Phantom of The Opera, Broadway: Mills/Hill/Barisich; Wednesday Jan. 23 2013 (Mat) UPDATED

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Phantom of The Opera, Broadway: Mills/Hill/Barisich; Wednesday Jan. 23 2013 (Mat) UPDATED

Post  StrangerThanUDreamt on Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:28 am

Well first off I wouldn’t have seen this cast if a certain someone didn’t push me cough:Andrew:cough to do so. Long story short, I had JUST landed in NYC to spend the bulk of the week celebrating Phantoms 25th Anniversary, no sooner checked into my hotel, the every so classy Belvedere, than a few phans had greeted me and invited me to lunch. Well we happen to “stroll” past the Majestic, and of course I simply had to buy a ticket for the matinee starting in a whopping 30 minutes! And am I glad I did!


As my other reviews, I'm going to do this more performer based than an all out review.

Samantha (Sam) Hill (Christine); WOW. Her portrayal made me believe in the character of Christine Daae again, a role that often times can become stale and caught up in a very ‘going through the motions’ feel. There was nothing stale about Hill’s performance, she was feisty, sexual, innocent and fresh. A lot of little variances I had not heard/seen done before with the role of the leading soprano. This is a Christine that has some bite to her, BUT not in such a way that it’s out of character. From the moment her ToM began, I had this instant feeling of rightness about her. Her expressions during AoM and the Mirror scene where wonderful, many Christine’s go for this intimidated/scared/deer in headlights look….Hill had this sense of wonderment about her, mixed with a certain pride for her ‘Angel’, loved it. Her title song was solid as ever, but it was actually what she did in MoTN that caught my attention. There is an interview with the wonderful Gillian Lynne about a certain aspect of the blocking in that number, in short when the Phantom pus his back against the portcullis with his arms entwined in the bars, Christine brushes past him but runs away quickly; why? Well it’s about to get PG13 in here. Per Gillian’s words “she brushes past and feel his erection, something she hadn’t felt in her life, it frightens her, and she runs away”. I love how Sam approached him with confidences as he (Mills) was against the portcullis, she had both hands on his shoulders as if she would kiss him, however her left hand goes down, to his inner thigh, and any confidence she had is gone, she is “lost” but still in awe. Brilliant. I will say for some her true shining moments happen in Act II though specifically from notes II and onward she is a true powerhouse. I must comment on her PoNR as it was by far the most sexual I have seen to date. A lot of dress swishing, some leg showing, and the amount of time the apple spent in her cleavage must be a record holder. I love how she starts the number confident and in her element, but as the song goes on she begins to retract more and more as if she senses something is off. Again, brilliant but subtle choices which I loved. I saw her twice (both matinees she was on) and will say that she defiantly left a bigger impression on me than Sierra did. Both are very talented women in their own ways, but there was just something so fresh yet ..dark? perhaps, about Sam's portrayal that brought the character to a whole new light for me; I'm beyond happy that she is being bumped to principal Christine in a few months, the girl deserves it.

Greg Mills (Phantom) Another highlight of seeing Sam was seeing her amazing chemistry with Greg. Greg has such an honest take on the character that its hard not to liked him, his voice has a fantastic vibrato which I love to hear ringing through the theatre in the Mirror scene, and his hands were defiantly something that caught my attention. The man knows how to use his hands, haha. A lot of...rubbing and caressing of himself took place in MoTN and PoNR. While I felt Hughs characterization was a bit more "layered" Gregs AIAoY reprise is what truly sold me on him, loved his ferocious yell as the angel began ascending before the crash, I really need to see a man who's been broken in that scene or it just doesn't work for me, luckily Greg delivered here. He is also a very tall Phantom which works well with Sam being such a petite Christine. I prefer my Phantoms to be tall and very lean, Leroux/Kay if you will. I was lucky enough to catch him after the show (and Sam as well) and hes truly such a wonderful sociable guy; I really think after he gets a chance to really dig in and grow in the role, he will be an iconic Phantom for the years to come.

Kyle Barisich (Raoul) I'm going to keep it to the point but brief here. Just wasn't feeling it. Unfortunately this trio had a bit of a weak link, and not vocally, but character wise. Kyle's Raoul felt too..forced and campy for my taste, like he was in a parody of Phantom rather than the actual show itself. I'm still scratching my head in wondering how such a nice sweet guy can give such a dull and loveless portrayal. I respect him as a performer, but his Raoul was just all wrong for me.

More to come!

StrangerThanUDreamt

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Re: Phantom of The Opera, Broadway: Mills/Hill/Barisich; Wednesday Jan. 23 2013 (Mat) UPDATED

Post  LadyCDaae on Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:02 pm

Critical as I've been of Kyle, I think there's a good Raoul hidden somewhere in there--he just needs to relax more physically and vocally. I like that he kind of has this tousled, boyish appearance to him (as opposed to the neat and, well, aristocratic look you normally see in the part); I think if he went the John Cudia route and played the character in a more enthusiastic, impulsive manner it would be very effective.

~LCD

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Re: Phantom of The Opera, Broadway: Mills/Hill/Barisich; Wednesday Jan. 23 2013 (Mat) UPDATED

Post  StrangerThanUDreamt on Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:09 am

I defiantly saw flashes of a good Raoul in his performance, but I agree he just really needs to let his Raoul chill a bit and the "take it or leave it" attitude he gives in AIAoY is just all wrong for me. I'll give him a second shot when I go back to see Joback in the show, and see how he is then; but I'm not holding my breath.

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Re: Phantom of The Opera, Broadway: Mills/Hill/Barisich; Wednesday Jan. 23 2013 (Mat) UPDATED

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