Make or break points

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Make or break points

Post  LadyCDaae on Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:04 am

So yeah, here's another "still on a post-Phantom high and just wanting to post about it" random subject from me. I heard several people talking about their "make or break" points over the weekend, so I'm curious: what are the moments/elements in the show that define whether or not a certain actor is working for you in a certain role?

For starters, I like a Christine who comes out of the gate with an amazing "Think of Me." Not just sung beautifully--though obviously it must be that--I need to see her charm, her love of music, and her sweetness and spirit. This is the woman who ends up inspiring the main thrust of the plot--she's got two very different men willing to go to any length for her sake. I need to believe she's capable of inspiring that passion right off the bat. Also the song can drag a bit if it isn't played right, and I've found an actress who manages to make it interesting is usually good to go for the more dramatic parts of the story.

I have others, obviously, but figured I'd open the floor before yammering on some more.

~LCD

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Re: Make or break points

Post  MajesticPhantom on Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:14 am

Basically, I don't understand the point of the show if the actors do not make the Final Lair about REVELATION and the consequences of facing the truth. If they engage with the show that way, their work from the start leads up to it throughout the show. There will be a sense of rejecting truth to define their realities, and then that falls apart at the end (Christine that this is an Angel allowing her father's spirit to remain influential; The Phantom that he can manipulate love and possess it via justice; and Raoul that the world works in easy ways). Otherwise I'm just watching people react without thematics, and that's not enough for me.

And if the Phantom can't let go of affected emotions in the Final Lair, I'm not convinced. I'm not too pleased with the "fake yelling" during "Go now and leave me" that I sometimes see executed. That's why I was so won over by John Owen-Jones' Phantom- his vocal instrument released the most tormented sounds I have ever heard from a Phantom. (Other notables from my live experiences- Scott Davies, Marcus Lovett, Brad Little, Ron Bohmer).

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Re: Make or break points

Post  NightRachel on Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:34 pm

LadyCDaae wrote:For starters, I like a Christine who comes out of the gate with an amazing "Think of Me." Not just sung beautifully--though obviously it must be that--I need to see her charm, her love of music, and her sweetness and spirit. This is the woman who ends up inspiring the main thrust of the plot--she's got two very different men willing to go to any length for her sake. I need to believe she's capable of inspiring that passion right off the bat. Also the song can drag a bit if it isn't played right, and I've found an actress who manages to make it interesting is usually good to go for the more dramatic parts of the story.

~LCD

Ooo, this is a good one, LCD -- I feel the same way on the above re: Christine & TOM.

For me, I guess it's the basics: how well the actor playing the Phantom acts and sings the role (he should really convince me that he IS Erik), and same for the actress playing Christine (I'm not a Raoul fan, so I won't talk about that role). I pay particular attention to how the Phantom and Christine interact with each other and play off each other -- it's got to be convincingly passionate, powerful and moving. However, if the Phantom gets TOO rough/aggressive with Christine (physically or otherwise) and really looks like he's hurting her (more than he should), that's a "deal-breaker" for me. And if Christine doesn't manage to show ANY kind of love for the Phantom at all, that's also a big turn-off for me.

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Re: Make or break points

Post  Phantom on a Budget on Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:13 pm

I'll talk about Raoul if no one else wants to. As I said in another thread, if the Raoul is not genuine and can't make me believe he's truly in love with Christine, then I think the whole show loses its meaning. Boring/fake/shallow Raouls really drag the perfomance down, because it makes the outcome so much weaker. I like to believe Christine chooses Raoul not *just* because the Phantom is a raging psychopath (sorry, E/C shippers, he's nutso), but because she and Raoul honestly love each other.

I also need a tall, slender Phantom with an incredible voice, or I don't get into that role at all.

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Re: Make or break points

Post  LadyCDaae on Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:49 pm

Yes, exactly! Raoul must above all be unaffected and sincere--it's an important contrast to the Phantom, who's secretive, mysterious, and deceptive. And regardless of what you think of Christine's feelings for Erik (I tend to take the view that there's a mutual attraction going on there, but it goes bad and ends up being unhealthy and destructive for them both) we need to know that she and Raoul are going to be okay together--because otherwise, what's the point of that ending?

Rachel, I used to not get Raoul's appeal either--until I saw Gary Mauer knock the graveyard scene out of the park. His fierce, determined confrontation of the Phantom had me really believing this was a guy who was equal to this fight, and made me realize that Raoul is the only character in the entire show who the Phantom simply cannot control or frighten (and how much does that grind his gears?). Since then, a Raoul who can hold his own in that scene has gone a fair way to earning my respect.

For the Phantom, obviously the voice is essential--it's who he is, after all. Expressive, versatile, and with good clarity of timbre especially on the high end. Belt/pop influences kept to a minimum, if not non-existant--they make the character read too young for me. I'm also very big on hands--I feel a lot of the character's power in the way he holds his hands and uses them to express himself and manipulate his environment. And I really need to feel the AIAOY reprise--taking that song from heartbreakingly anguished to pants-wetting scary is a key turning point.

~LCD


Last edited by LadyCDaae on Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:42 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Make or break points

Post  Phantom on a Budget on Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:17 pm

LadyCDaae wrote:And I really need to feel the AIAOY reprise--taking that song from heartbreakingly anguished to pants-wetting scary is a key turning point.

Which is yet another reason why I never liked Crivello in the role. His AIAOY Reprise was incredibly dull and boring. No anguish, no anger, no emotion whatsoever. Just notes and lines. Lame. Same for his unmasking scene. He was always so obnoxiously nonchalant about Christine ripping mask off, that I wanted to crawl on stage and smack him. I saw Gary Mauer get so unglued one time during the unmasking scene he just about fell off the organ. There's such a rollercoaster of emotion in that one scene alone, and if an actor doesn't try (CRIVELLO), then it also is completely pointless.

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Re: Make or break points

Post  SenorSwanky on Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:33 pm

I don't have certain ways I like the scenes to be performed because I like a variety of Phantoms' interpretations. But the mirror scene and especially the Final Lair are crucial to a Phantom's portrayal.

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Re: Make or break points

Post  NightRachel on Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:36 pm

LadyCDaae wrote:Rachel, I used to not get Raoul's appeal either--until I saw Gary Mauer knock the graveyard scene out of the park.

You know, even though I admit to not being a Raoul fan, there are certain actors (very few) that I have liked in the role, and Gary Mauer was definitely one of them. Yes I agree he was a strong Raoul, and a more "likable" one too.

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Re: Make or break points

Post  operafantomet on Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:11 pm

SenorSwanky wrote:I don't have certain ways I like the scenes to be performed because I like a variety of Phantoms' interpretations. But the mirror scene and especially the Final Lair are crucial to a Phantom's portrayal.
In large I agree with that. When I think I've found how I prefer the scene or moment to be performed, someone comes along and changes it, or add small nuances, and it changes the whole thing, and I like it MORE. And in the end all the different portrayals I've seen kinda mash into one image of how the roles and the show should be.

That said, I fully agree with the importance of Raoul. The dynamic the show has when there's THREE leads, when Raoul is a serious threat to the Phantom, when it's clear Christine loves him (or loves him TOO).... That's probably the make-or-break part in my book. The most low energy shows I've seen has not been when the Phantom or the Christine was lacking, but when Raoul was dull. Raoul is a slightly underwritten role, and I think the original production was God-sent with having Steve Barton originating the role. Thank you for insisting on that, Gillian Lynne.

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Re: Make or break points

Post  StrangerThanUDreamt on Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:51 pm

Phantom on a Budget wrote:I'll talk about Raoul if no one else wants to. As I said in another thread, if the Raoul is not genuine and can't make me believe he's truly in love with Christine, then I think the whole show loses its meaning. Boring/fake/shallow Raouls really drag the perfomance down, because it makes the outcome so much weaker. I like to believe Christine chooses Raoul not *just* because the Phantom is a raging psychopath (sorry, E/C shippers, he's nutso), but because she and Raoul honestly love each other.

I also need a tall, slender Phantom with an incredible voice, or I don't get into that role at all.

Yes. Yes. and YES

When I saw the show Vegas I totally believed the romance between C/R more so than I ever had before (that is in part to Andrews fantastic portrayal) and Crivello playing it up as a true madman; which is how I like it. I agree completely it that it should be just a choice of "well you'll do" it should be that she is honestly realizing that the relationship she has with Raoul is the healthier of the two.

Tall and slender Phantoms ALL the way. I've seen a few shorter ones..and it throws off the mood entirely for me.

I will add that another 'make or break' point for me is seeing a Christine descend into madness when we get deeper into Act 2. I felt Sam Hill did this brilliantly the two times I saw her, I remember her "Twisted Every Way" being the most gut-wrenching I had seen, she did this wonderful play in "oh god if I agree" where she nearly whispered the words to herself as she fell back and began to nearly faint. Loved it.

On that note I also need a Phantom to truly descend into madness, I believe we should pity him yes, and as should Christine; and in a sense we will root for him because he is the underdog, but if a Phantom can sell that he was in love with her VOICE and not her as a person, then I'm sold.

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Re: Make or break points

Post  Loettchen on Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:09 pm

I totally agree with Anea. One of the pleasures I get from seeing the show over and over is seeing the new interpretations and finding myself pleasantly surprised by things I never thought I would enjoy. And I agree with everyone who's said that a charismatic Raoul is necessary for the show's dynamic. I dearly love a good Graveyard scene, although I think I usually already know if I like or dislike a given Raoul by then. The Phantom's make-or-break scene for me is probably the unmasking too. A dull MOTN can drag, but a dull Unmasking is, for me, unforgiveable. That is the first place we see the Phantom really raw and unleashed. He's no longer putting on a "show" for Christine. Done well, it introduces the Phantom's dangerous, sympathetic, pathetic, and psychotic sides all at once, which I think is necessary for a character so often behind the scenes. Plus I usually find that it's a good indicator of the kind of Phantom we're going to see in the second act.

But since a lot of people already said most of that... how about Carlotta! I've come to really love the character of Carlotta, and the scene that did it for me was an especially moving Notes I/Prima Donna, of course. Nowadays I really look forward to seeing how she will be portrayed in that scene. And if I see a really good Carlotta-Piangi dynamic, I'll end up paying far more attention to them throughout the rest of the show. If I find them too cartoonish or unbelievable, I usually lose interest.


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Re: Make or break points

Post  LadyCDaae on Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:08 pm

For me, Carlotta is all about the theatricality. Obviously she needs to have a good set of pipes, but what really sticks with me is her attitude and grandeur and how she carries herself both "onstage" and off. I think it's important Carlotta have a very artifical, stagy style of performing in order to contrast with Christine's more natural presence, but at the same time you need to see why this woman has become such a big star, and remains one even if she's no longer at the top of her game. And of course, good comedic timing is essential.

~LCD

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