Unpopular/Popular Opinions you hold of ALW's "Phantom"

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Unpopular/Popular Opinions you hold of ALW's "Phantom"

Post  StrangerThanUDreamt on Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:38 am

I've seen similar topics done before, but couldn't find one on this forum. I always think it's great to see what differences phans have on the ALW musical version, and sometimes we may keep our own "unpopular" views to ourselves, but why not hash them out? In a healthy and respectable manner of course.

I'll start by listing some of my "Unpopular" views

I never understood the draw to Colm as the Phantom confused Don't get me wrong he has an amazing voice, and his Valjean is classic, but I never felt he had any of the mystery or sensuality to really pull off Erik. Again, just my opinion.

I honestly like the chandelier crash at PoNR, I know many are probably having this affraid reaction, but hear me out. I always felt that the unmasking (and hanging of Piangi which somehow always feels underplayed) isn't nearly enough of a distraction to whisk away the opera houses' leading star. Perhaps it's my love for the structure of Susan Kay's novel 'Phantom' and the Vegas production (which in both the crash happens near the end) that further my opinion...but I also feel strongly that for the iconic piece to open the show with such gusto, it feels rather odd with it meeting it's destruction halfway through. I suppose it would feel.. forgive the cliche...that the story had come full circle with it opening and closing the Phantoms story. I also realize the ending to act 1 would probably feel a little flat without it, but if all major productions had chandeliers like 'Maria' then by all means save it for the end!

I always found MoTN to be on the boring side. To be honest the only Phantom I have seen to make it interesting, at least physically, was Crivello. It's a beautiful tune, and I love the moments of it weaved into the rooftop scene and the final lair, but the song as a whole sometimes feels too manufactured for my taste.


Some of my "Popular" views

I'm defiantly on board the Brightman bandwagon, I know some say her acting is flat, but I always felt that she IS Christine; there is a certain innocence I felt Brightman brought to it, without making the character look too fragile or two-dimensional; And I've yet to hear the title song done with such dream-like and almost ghostly tone that her vocals (and Crawford's) brought to it.

Maria Bjornson is pretty much the major influence behind my love for the show, aside from the score, her designs captivated me at such a young age, that I really believed in the world she created. I still have yet to see a better marriage of music (Webber's score) and design (Bjornson's costumes/sets) done on the broadway stage.







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Re: Unpopular/Popular Opinions you hold of ALW's "Phantom"

Post  zcfthf8 on Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:21 am

Well the ultimate 'unpopular' view has to be that Ramin Karimloo isn't particularly good.

I find him watchable and don't actually mind his voice, but it is the unbearable fan-girls (and boys) who refuse to hear a bad word said against him.

This, IMO, is purely a result of him being young, good looking and by all accounts a very nice chap. His voice is also quite main-stream, so he has a wide appeal.

His acting has improved with time, but to utter his vocals in the same breath as the likes of John Owen-Jones etc is heresy. Even someone like Scotty Davies is far superior vocally, but will never get the same admiration because a) he doesn't want it! and b) he doesn't fit in with young, sexy Phantom that seems to be en-vogue at the moment.

Another unpopular view (perhaps) is that the aforementioned Scott Davies is awesome. Can't get enough of his voice and his almost cat-like movements - very similar to Peter Karrie physically - I have discussed this with him and he admitted taking a lot of inspiration from Karrie before doing the tour. I like having a slightly older Phantom too - just feel it makes the role more believable.

A popular view I go along with is that I'd like to see more u/s getting promoted to principal. Someone like Stephen John Davis surely deserves a crack at it, having performed Phantom over 100 times as well as performing as Valjean and Javert in Les Mis. Nadim Namaan also deserved a go at Raoul IMO. There seems to be a real reluctance at RUG to promote from within, which is disappointing.

Another view, which I don't know is popular or not, but I'd love to see David Shannon play Phantom again, but without the ridiculous over-direction. He has shown as Valjean that vocally and acting-wise he is sublime - let him do his thing and he could be great as Phantom.

Doubt he'd return though - by all accounts he didn't enjoy Phantom at all.

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Re: Unpopular/Popular Opinions you hold of ALW's "Phantom"

Post  London-Phan on Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:11 am

I wouldn't have said that Scott Davies being awesome was an unpopular view, he seems to get a lot of love for his Phantom from the Phans.

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Re: Unpopular/Popular Opinions you hold of ALW's "Phantom"

Post  zcfthf8 on Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:17 am

London-Phan wrote:I wouldn't have said that Scott Davies being awesome was an unpopular view, he seems to get a lot of love for his Phantom from the Phans.

Fair enough - hopefully that is the case.

I feel on quite a few online-forums etc that people view his performance as a bit 'meh' - personally don't feel he gets the recognition he deserves.

Funnily enough he was offered Principal phantom before Marcus was cast but said no as the current arrangement suits him perfectly.

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Re: Unpopular/Popular Opinions you hold of ALW's "Phantom"

Post  London-Phan on Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:45 am

zcfthf8 wrote:
London-Phan wrote:I wouldn't have said that Scott Davies being awesome was an unpopular view, he seems to get a lot of love for his Phantom from the Phans.

Fair enough - hopefully that is the case.

I feel on quite a few online-forums etc that people view his performance as a bit 'meh' - personally don't feel he gets the recognition he deserves.

Funnily enough he was offered Principal phantom before Marcus was cast but said no as the current arrangement suits him perfectly.

Yeah I think he has been offered it a couple of times in recent years but as you said he prefers the standby gig instead. I have seen a lot of people on the web saying he's brilliant. Me personally, I think he's very good but he does a few things that I think look a bit OTT almost silly looking acting wise.

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Re: Unpopular/Popular Opinions you hold of ALW's "Phantom"

Post  zcfthf8 on Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:48 am

London-Phan wrote:
zcfthf8 wrote:
London-Phan wrote:I wouldn't have said that Scott Davies being awesome was an unpopular view, he seems to get a lot of love for his Phantom from the Phans.

Fair enough - hopefully that is the case.

I feel on quite a few online-forums etc that people view his performance as a bit 'meh' - personally don't feel he gets the recognition he deserves.

Funnily enough he was offered Principal phantom before Marcus was cast but said no as the current arrangement suits him perfectly.

Yeah I think he has been offered it a couple of times in recent years but as you said he prefers the standby gig instead. I have seen a lot of people on the web saying he's brilliant. Me personally, I think he's very good but he does a few things that I think look a bit OTT almost silly looking acting wise.

Yes I can empathise with that - his final lair borders on comic instead of frightening.

His sort of explanation for this is that he really wants to display the change from pre-post masking. Before he is totally measured and controlled, afterwards he loses control.

But I take your point completely. I think it's his voice that does it - I could listen to him all day - such a rich tone.

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Re: Unpopular/Popular Opinions you hold of ALW's "Phantom"

Post  zcfthf8 on Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:53 am

On Scott, there have been a number of actors cast in London who are not as vocally powerful as you'd expect.

In this I'd include:

Ramin - although he has strong points too of course
Earl - his acting is superb - one of the best - but he seemed to struggle when he moved out of his mid-range
Peter Joback - lovely voice but this was a push for him. Saying that, I enjoyed his portrayal.
Marcus Lovett - only very early evidence, but seems to struggle vocally already

This isn't to say I dislike the respective performances, but what is arguably the biggest male role on the West End, you would expect the creme-de-la-creme vocally. I know their ability to act the role is essential but surely a top class voice is a pre-requisite too?

Valjean is the other big west end role for men and is probably more vocally demanding - this role imo is cast differently from Phantom, with the voice coming first perhaps?

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Re: Unpopular/Popular Opinions you hold of ALW's "Phantom"

Post  NightRachel on Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:29 pm

StrangerThanUDreamt wrote:I never understood the draw to Colm as the Phantom confused Don't get me wrong he has an amazing voice, and his Valjean is classic, but I never felt he had any of the mystery or sensuality to really pull off Erik. Again, just my opinion.

I honestly like the chandelier crash at PoNR, I know many are probably having this affraid reaction, but hear me out. I always felt that the unmasking (and hanging of Piangi which somehow always feels underplayed) isn't nearly enough of a distraction to whisk away the opera houses' leading star. Perhaps it's my love for the structure of Susan Kay's novel 'Phantom' and the Vegas production (which in both the crash happens near the end) that further my opinion...but I also feel strongly that for the iconic piece to open the show with such gusto, it feels rather odd with it meeting it's destruction halfway through. I suppose it would feel.. forgive the cliche...that the story had come full circle with it opening and closing the Phantoms story. I also realize the ending to act 1 would probably feel a little flat without it, but if all major productions had chandeliers like 'Maria' then by all means save it for the end!

I always found MoTN to be on the boring side. To be honest the only Phantom I have seen to make it interesting, at least physically, was Crivello. It's a beautiful tune, and I love the moments of it weaved into the rooftop scene and the final lair, but the song as a whole sometimes feels too manufactured for my taste.

Some of my "Popular" views

I'm defiantly on board the Brightman bandwagon, I know some say her acting is flat, but I always felt that she IS Christine; there is a certain innocence I felt Brightman brought to it, without making the character look too fragile or two-dimensional; And I've yet to hear the title song done with such dream-like and almost ghostly tone that her vocals (and Crawford's) brought to it.

Maria Bjornson is pretty much the major influence behind my love for the show, aside from the score, her designs captivated me at such a young age, that I really believed in the world she created. I still have yet to see a better marriage of music (Webber's score) and design (Bjornson's costumes/sets) done on the broadway stage.

My sentiments exactly re: Colm's Phantom. I much prefer his Valjean.

I can accept the chandelier crash at either the end of Act 1 OR after PONR and 2nd unmasking. Either way works for me. Smile

MOTN boring?! Well, everyone's entitled to their own opinion of course (hence this thread) but I never found that song to be boring. It's just too beautiful and powerful to me. I love you

I am not one of those on board the Sarah Brightman bandwagon. Her voice was nice enough for Christine, but I'm not a fan of her acting.

Yes, I hear you re: Maria Bjornson. Much of the success of POTO is b/c of her, I agree.

Now I admit I am a fan of Ramin's Phantom (his performance in the 25th Anniversary RAH did it for me), so maybe my view on him is "unpopular" on this forum here. However, I am not one of those "unbearable fan-girls", so please don't lump me in with them. Wink

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Re: Unpopular/Popular Opinions you hold of ALW's "Phantom"

Post  zcfthf8 on Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:34 pm

NightRachel wrote:
StrangerThanUDreamt wrote:I never understood the draw to Colm as the Phantom confused Don't get me wrong he has an amazing voice, and his Valjean is classic, but I never felt he had any of the mystery or sensuality to really pull off Erik. Again, just my opinion.

I honestly like the chandelier crash at PoNR, I know many are probably having this affraid reaction, but hear me out. I always felt that the unmasking (and hanging of Piangi which somehow always feels underplayed) isn't nearly enough of a distraction to whisk away the opera houses' leading star. Perhaps it's my love for the structure of Susan Kay's novel 'Phantom' and the Vegas production (which in both the crash happens near the end) that further my opinion...but I also feel strongly that for the iconic piece to open the show with such gusto, it feels rather odd with it meeting it's destruction halfway through. I suppose it would feel.. forgive the cliche...that the story had come full circle with it opening and closing the Phantoms story. I also realize the ending to act 1 would probably feel a little flat without it, but if all major productions had chandeliers like 'Maria' then by all means save it for the end!

I always found MoTN to be on the boring side. To be honest the only Phantom I have seen to make it interesting, at least physically, was Crivello. It's a beautiful tune, and I love the moments of it weaved into the rooftop scene and the final lair, but the song as a whole sometimes feels too manufactured for my taste.

Some of my "Popular" views

I'm defiantly on board the Brightman bandwagon, I know some say her acting is flat, but I always felt that she IS Christine; there is a certain innocence I felt Brightman brought to it, without making the character look too fragile or two-dimensional; And I've yet to hear the title song done with such dream-like and almost ghostly tone that her vocals (and Crawford's) brought to it.

Maria Bjornson is pretty much the major influence behind my love for the show, aside from the score, her designs captivated me at such a young age, that I really believed in the world she created. I still have yet to see a better marriage of music (Webber's score) and design (Bjornson's costumes/sets) done on the broadway stage.

My sentiments exactly re: Colm's Phantom. I much prefer his Valjean.

I can accept the chandelier crash at either the end of Act 1 OR after PONR and 2nd unmasking. Either way works for me. Smile

MOTN boring?! Well, everyone's entitled to their own opinion of course (hence this thread) but I never found that song to be boring. It's just too beautiful and powerful to me. I love you

I am not one of those on board the Sarah Brightman bandwagon. Her voice was nice enough for Christine, but I'm not a fan of her acting.

Yes, I hear you re: Maria Bjornson. Much of the success of POTO is b/c of her, I agree.

Now I admit I am a fan of Ramin's Phantom (his performance in the 25th Anniversary RAH did it for me), so maybe my view on him is "unpopular" on this forum here. However, I am not one of those "unbearable fan-girls", so please don't lump me in with them. Wink

Sorry Rachel - I was probably being a bit harsh with that fan-girl description.

Obviously everyone has their favourites and it is all about opinions - which is great - but I find it frustrating that for some, Ramin has become this untouchable figure who can't be criticised. I like him, but IMO there are better phantoms.

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Re: Unpopular/Popular Opinions you hold of ALW's "Phantom"

Post  NightRachel on Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:55 pm

That's okay, zcfthf8 -- I get it. Smile

And Ramin's Phantom is not my all-time fave, just one of my faves. My other faves are Michael Crawford and James Romick. Smile

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Re: Unpopular/Popular Opinions you hold of ALW's "Phantom"

Post  zcfthf8 on Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:24 pm

I suppose this is quite unpopular, but I don't really like Michael Crawford's Phantom Shocked

I have massive respect for him and how he created the role - he is the blue print for many future Phantoms.

Before I saw the show I was mesmerized by him, having only the OLC to listen to.

However, he just isn't the type of Phantom I go for - I wouldn't ever argue with those who love him, as they are the vast majority.

It's purely a vocal preference - I like deeper/ more operatic vocals such JOJ, Matt Cammelle, Scott Davies.

Having never seen Michael in the show, I can't comment on his acting, other than the gushing adulation he received from it, which I am sure to be true.

So it's purely a preference to a different style of vocal to that of Michael.

Saying that, I much prefer a traditional phantom in the guise of those mentioned to the new, rocky Phantom and this is very much in the Crawford style, so as mentioned, it's his voice I'm not keen on.

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Re: Unpopular/Popular Opinions you hold of ALW's "Phantom"

Post  SenorSwanky on Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:58 pm

zcfthf8 wrote:It's purely a vocal preference - I like deeper/ more operatic vocals such JOJ, Matt Cammelle, Scott Davies.
Deeper? They're all tenors, as MC is. In fact, I prefer MC's lower register to JOJ's.

MC definitely can't be appreciated if all you have to go on is the OLC. Same for Colm with the OCC. Their vocals were better live, not to mention their acting. And I don't even mean "live" as in "in person"; I never saw them personally. But I have seen them perform the role....

I can't think of anything else off the top of my head, but probably my most unpopular view is that I prefer the PONR scene in the movie to the stage show version, in some ways. I don't like the Phantom's costume in the film PONR, but I like the way it was staged and filmed, including the cuts to the dancers and Raoul's reaction.

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Re: Unpopular/Popular Opinions you hold of ALW's "Phantom"

Post  zcfthf8 on Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:03 pm

SenorSwanky wrote:
zcfthf8 wrote:It's purely a vocal preference - I like deeper/ more operatic vocals such JOJ, Matt Cammelle, Scott Davies.
Deeper? They're all tenors, as MC is. In fact, I prefer MC's lower register to JOJ's.

MC definitely can't be appreciated if all you have to go on is the OLC. Same for Colm with the OCC. Their vocals were better live, not to mention their acting. And I don't even mean "live" as in "in person"; I never saw them personally. But I have seen them perform the role....

I can't think of anything else off the top of my head, but probably my most unpopular view is that I prefer the PONR scene in the movie to the stage show version, in some ways. I don't like the Phantom's costume in the film PONR, but I like the way it was staged and filmed, including the cuts to the dancers and Raoul's reaction.

I am not any expert in singing etc, but was aware that they're all tenors. However, just because they are all tenors doesn't mean they are all totally comparable, but I take your point.

I have seen Colm live in a concert and he was unreal - most amazing voice.

I also enjoy the PONR scene in the film, but I did miss the hooded costume for Phantom.

Out of interest Swanky, who are your favourite Phantoms?

As you can guess mine are the ones already mentioned like JOJ, Scott Davies, Matt Cammelle and I also think Stephen John Davis is great.

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Re: Unpopular/Popular Opinions you hold of ALW's "Phantom"

Post  SenorSwanky on Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:07 pm

I have seen MC in concert twice; sadly never Colm. In fact, MC was the first real concert I went to, at age 7 at Radio City Music Hall. Went to the stage door to meet him, but the cops had barricades set up, and he just walked out right to his car without signign autographs or taking pictures.

My favorite Phantoms are listed in the Favorite Phantoms thread.

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Re: Unpopular/Popular Opinions you hold of ALW's "Phantom"

Post  StrangerThanUDreamt on Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:34 pm

I haven't seen Colm or MC "live" per say...but I have seen them, if that makes sense. One thing I will say for MC is I have yet to see another Phantom pull off the Final Lair with such soul and despair to where I have seen people who weren't even there in person 'watching' it, get emotional. I don't use this word heavily but MC's acting in the role is sheer brilliance. Which that said, vocally is he my favorite? NO. Colm I put with Ramin, both have pretty voices, but as the Phantom is just feels like "insert musical theater stars name" wearing the mask.

I tend to like a bolder-toned Phantom, MC is classic, but I feel without the added reverb his voice wouldn't be near as 'big'. Which I know it's odd, because many people compared the two, but I actually liked Peter Jobacks Phantom. I'm always partial to the taller/leaner Phantoms just because I think it's much more accurate to the source material. Taller/leaner doesn't necessarily mean they have to be strikingly handsome ( as I too am not a fan of the younger-hunkier Phantoms) but it's more about the physicality of the character.

I liked Ramin in the 25th, but I do feel he's a bit too young to convincingly pull off the role. As Raoul? Absolutely! But, I felt more like it was Ramin Karimloo wearing the mask, rather than being completely invested in the character, which I don't think is entirely his fault.


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Re: Unpopular/Popular Opinions you hold of ALW's "Phantom"

Post  SenorSwanky on Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:37 pm

I liked some of the early snippets of Ramin when he was alternate, and I kind of like some of his acting choices in the FL. I was actually kind of riveted by that part of the 25th concert. But I've never thought his voice anything special.

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Re: Unpopular/Popular Opinions you hold of ALW's "Phantom"

Post  StrangerThanUDreamt on Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:39 pm

SenorSwanky wrote:I liked some of the early snippets of Ramin when he was alternate, and I kind of like some of his acting choices in the FL. I was actually kind of riveted by that part of the 25th concert. But I've never thought his voice anything special.

I will give credit were credit is due, his FL blew me away when I was watching the live broadcast. Complete chills. I even really liked is AIAoY reprise.

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Re: Unpopular/Popular Opinions you hold of ALW's "Phantom"

Post  Scorp on Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:30 am

zcfthf8 wrote:Well the ultimate 'unpopular' view has to be that Ramin Karimloo isn't particularly good.

I find him watchable and don't actually mind his voice, but it is the unbearable fan-girls (and boys) who refuse to hear a bad word said against him.

This, IMO, is purely a result of him being young, good looking and by all accounts a very nice chap. His voice is also quite main-stream, so he has a wide appeal.

His acting has improved with time, but to utter his vocals in the same breath as the likes of John Owen-Jones etc is heresy.

Couldn't agree more. A vastly overrated performer.

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Re: Unpopular/Popular Opinions you hold of ALW's "Phantom"

Post  LadyCDaae on Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:00 am

Well, I'm another person who can't really see what all the fuss is about with Ramin. He had his moments in the RAH concert (pretty good PonR, excellent evil laugh), but he never fully becomes the character for me--he just doesn't have that aura of intrigue and menace, and his voice is way too belty for my taste.

Also, while Sierra Boggess is certainly a fine music theater actress and makes for a charming Christine, I really don't think she's worth all the hype RUG and her fandom heap upon her.

~LCD

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Re: Unpopular/Popular Opinions you hold of ALW's "Phantom"

Post  tromp-la-mort on Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:08 am

From what I see in the phandom, i was going to list my liking for Ramin's Phantom as an unpopular opinion Wink)

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Re: Unpopular/Popular Opinions you hold of ALW's "Phantom"

Post  Becky on Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:35 am

This isn't my opinion, but my husband has, what I would call, and extremely unpopular opinion: He doesn't like the song "Point of no Return." He claims it sounds like three clashing songs mushed together. I call him a blasphemer. Laughing

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Re: Unpopular/Popular Opinions you hold of ALW's "Phantom"

Post  ML6 on Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:28 am

A scene or a 'choreographed' bit that I don't like is when Firmin, Andre, and Raoul do that 'march off' before Don Juan Triumphant. It's like the Phantom 'possessed' them to walk like that and walk off the stage. I laugh every time.

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Re: Unpopular/Popular Opinions you hold of ALW's "Phantom"

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