That mysterious Auctioneer.

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That mysterious Auctioneer.

Post  TheMaskedLion on Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:21 pm

I always found the Auction scene fascinating, and how the Auctioneer is played in the various productions, some keep him very dark and creepy throughout. (with the makeup job on him, I can totally understand why some choose to do him this way) others, play him very Oxford Stuffy English. Which is another portrayal I have come to admire.


What do you all think of this interesting character and the many people who have played him?

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Re: That mysterious Auctioneer.

Post  Raphael on Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:54 pm

The Auctioneer (and the prologue itself) certainly set the mood for the show. As far as I remember, all the Auctioneers I've seen are a variant of the "dark and creepy" style. None do it better than Michael Lackey, though. He's got a good voice for it.

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Re: That mysterious Auctioneer.

Post  justin-from-barbados on Sun Jul 17, 2011 4:44 pm

I would give anything for the chance to play him just one time.

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Re: That mysterious Auctioneer.

Post  auctioneer on Sun Jul 17, 2011 7:14 pm

Well observed! Definitely a central character who sets the tone for the show.

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Re: That mysterious Auctioneer.

Post  operafantomet on Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:46 am

Raphael wrote:The Auctioneer (and the prologue itself) certainly set the mood for the show. As far as I remember, all the Auctioneers I've seen are a variant of the "dark and creepy" style. None do it better than Michael Lackey, though. He's got a good voice for it.
I think it's only Phillip Griffith/London who does the Oxford twist. I like that a lot too, as it gives more mixed messages in the auction scene. It is only after a while you realize something is wrong... That everyone moves in slow motion, and that most sounds are muted except that of the auctioneer... And that there is something luring underneath. It's eerie.

I also dig the spooky approach. But I can't for the life of me come up with any favourites.

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Re: That mysterious Auctioneer.

Post  IamErik771 on Mon Jul 18, 2011 5:01 pm

I agree, it's interesting to look at the different ways this role has been played. One really unique portrayal I saw was Michael McCoy, who understudied the role when I saw the US Tour in San Francisco. He played the Auctioneer as a very stuffy, snooty Frenchman but managed to keep him from seeming stereotypical. This Auctioneer clearly did not like his job and wanted to get all the items sold for the highest possible price so that he could quickly go home. I liked that he seemed rather ticked off at the patrons for wasting his time, and most especially Raoul for seeming to be such a cheapskate despite his title and the wealth that one could assume came with it.

Michael Lackey in the Las Vegas cast, on the other hand, played up the creepiness of the character, and I really liked that way of doing it as well. After reading what Brianne said about Hal Prince's explanation of the scene (which can be found here), that approach makes a lot of sense. I'd heard Lackey in the role before, but actually seeing him perform it brought that home to me even more.

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Re: That mysterious Auctioneer.

Post  starryeyed on Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:08 pm

I didn't realise how much I appreciated the auctioneer until last Tuesday in London. Someone was covering for Phillip Griffiths and I was sitting during the whole scene with a really odd feeling, like something wasn't right. I don't know if it was because I'm used to Phillip (though I have heard other covers) but there was just something about the delivery of the lines I didn't like.

I like the auction scene as a whole. it really is creepy. There's always something quite cold about it I think.

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Re: That mysterious Auctioneer.

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