance also and it was far too long for me, so I practically tripped over my own skirt.

One time, at the end of act one, when Christine is saved by Raoul from the falling chandelier, my wig got caught in another man’s costume. And when Raoul came to rescue me, the man with my wig ran to the right and because there was a chandelier coming towards me, Raoul pulled me to the left, so they ripped off my wig, which was fixed to my head very tightly. I had to finish the show, but I needed a lot of ice.

It’s very dangerous to be in this show, actually. When I was in the chorus, she scenery fell on me. There used to be a huge piece of metal to bang on the floor. And that day there was a storm, and because someone opened a door, there was a breeze in the theatre. So it fell and hit me on the head. I was knocked out unconscious and they literally pulled me off the stage and the show went on. They called me an ambulance and another girl took my place. The audience maybe didn’t even notice.

To find out more about Tabitha, visit http://www.tabithawebb.com/ and follow her on https://twitter.com/halfpintsinger




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Tagged Andrew Lloyd Webber, Christine Daae, Earl Carpenter, Her Majesty's Theatre, interview, musicals, phantastic, Ramin Karimloo, Really Useful Group, Tabitha Webb, The Phantom of the Opera, twitter

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ladygodiva

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Marcus Lovett

Post  ladygodiva on Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:48 pm

http://www.playbill.com/celebritybuzz/article/147263-THE-LEADING-MEN-Robert-Cuccioli-and-Marcus-Lovett-Test-a-New-Musical-SCKBSTD/pg2

ladygodiva

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Hugh Panaro

Post  ladygodiva on Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:36 pm

http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20130127/MEDIA_ENTERTAINMENT/301279987

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Re: Qoutes from Magazine & Newspaper Articles

Post  ladygodiva on Sat May 25, 2013 5:11 pm

http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/68150/tales-from-the-phantom-backstage

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wall street journal article

Post  ladygodiva on Sat Jun 15, 2013 3:16 pm

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203824904577215251223480614.html

ladygodiva

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Making a plaster mold of the actor who plays the phantoms face

Post  ladygodiva on Sun Jun 16, 2013 6:20 pm

http://www.artlink.co.za/news_article.htm?contentID=27701

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Re: Qoutes from Magazine & Newspaper Articles

Post  Scorp on Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:40 am

ladygodiva wrote:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203824904577215251223480614.html

Is anyone able to share the full text of this with me? I'm a bit late to the party and don't have a subscription to the WSJ.

Thanks for sharing these links, LadyGodiva!

_________________
In Hal Prince we trust.

Scorp

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Article and two Behind the scenes video

Post  ladygodiva on Sat Jun 29, 2013 6:01 pm

http://www.montecasino.co.za/whatson/Theatre/Pages/ThePhantomoftheOpera.aspx

also the second video, looks like it has scenes from the German production as well, I could be mistaken

http://www.artlink.co.za/news_article.htm?contentID=27943

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Re: Qoutes from Magazine & Newspaper Articles

Post  ladygodiva on Sat Jun 29, 2013 7:46 pm

http://www.bangkokpost.com/lifestyle/music/350285/a-faithful-fulfilling-phantom

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/275910/lifestyle/reviews/theater-review-in-which-we-understand-why-phantom-endures

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More World tour

Post  ladygodiva on Sat Sep 28, 2013 4:31 pm

http://www.venusbuzz.com/archives/50139/the-phantom-of-the-opera-in-singapore-extended-to-september-1/

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Re: Qoutes from Magazine & Newspaper Articles

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