25th Anniversary Performance, a few thoughts.

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25th Anniversary Performance, a few thoughts.

Post  StrangerThanUDreamt on Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:02 pm

Hugh Panaro (Phantom) : I had caught the Friday night performance before the big anniversary show just so I could warm up to Hugh, for what I had heard and ‘seen’ previously left me less than impressed with his interpretation. However let it be said, having seen the show (at that point 5 times) he is the first Phantom to actually bring me to such a heavy emotional state at the end. Hugh plays the character as cold and calculating, almost like a vintage Bond villain. Sounds odd, but let me elaborate; he plays a man that is obviously damaged and out of touch with society but still has brilliant streak of quick wit and sarcasm. Vocally his lower register was out of the world, truly like listening to velvet, but his upper register and some diction issues I just wasn’t feeling. The mirror scene (when we first hear and see the Phantom) was rather weak and I still dont like the way he says "Fool" like "Feeewwwlah!", HOWEVER this mans “Music of The Night” has got to be one of the most sexual I have seen yet. As it should be. I remember him wrapping his arms around the portcullis, and leaning against as if presenting his body to Christine, as she approached he slowly rocked his (cover your eyes sensitive souls) crotch/groin forward to the point that it nearly brushed against her. Makes the creepy bride shrine look like child’s play. Love it. I was also very glad to see "Wandering Child" taken down a notch or two..from what I had 'seen' previously he was hopping up and down around the cross like a child, it was just a bit too much. This mans “Final Lair” is not for the traditionalists. Yes he’s torn, and angry but this streak of sarcasm and borderline bratty-ness comes out. I’m still on the fence here on whether I was into it or not. When Raoul approaches and starts singing of his love for Christine and begging the Phantom to let him see her, Hugh sat on his throne and clapped his hands laughing manically while kicking his feet up and down, still undecided if it was just too much or right on target. One last stroke of brilliance here, and this is were our Phantom sent many in tears. When Christine returns his wedding ring many Phantoms call after her with a broken “I love you..” however Hugh did something so subtle but heavy that I was sent to a place of emotion I had not wanted to deal with. He cradled her wedding veil, with a sort of half smile, then came his real tears (love it when this happens) but instead of the “I love you” he whispered into the veil “MY angel..” and began shaking his head back in fourth as if wondering in disbelief how could everything have gone so wrong and become such a mess, he was no longer composed, suave or in control; he was truly a broken man who could no longer continue. And that is what brought the house to a standing ovation before the man could even finish his final note. Vocally I'm still trying to get into his 'sound' for the Phantom, but his characterization has some great moments that really stuck with me.

Sierra Boggess (Christine): Phantom is one of those shows that prides itself on NOT having to stunt cast any roles to keep the show running, it has run for 25 years simply on its own merit. Which is astounding. So the "let Sierra do both London and Broadways 25th anniversary" concept, was a concept I wasn't exactly crazy about. Ive always been a fan of her voice, even through the odd way she pronounces her "ah's"... but alas. Had I not seen Samantha Hill in the role the day prior perhaps I would've been more taken with Sierras performance. Not to say she wasn't anything less than fantastic, but I missed those extra layers Sam added to her 'Christine' that lead it to have more emotional pull. I will say for Sierra she does a fantastic job with the bigger numbers in the show ( Her 'Wishing' is simply sublime) it's the numbers were she is alongside the Phantom, or Raoul where she tends to fade a bit. I did spot some fantastic acting in the 'Final Lair' and again her voice is just wonderful at conveying emotions, but if you saw the RAH performance it was close to the same thing, however she really tweaked some things in her acting (which I loved) and I'm pretty sure Hal knocked any notion of LND out of the character. She's a beautiful, insanely talented actress. I just preferred Sams portrayal over hers.

Kyle Barisich (Raoul): The 25th anniversary performance was easily his best from that week, however it still left something to be desired. I still don't 'get' that he's truly in love with her like a smitten young man would be of that era (hello Andrew Ragone!) but his voice was less 'barking' this night than earlier in the week, so vocally I was really into his Raoul at this point, just still not feeling what he is doing with the character.

More to come!

StrangerThanUDreamt

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Re: 25th Anniversary Performance, a few thoughts.

Post  NightRachel on Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:41 pm

Thanks, Stranger, for sharing your review/thoughts with us. I always love to hear/read these reactions from fellow Phans. Smile

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