The Broadway production + US tour

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Re: The Broadway production + US tour

Post  ravnquest1 on Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:05 pm

I can't disagree more about Andrews. For me he epitomized what was wrong with the show. I could only admire the consistency of what he was doing- the same show everyday regardless of what was happening around him. But that's not performing, that's not engaging your fellow performers and keeping the piece alive, that's auto-pilot and it's what happens when you do a show for decades. Maybe he can't be blamed- I'd be the same way if I wanted the paycheck for that long. I truly believe the fault lies higher up, and these changes are a good thing.

Romick might have to do with money- and maybe that's all any of this has to do with. In theory you negotiate a little more every contract, and why would I want to pay a rate grandfathered in from 22 years ago when I can get someone for half as much? And this is the ugly business of show business, folks.

In terms of hit-and-miss casting, I think that's generally true anywhere about any show. But I will say that you get what you pay for. And if you don't want to hire veteran Broadway performers or people with the right experience who expect certain compensation, then you get the inexperience that comes with the lower salary. Sometimes there are people who are not good at casting (which I believe is truly a talent and a skill), but there are many performers who audition well but never really deliver onstage. Just as there are performers who don't audition well and are wonderful onstage. If you are hiring unknowns, then that is what is truly unknowable.

Phantom I'm sure looks for classical dance training and classical vocal training depending on the part/track. Those things are becoming less and less valuable in New York, so people spend less and less time training in those fields because the work isn't there. Also Phantom hires a lot of opera-trained singers, who don't spend a lot of time learning how to act.

What we're missing now is the eye of Hal Prince and those who knew how to find unique dynamic talent. We saw a little bit of that when the Vegas production opened- look how great that original company was. Everything now is pretty cookie-cutter from people who don't know how to think outside of a few very specific boxes.

Just my two cents.

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Re: The Broadway production + US tour

Post  operafantomet on Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:48 pm

We'll just have to agree to disagree then. But I have to comment on one thing:

ravnquest1 wrote:This is not a business where long term employment is expected, and shows like Phantom are extremely atypical.
Yeah, shows like Phantom are extremely atypical. Which might also be why the casting is atypical. You can't really compare it to a 1 year run of A Chorus Line or a 3 year run of Mamma Mia (not that you did, just picking made-up examples), where the show disappears after a limited run and where the requirements for the roles are mighty different. I can understand why casting people wants to keep good performers when they've finally found them, cause they know they'll be hard to replace and they might be needed for some years still.

But I also know that being in a show for a long time entitles you to higher salary, and that is obviously the nightmare of any producer. It's said one of the main reasons the US tour was closed was because everyone - from cast to hair dressers - had been in the show for so long, and their salaries ate much of the profit (hearsay, but still. I assume this is also partly why Cameron Mackintosh launched a re-staged tour version, borrowing a lot from the original, but without having to keep paying royalties to Hal Prince and Gillian Lynne. When we see a new US tour it'll not only be cheaper in terms of staging, but also in royalties and salaries.

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Re: The Broadway production + US tour

Post  NightRachel on Sun Sep 09, 2012 4:42 pm

SenorSwanky wrote:I generally agree with you, ravnquest, though I don't know how they could can Romick. He was such a flexible, versatile performer and one of the best Phantom understudies of all time. He never seemed to be stale when put into a major role.

Well said!
My sentiments exactly!

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Re: The Broadway production + US tour

Post  StrangerThanUDreamt on Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:08 pm

ravnquest1 wrote:

What we're missing now is the eye of Hal Prince and those who knew how to find unique dynamic talent. We saw a little bit of that when the Vegas production opened- look how great that original company was. Everything now is pretty cookie-cutter from people who don't know how to think outside of a few very specific boxes.

Just my two cents.


This is exactly how I feel, although I've been very lucky in my experiences with seeing Phantom to have seen top notch and energetic performances all the times I have seen the show (tour and Vegas) but I have heard from friends and online reviewers of the current Broadway company growing a bit...stale. I have not seen the Broadway company yet so I cannot form a fair and proper opinion, but I do agree it seems the casting in the states isnt nearly as exciting as what goes on in the UK; love him or not they pulled a big surprise with Joback, and even another by pulling an old school Phantom, Marcus, out to return; It seems the UK casting changes about every 6 months or so in some aspect, which seems to help keep it "alive"

I will say from experience, I have witnessed first hand how dangerous a "stale" performance can be in a blockbuster musical; When I saw Wicked in NYC a few years back (and Im leaving the names out) the two actress' in the leads had such little energy and were the epitome of "phoning it in" I was definatley miffed; while I had seen the show before, with much more lively leads, hundreds around me hadnt,and this was their first time...They said their lines flat, notes were cut off early before the music ended, and the overall feeling that came from the stage was "meh". So in short, no matter how powerful the name of the show may be a stale peformance over time can literally kill a piece of theatre.

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Re: The Broadway production + US tour

Post  Scorp on Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:10 pm

ravnquest1 wrote:What we're missing now is the eye of Hal Prince and those who knew how to find unique dynamic talent. We saw a little bit of that when the Vegas production opened- look how great that original company was. Everything now is pretty cookie-cutter from people who don't know how to think outside of a few very specific boxes.

Hal Prince come back, your show needs you!

I'm seriously pissed off at Cameron's cost-cutting. Why bother, given how rich he is? Yes, it's still a business, and no, you don't want to *lose* money, but I think making a little less of it and delivering a better production would be the nobler thing to do. Given the much more positive reception of the "new" Miz, I assumed many of its die-hards weren't *too* put off by what had been done to the show, but reading more about it and hearing from them, it seems they no longer have confidence in Cameron to make the right decision, which is fairly damning if you consider how much Cameron does care about Les Mis. Based on the RAH event, the apparent "real" reason why the Vegas production shuttered prematurely and the god-awful new UK tour of Phantom, I think Cameron's started showing signs of the greed/senility that has plagued ALW in recent years.

Farewell my fallen idol and false friend... We had such hopes, and now those hopes are shattered!

I know this could possibly sound like blasphemy, but I would rather the show closes on a high than become a stale and significantly cheapened tourist trap, which in some ways it has become already, especially on Broadway (I still love the Broadway production, but I do think the show there has much more of a 'old-and-tired-show-for-tourists' stigma than it does in London; whether that's because of the cast members who stay too long and give subpar performances *cough*MarniRaab*cough* or because of Broadway elitism, I'm not sure).

Ravnquest, intrigued about your comment re Mick Potter. Generally I like the new sound design, although there are one or two moments that I am convinced have been botched and worsened by the upgrade (namely the double Red Death's laughter in London). What is it that you hate? His sound design for ALW's other shows, though, has generally been excellent.

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Re: The Broadway production + US tour

Post  SenorSwanky on Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:49 am

operafantomet wrote:
SenorSwanky wrote:GLA was definitely not as fresh as he used to be, and his voice had worn a bit, but he was still good. It's most important to keep the three leads fresh, and to me, the fact that about 11 of the last 13 years have seen either Hugh or Howard in the lead role is what is most stale about the Broadway production.
I still wanna maintain there's a difference between "stale casting" (as in having few or none cast changes) and "stale cast members" (or wooden, if you like). Some of the stalest in the current cast haven't been with the show for long. silent
I haven't really experienced any of the newer cast members, but I agree. That's why I defended Romick--from what I could tell (though some examples were years ago, not more recently), his status as a swing kept him pretty fresh when given the chance to go on as the Phantom or other major roles. And GLA generally was still pretty good, though certainly I can see the justification for replacing him, as long as it's with someone good.

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Re: The Broadway production + US tour

Post  Paula74 on Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:56 pm

I can't confirm this, but another cast member who is supposedly leaving soon (within the next two weeks or sooner) is Kris Koop and, if that's the case, I'll be sad to see her leave...partly because I never had a chance to see her as Madame Giry. I saw her go on as both Carlotta and Christine and she'll always be one of my favorites in the latter role.

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Re: The Broadway production + US tour

Post  ravnquest1 on Sun Sep 16, 2012 5:41 pm

So Paula74, I'm going to throw this out there and maybe you can tell me if I'm right or wrong:

With Hugh taking so long to be able to announce his extension, etc, can I make the assumption that he's been asked to take his Phantom on the road in the 25th Anniversary tour? That maybe they'll announce it all in January when Phantom turns 25 in NYC? Just some speculation on my part given the odd set of circumstances surrounding Hugh's extension. I think Connor, Mackintosh and co. will want someone like JOJ in the UK who is a known name in the show to launch the tour, so why not Hugh? He's really at the top of his game in the part right now anyway.

Scorp..

In response about the sound..I think I've been through this before although perhaps not here. My biggest issues with Mick Potter's redesign is two-fold:

First being that much of the original design ideas concerning the character of the Phantom have been forgotten or intentionally set aside. Everyone take some time and go listen to "The Mirror" on the OLC. Notice the reverb effect on Crawford's voice, and how it diminishes once he "appears" in the mirror, how The Phantom's voice goes from being "difficult to locate" to "he's behind the mirror". Then listen after Raoul's near interruption, how Crawford's voice returns to that ghostly quality as he pulls Christine through the Mirror. While never as effective live as it is on the OLC, these ideas were there. "The Phantom" never, ever sounded like everyone else onstage. Remember how the Phantom's laughter would echo around the theater long after the chandelier crashed and the houselights came up? Not anymore. There was always that magical quality, the reverb that would grow as his voice would grow. That "BE" in MOTN that would go on forever. The sense that he is a ventriloquist and can do things with his voice that no one else can. It's all gone now- Hugh Panaro sounds like everyone else onstage and that's not what it was.

On the reverb issue, while there is some reverb on the vocals now it's very subtle, meanwhile the orchestra is drowning in verb, soupy and awful. They might as well be a recording because there is no longer any sense that there are live musicians in the pit. It was worse in Vegas as they were trying to conceal the supplemental track that was added to make it sound more like a film.

My second beef is that the show used to sound natural and you used to be able to place the performers onstage when they spoke. Now it's either deafeningly loud (the overture and title song) or so quiet it's hard to hear (most of the dialogue scenes). But there is this ever-present "wall of sound" coming at you, and unless you know the show it's hard to pick up on who is speaking. I've watched audience member's heads searching the stage on occasion for who is speaking. It's one of those things that no phan would probably notice, being how we all know the show so well.

Everything sounds lifeless, electronic and acoustically dead. And while Broadway Theaters are mostly dry, the misuse and in some cases lack of reverb do not help. The vocals are way too crisp and unnatural- the sibilance is irritating- the "s" consonants in MOTN especially make my face bleed. It's bad, amateur and intrusive to me. Sound is meant to be mostly transparent, and this new "design" is anything but. It was so good for so long. Was it time to replace some older equipment? Sure. But the choices that were made were low-cost ones for a show with an enormous amount of money, and discounting all of the Martin Levan ideas has really and truly ruined the show for me.

And we won't talk about the silly retro click tracks either.

the magic is gone. Greed has taken over- Mackintosh wants every cent for himself. Maybe the Japanese production is still good...


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Re: The Broadway production + US tour

Post  ianjonbourgandethanfreema on Sun Sep 16, 2012 5:54 pm

Does anybody here know if Anthony Crivello plans to go to the Broadway production of Phantom as the Phantom once Hugh Panaro's contract ends? I really wanted to see him live, as people said he's one of those performers who is absolutely INCREDIBLE in the role live, but couldn't get out to Vegas before it closed, and I was hoping he'd go to Broadway so I could possibly get a chance to see him live there.

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Re: The Broadway production + US tour

Post  StrangerThanUDreamt on Sun Sep 16, 2012 5:56 pm

ravnquest1 wrote:So Paula74, I'm going to throw this out there and maybe you can tell me if I'm right or wrong:

With Hugh taking so long to be able to announce his extension, etc, can I make the assumption that he's been asked to take his Phantom on the road in the 25th Anniversary tour? That maybe they'll announce it all in January when Phantom turns 25 in NYC? Just some speculation on my part given the odd set of circumstances surrounding Hugh's extension. I think Connor, Mackintosh and co. will want someone like JOJ in the UK who is a known name in the show to launch the tour, so why not Hugh? He's really at the top of his game in the part right now anyway.



I thought this as well, in line with casting JOJ in the UK tour I figured we would most likely get Hugh to headline the new tour, and see Anthony Crivello take his place as the Phantom on Broadway. With Crivello back in NYC, I somehow foresee him playing the Phantom again. But regardless of what name they attach to the US tour, if some crucial pieces aren't fixed (the blocking and the sad excuse of a chandelier) I have a feeling US audiences wont be as smitten with it.

ianjonbourgandethanfreema wrote:Does anybody here know if Anthony Crivello plans to go to the Broadway production of Phantom as the Phantom once Hugh Panaro's contract ends? I really wanted to see him live, as people said he's one of those performers who is absolutely INCREDIBLE in the role live, but couldn't get out to Vegas before it closed, and I was hoping he'd go to Broadway so I could possibly get a chance to see him live there.

I was one on the fence about Crivello, then saw him live and was really taken with his performance, he needs a bit of rest away from the dry Nevada air, but Id say he would be a good game changer for the Broadway production, as he does not over-sex his Phantom, he is all about being the musical genius who is totally immersed in his music!

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Re: The Broadway production + US tour

Post  SenorSwanky on Sun Sep 16, 2012 6:21 pm

The Phantom is all about sex and sensuality, by design (see the Bjornson and Lynne commentary from then and now). It's just not about shirtless swashbuckling young hunky sex. MC was a very sensual Phantom. Colm, as I just mentioned in the Toronto thread, correctly recognized that the Christine aria at the end of the title song was an orgasm, that the Phantom and Christine were experiencing mutual satisfation through music.

Anyway, I could see Hugh hopping out on tour. Not sure I'll go see it, but good for him if so. He's not really my cup of tea, and what I've seen of the tour certainly isn't, so I'd love to see a new Phantom on Broadway. Crivello maybe. But I'd rather have Davis Gaines back (a throwback a la Lovett in London) or someone completely new who's over the age of 45 and has gravitas and a commanding stage presence and a subtle sexuality but isn't campy. Someone old-school, not young and rocky.

I agree with you totally, ravnquest, on the sound design. I noticed a huge difference between when I saw the show in October 2005 and July 2011.

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Re: The Broadway production + US tour

Post  StrangerThanUDreamt on Sun Sep 16, 2012 6:42 pm

SenorSwanky wrote:The Phantom is all about sex and sensuality, by design (see the Bjornson and Lynne commentary from then and now). It's just not about shirtless swashbuckling young hunky sex. MC was a very sensual Phantom. Colm, as I just mentioned in the Toronto thread, correctly recognized that the Christine aria at the end of the title song was an orgasm, that the Phantom and Christine were experiencing mutual satisfation through music.

Anyway, I could see Hugh hopping out on tour. Not sure I'll go see it, but good for him if so. He's not really my cup of tea, and what I've seen of the tour certainly isn't, so I'd love to see a new Phantom on Broadway. Crivello maybe. But I'd rather have Davis Gaines back (a throwback a la Lovett in London) or someone completely new who's over the age of 45 and has gravitas and a commanding stage presence and a subtle sexuality but isn't campy. Someone old-school, not young and rocky.

I agree with you totally, ravnquest, on the sound design. I noticed a huge difference between when I saw the show in October 2005 and July 2011.

I am well aware of the original design/intent for the character, and have heard Lynne's commentary on the physicality of the role, but what I meant was that in an age of "OMG GERRY RULZ!" and "RAMIN is SO HOT!" Rolling Eyes it was nice to see a Phantom who was more layered then just the sexual aspects, and really played up the subtlety of the role, and as I said in my review I loved the more mature quality of Crivello's voice, in the Vegas version where it would have been easy to slip into "sex" mode, I have to commend Crivello for really pulling something more out of it; Yes the Phantom is a sensual/sexual role, but not by spoon-fed details to the audience, it should be subtle. I like what Colm did...but him and Ramin I cant "buy" as the role it just feels like Colm/Ramin in a mask...

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Re: The Broadway production + US tour

Post  ianjonbourgandethanfreema on Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:48 pm

I'm very excited at the prospect of Crivello taking over in the Broadway production!! It'll be a nice change in casting for that production.

It'd also be cool, however, to see an oldie like Davis Gaines make a return, or more preferably Brad Little considering he's up in NY right now!

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Re: The Broadway production + US tour

Post  SenorSwanky on Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:05 pm

Whoa whoa whoa, hold the verb tense there. This isn't a "prospect" that is likely to happen. It's just a few of us mentioning a wish.

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Re: The Broadway production + US tour

Post  StrangerThanUDreamt on Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:34 pm

^Exactly, these are mere rumors, and hopes; nothing solid. We dont even know who the full cast will be for the 25th anniversary performance come Jan. let alone who will take over for Hugh; Ideally it seems fitting that Crivello would take over, given his 6 1/2 year run with the Vegas production, and the fact he ( and also worth mentioning Vegas' Raoul, Andrew Ragone) are back in NYC it seems..fitting but nothing official as of yet.

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Re: The Broadway production + US tour

Post  SenorSwanky on Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:35 pm

A lot of people are in NY; it's kind of where you go when you're looking for work in theater in America. There are also over 8,000,000 other people who live there.

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Re: The Broadway production + US tour

Post  StrangerThanUDreamt on Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:11 pm

That I am aware of, I was talking about the much rumored casting change that is to sweep the Majestic sometime this year, and while we know Hugh will be the Phantom for the 25th anniversary performance however no other role seems to be set, and the fact that the Broadway casting (Phantom wise) seems to always use a performer who has been with the show for some time. Crivello was offered Green Goblin in Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark earlier this year but turned it down because he wanted to stay with Phantom in Vegas.

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Re: The Broadway production + US tour

Post  SenorSwanky on Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:14 pm

He would've been an interesting Green Goblin. Probably turned out to be a good career move for him to close out Phantom and not jump onto Spider-Man.

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Re: The Broadway production + US tour

Post  operafantomet on Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:37 pm

ianjonbourgandethanfreema wrote:I'm very excited at the prospect of Crivello taking over in the Broadway production!! It'll be a nice change in casting for that production.
Anthony Crivello needs a proper vocal rest before he picks up that role again. Whereas I have lots of love for his Phantom, his voice showed clear signs of fatigue during the last week in Vegas. He was raspy and his high notes were unsupported, and the growling and singing through his teeth puts unnecessary large strain on his vocal cords. If he hasn't damaged his voice already he should spend some time to let the voice recover.

I promise, I say this with love. I think his Phantom was highly interesting.

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Re: The Broadway production + US tour

Post  alaron4 on Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:43 pm

operafantomet wrote:
ianjonbourgandethanfreema wrote:I'm very excited at the prospect of Crivello taking over in the Broadway production!! It'll be a nice change in casting for that production.
Anthony Crivello needs a proper vocal rest before he picks up that role again. Whereas I have lots of love for his Phantom, his voice showed clear signs of fatigue during the last week in Vegas. He was raspy and his high notes were unsupported, and the growling and singing through his teeth puts unnecessary large strain on his vocal cords. If he hasn't damaged his voice already he should spend some time to let the voice recover.

I promise, I say this with love. I think his Phantom was highly interesting.
Agreed. While his interpretation and acting are unique and bring a new flavor to the show, his voice (and diction, perhaps?) we less than great when I saw him.

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Re: The Broadway production + US tour

Post  ravnquest1 on Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:25 am

I'll say it: I hated Anthony Crivello by the end. I saw the Vegas show a handful of times over the course of the run, fairly even spaced apart. Crivello was good the first time I saw him, when he was alternating with Brent Barrett. He has a unique, interesting and distinctive sound that made him "The Phantom" like so many of the original 4 or 5 years of Hal Prince Phantoms like Crawford, Wilkinson, Kevin Gray etc. But the part seemed out of his range, especially the big notes. It's out of a lot of actor's range so that's not his fault, per se.

After the first year or so, he became more and more self-serving onstage, and harder and harder to understand. He wasn't playing any sort of character or interacting with anyone else onstage in any meaningful way. Crivello's final lair was so beyond scenery-chewing it was comical. By the end of the run I couldn't understand a word he was speaking or singing. He was vocally inconsistent (and that's being kind). His curtain call was obnoxious, often signaling for a standing ovation where none was given or warranted. He shredded his voice- probably for good, but for his sake I hope not.

I've heard many an inside-the-industry things that I won't repeat, but I would be incredibly surprised to see him ever play this part again.

The only person I'd want to see from Vegas in New York (or anywhere) would be Brianne Kelly Morgan....and not because she's here, but because she maintained the same wonderful show every time I came back to see it. She never looked tired, apathetic, and never gave up on telling the story.


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Re: The Broadway production + US tour

Post  StrangerThanUDreamt on Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:21 am

ravnquest1 wrote:I'll say it: I hated Anthony Crivello by the end. I saw the Vegas show a handful of times over the course of the run, fairly even spaced apart. Crivello was good the first time I saw him, when he was alternating with Brent Barrett. He has a unique, interesting and distinctive sound that made him "The Phantom" like so many of the original 4 or 5 years of Hal Prince Phantoms like Crawford, Wilkinson, Kevin Gray etc. But the part seemed out of his range, especially the big notes. It's out of a lot of actor's range so that's not his fault, per se.

After the first year or so, he became more and more self-serving onstage, and harder and harder to understand. He wasn't playing any sort of character or interacting with anyone else onstage in any meaningful way. Crivello's final lair was so beyond scenery-chewing it was comical. By the end of the run I couldn't understand a word he was speaking or singing. He was vocally inconsistent (and that's being kind). His curtain call was obnoxious, often signaling for a standing ovation where none was given or warranted. He shredded his voice- probably for good, but for his sake I hope not.

I've heard many an inside-the-industry things that I won't repeat, but I would be incredibly surprised to see him ever play this part again.

The only person I'd want to see from Vegas in New York (or anywhere) would be Brianne Kelly Morgan....and not because she's here, but because she maintained the same wonderful show every time I came back to see it. She never looked tired, apathetic, and never gave up on telling the story.


I can defiantly respect your opinion on Crivello, before I saw the Vegas version I had heard/read some not-so-great things about him and the Vegas cast in general; I had actually put off seeing it in Vegas for a while because I kept hearing how "tired" the cast was and how there seemed to be no energy left in it. HOWEVER I also think I was lucky because I waited, literally, to the last possible moment to see the Vegas production. By going on closing night, it is my one and only view of the show, so I daresay I lucked into seeing a performance were everybody was bringing their A game. I will also say I didn't love everything he did, but I feel with proper vocal rest and if he brought just a bit more empathy into his Final Lair then he'd be fantastic for the full on production, mainly because I am also a big fan of more mature sounding Phantoms, which Crivello is...anyways I think other than him Brianne and Andrew should really be brought over to the Broadway stage sooner than later. Aside form Crivello those were the other two that really stuck with me as fresh and truly a joy to watch in their roles.

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Re: The Broadway production + US tour

Post  operafantomet on Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:08 am

Is it true Aaron Galligan-Stierle is leaving the Broadway production in a month or so? And if this is the case, can I assume it's one of the famous recent "let go's" from Cameron Mackintosh and his man, rather than a cast member leaving at his/her own will?

I know they want to brush up the Broadway production before the anniversary. But they can also end up with a production too unpolished and out of shape if they stir things up too much in the coming months...

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Re: The Broadway production + US tour

Post  ravnquest1 on Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:47 am

As for the casting changes on Broadway, I poked around a little bit on the internet and with a few friends of mine. I should apologize somewhat, since I had no idea how badly this was going down. Firstly, I stand by my opinion that for the good of the production, actors should not have been engaged in the same parts for this long. I've done too many professional productions to know where that usually leads.

But it seems like people who had been with the show a very long time are being cut loose abruptly, and that's painful. I don't think I've ever seen a situation where anyone was let go/not renewed that was handled well, but to put someone out without consideration of the circumstances and their history is pretty cold. I do feel badly for some of these people who are now out of work. It's a shame.

As a proud theatrical union member who knows the unions don't protect you when you need it most of time, I realize there is an element of union-busting in recasting the show every year, and I hope Equity stays on top of it.

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Re: The Broadway production + US tour

Post  Paula74 on Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:49 am

operafantomet wrote:Is it true Aaron Galligan-Stierle is leaving the Broadway production in a month or so? And if this is the case, can I assume it's one of the famous recent "let go's" from Cameron Mackintosh and his man, rather than a cast member leaving at his/her own will?

I know they want to brush up the Broadway production before the anniversary. But they can also end up with a production too unpolished and out of shape if they stir things up too much in the coming months...

Aaron posted on Facebook last night that November 10th is his final show. I wouldn't be surprised if we'll be seeing both Managers replaced. I have to say I was initially very skeptical of Aaron when he joined the show...I "heard" one of his early performances and didn't like it, but when I saw him live, he was very funny and I liked him quite a bit.

I don't know, though, if Aaron has "gotten the axe" like others have. Kris Koop - whose last show was this past Saturday - seems to have left on her own.

I agree that too many cast changes at one time does run some risk, but I guess they're probably starting all the incoming cast in November to give them a couple of months to settle in before the big anniversary (I seem to recall a secondhand story about Hal Prince saying it takes a new show or new cast member three months to properly settle in, but I can't remember who told me that or where I read it.) And, given the long tradition of recycling, they might bring it at least some people who've had experience in the other productions.

Like everyone else, I'm curious about the Christines and Raoul. I actually don't dislike Kyle, but I definitely think they could do much better. Hugh said he'll keep me updated on that, but we haven't followed up on that and, odds are, any news he tells me will be the sort of thing that can't be posted until the official announcement anyway.

Given how the production doesn't make official announcements until pretty close to the actual cast change, I also won't be too surprised if we don't have any real news on incoming casts until mid-October (assuming others leave/join around the same time Aaron leaves).

Now, as for the question that ravnquest1 asked about the possibility of Hugh joining the tour...

(I tried answering this yesterday, but got an error message and then got caught up with stuff).

At this point, his Broadway Phantom contract runs until March and pretty much anything could happen after that point. The main reason I personally didn't post it as soon as he let me know was because he asked me to wait a bit and, while he didn't spell it out completely, that request was mostly related to how crazy and unsettled everything else has been with so many people either "getting the axe" (his words) or facing that possibility. I probably would've waited a little longer to post because I like to torture people with suspense, but once the news was posted in his bio for the Seattle Symphony, there was no reason not to go ahead.

I also hadn't previously posted about the contract running until March because so many people automatically assume the date his contract ENDS is the date of his final show...and they make hotel/ticket/travel plans based on that assumption.

But, as for the tour question, based on the last couple of recent e-mail exchanges with him, I personally don't think he would commit to a tour anytime soon. Without getting into private details, there are some family circumstances following his father's death in July that might make him very reluctant to sign on for a tour that would keep him too far from home for months at a time. It would all depend on if the personal reasons are still an active factor at the time - hypothetically - he'd be asked to do such a tour. I do know that, in the past, issues like his father's health have influenced his choices.

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Re: The Broadway production + US tour

Post  NightRachel on Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:42 pm

ravnquest1 wrote:But it seems like people who had been with the show a very long time are being cut loose abruptly, and that's painful. I don't think I've ever seen a situation where anyone was let go/not renewed that was handled well, but to put someone out without consideration of the circumstances and their history is pretty cold. I do feel badly for some of these people who are now out of work. It's a shame.

Yes, and that's exactly what happened to James Romick! It was cruel and painful for him and others who "got the axe" when he did back in July.


SenorSwanky said:
"The Phantom is all about sex and sensuality, by design (see the Bjornson and Lynne commentary from then and now). It's just not about shirtless swashbuckling young hunky sex. MC was a very sensual Phantom. Colm, as I just mentioned in the Toronto thread, correctly recognized that the Christine aria at the end of the title song was an orgasm, that the Phantom and Christine were experiencing mutual satisfation through music."

Yep, you're correct! That's all pretty much how I see the role of the Phantom too. Unfortunately, the Phantom in Webber's film version went the "young hunky sex" route, and it was painful to watch! Mad


As for the *idea* of Anthony Crivello taking over the Phantom role after Hugh leaves the Broadway company...I think I'd be very interested to see Anthony's Phantom on Broadway, esp since I missed out on seeing him in PLV.

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Re: The Broadway production + US tour

Post  operafantomet on Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:39 pm

ravnquest1 wrote:The only person I'd want to see from Vegas in New York (or anywhere) would be Brianne Kelly Morgan....and not because she's here, but because she maintained the same wonderful show every time I came back to see it. She never looked tired, apathetic, and never gave up on telling the story.
I'm surprised to hear this. I thought the Vegas production had a high-quality cast throughout, with one or two exceptions. And I consider myself spoiled by stellar casts I've seen in the past. Both Kristi Holden, Andrew Ragone and Brianne Kelly Morgan are waaaaay up there in my list of people who wowed me in Vegas, and people I hope to see in Phantom again (especially on Broadway). I also very much enjoyed Larry Wayne Morbitt. This is based on five performances seen during the final week in Vegas. People might of course have given it all, knowing it was the final week. I can only judge by what I saw.

As for Crivello, the jury is still out... I didn't agree with everything he did, and his voice did show signs of serious fatigue. But I think he was a refreshing change from how the Phantom has typically been played in recent years. He had this air of Leroux-Erik around him, which I've always favoured. And none of the LND-Phantom, which made me even happier. He's not on my top 10 list, as he was too eccentric and raspy throughout, and I don't think him taking over on Broadway would be too good an idea. But I'm glad I can add his role portrayal into my back catalogue of how and what the Phantom is.

Paula, thanks for keeping us updated with whatever you can tell about the casting of the Broadway production (or at least giving us your interpretation of it).

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

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Re: The Broadway production + US tour

Post  justin-from-barbados on Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:53 pm

I wouldn't mind Anthony taking over in NYC, but he would need rest first and time to get back into the climate.

My only pet peve is the 'look' , If he comes, please leave the overdone bacon face, gangrene deformity and 'too far back' wig out in the desert. When ever you see a curtain call shot of him he just looks so creepy and icky.

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Re: The Broadway production + US tour

Post  StrangerThanUDreamt on Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:23 pm

justin-from-barbados wrote:I wouldn't mind Anthony taking over in NYC, but he would need rest first and time to get back into the climate.

My only pet peve is the 'look' , If he comes, please leave the overdone bacon face, gangrene deformity and 'too far back' wig out in the desert. When ever you see a curtain call shot of him he just looks so creepy and icky.

I'm still on the fence about his deformity; in a way it was a little too harsh (color wise) but I will also say that his was the first in a long time, that really shocked me when the mask came off. Perhaps after seeing so many of the other versions I had possibly become somewhat immune to the usual deformity makeup that when Crivello's mask came off it was truly a jolt, and I liked that. However I had also heard that Hal let the Vegas production do a few things differently..such as the deformity, than it's UK and Broadway counterpart

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Re: The Broadway production + US tour

Post  Cape Twirl of Doom on Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:28 pm

Got a spare $5000 laying about? (Though it will most likely go to over $10,000.)

Then you can own the Phantom's mask worn in the 10,000th performance on Broadway.

This item will finish at the Broadway Flea Market live Grand Auction on Sunday.

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Re: The Broadway production + US tour

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