The London production 1

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Re: The London production 1

Post  operafantomet on Fri Oct 23, 2009 7:40 pm

Wow, that's impressive! Cool picture, Scorp, thanks for sharing.

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Re: The London production 1

Post  Scorp on Fri Oct 23, 2009 8:14 pm

Presume that he's wearing Ramin's mask given that it doesn't quite fit? I assume that they only make masks for the main and standby Phantoms and not the understudies...otherwise surely they'd have to make loads?

Cool to know he did a great job as Firmin despite the lack of rehearsal! Would be curious to see him live!

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Re: The London production 1

Post  operafantomet on Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:34 pm

Scorp wrote:Presume that he's wearing Ramin's mask given that it doesn't quite fit? I assume that they only make masks for the main and standby Phantoms and not the understudies...otherwise surely they'd have to make loads?
I think I've read previously that understudies wears a generic mask - or was that in the US? I agree that the mask looks a bit off, it looks too long for his face. When I saw the picture the first time, I assumed it had slid down a bit, but judging from the hairline, I think it sits where it should. But the nose and upper lip is placed too long down, isn't it?

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Re: The London production 1

Post  Helen on Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:00 pm

Scorp wrote:Presume that he's wearing Ramin's mask given that it doesn't quite fit? I assume that they only make masks for the main and standby Phantoms and not the understudies...otherwise surely they'd have to make loads?

I always assumed that every Phantom had his own mask made to suit his individual face shape. Maybe Stephen John Davis' mask hasn't been completed yet and he's had to use someone else's? I hope I get to see him as Phantom at some point, and I'm also looking forward to seeing what David Shannon does with the role.

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Re: The London production 1

Post  SenorSwanky on Sat Oct 24, 2009 1:37 am

He looks pretty good in the role. I think the mask might just be on cock-eyed, as often is the case after the show when the Phantom rushes to put it back on for curtain call. The nose looks a bit bigger than on Ramin's mask.

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Re: The London production 1

Post  The White Half-Mask on Sat Oct 24, 2009 6:22 am

Helen wrote:
Scorp wrote:Presume that he's wearing Ramin's mask given that it doesn't quite fit? I assume that they only make masks for the main and standby Phantoms and not the understudies...otherwise surely they'd have to make loads?

I always assumed that every Phantom had his own mask made to suit his individual face shape. Maybe Stephen John Davis' mask hasn't been completed yet and he's had to use someone else's? I hope I get to see him as Phantom at some point, and I'm also looking forward to seeing what David Shannon does with the role.

In a recent backstage tour video from Broadway.com, John Cudia (the current Broadway Phantom) says that the masks are made in about 5-6 different molds/sizes, & then an actor tries them on to find which model suits his face best. However, it's been standard procedure for a long time that each actor has a face-cast made & then their custom-fitted Phantom mask is made from that. Perhaps due to the large number of understudies, standbys, etc. it's much easier to use the "standard sizes" method. Or maybe the recession has even the Opera Ghost cutting costs? Anyways, maybe the mask that Davis picked out/was given sits funny on his face or was put on crooked, etc.


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Re: The London production 1

Post  SenorSwanky on Sat Oct 24, 2009 6:45 am

Regardless of the economy, I've been told it's been the case in the US productions for a number of years now that life-casts are no longer made of actors' faces; they just use the "one-size-fits-all" masks, which sucks, I think. I'm not sure what they do in London or other productions, but it seems there is a greater variance in face shapes and contours of the masks there, fitting better to the actual features of the actor. Earlier in the US and Toronto and Hamburg and probably everywhere, each actor had a unique mask that conformed to the aesthetic design of that production's masks but also to the actor's own face. I love seeing pictures of Phantoms past, particularly in Toronto, and you can see how the mask looks like the actor's face at the same time as it looks like the masks worn by other Phantoms in that production.

Example:

Paul Stanley:

Peter Karrie:

Look at how the noses are sculpted to fit the actual noses of the actors and how the eyebrow that joins the good side of the face meets up exactly with the actor's eyebrow (well, the painted-on eyebrow which looks so much better than the clownish ones painted on US Phantoms in recent years) and how the mask just seems to fit to the actor's face like a glove, yet the unique aesthetic and contour features of the "Toronto mask" are there.

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Re: The London production 1

Post  operafantomet on Sat Oct 24, 2009 8:01 am

I agree about custom-made masks, and especially those worn in Toronto/Canada and Hamburg.

I'm pretty sure the West End masks are still custom-made to each actor - the mask Earl Carpenter wore was very different from the one John Owen Jones wore - and the one Ramin Karimloo has differs from Earl Carpenter's. These masks also follow the facial features of the actor.

I know most international productions has custom-made masks, but these productions "only" play for a year or three and often the main Phantom(s) stays on the whole run. The masks the three Copenhagen Phantom wore was very different from eachother, with different cut-out eyes, differently shaped eyebrows and varying hairlines. Very nice to see how the mask echoed the facial features.

Maybe this is why I find the US masks so "angry looking", because they lack the communication with the actors own facial features? They seem colder, somehow. Haven't reflected about that before, but it's plausible.

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Re: The London production 1

Post  Scorp on Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:26 am

Is that really true about the US?! That's disappointing. The West End masks are definitely still custom-made. If London and Copenhagen can manage it still in 2009, I don't see why the US can't. Surely the fact that the show is now a bona fide success would mean it would make more sense to spend more money on it now that it's there as opposed to when the show first opened in the 80s...

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Re: The London production 1

Post  Mandrake on Sat Oct 24, 2009 2:51 pm

I was surprised to hear they aren't always custom made, especially in static productions. Despite being such an iconic piece of costume, I can't imagine they are so terribly expensive to make... It's obvious from the photos above that it makes a real difference.

I think if I were playing the role, I'd even go to the expense of having one custom made myself. Not least, it would be a nice keepsake, your own unique mask. How much could it really cost? Couple of hundred quid at most? I'd imagine you could put a sign up in a university or college and have a student who knew what she was doing knock one out quite easily!

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Re: The London production 1

Post  Becky on Sat Oct 24, 2009 3:49 pm

It would seem especially reasonable to have custom made masks for the Broadway production, considering the principle Phantoms have been, until recently, in the role for years. I can sort of understand understudies having a generic mask, but not the principles.

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Re: The London production 1

Post  Paula74 on Sat Oct 24, 2009 3:58 pm

From what I recall, the masks ARE fairly expense. Hugh mentioned the cost, but that was four years ago and the exact figure slipped my head. I'd gone backstage to see him after a matinee with two young women from Brooklyn I'd met in the lobby before the show and, Hugh, who was guilt-tripping a little about having to rush off before the show, offered to show me his mask. I remember he said he hoped he didn't break it before his final show because it was expensive and he didn't want to get stuck wearing an understudy mask.

And, well, I'd imagine there's be a copyright issue if a performer wanted to make a duplicate of their mask as a keepsake. RUG probably wouldn't allow it.

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Re: The London production 1

Post  SenorSwanky on Sat Oct 24, 2009 4:29 pm

Scorp wrote:If London and Copenhagen can manage it still in 2009, I don't see why the US can't.
It's not that they can't, since they used to, but I guess it has something to do with the time and cost of producing unique masks. Probably the same reason they reuse costumes for multiple performers.

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Re: The London production 1

Post  Scorp on Sun Oct 25, 2009 11:04 am

SenorSwanky wrote:
Scorp wrote:If London and Copenhagen can manage it still in 2009, I don't see why the US can't.
It's not that they can't, since they used to, but I guess it has something to do with the time and cost of producing unique masks. Probably the same reason they reuse costumes for multiple performers.

Hmm but a lot of US Phantoms have been with the show for years plus Phantom has made more money than any other show! Don't get it.

And apparently Stephen John Davis' mask IS specially sculpted for him and is based on the plastercast of his head. So I guess that at Her Majesty's each potential Phantom has his own? Stephen was on yesterday evening as The Phantom (did Ramin do the matinée then?). Did anyone go see him? I was tempted to go but then felt guilty about the cost. I think I'm going to wait until David Shannon comes in before I go see it again.

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Re: The London production 1

Post  SenorSwanky on Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:58 pm

Scorp wrote:Hmm but a lot of US Phantoms have been with the show for years plus Phantom has made more money than any other show! Don't get it.
I don't either. It's possible that some Phantoms may have kept their custom masks if they were in the show when they still plaster-cast faces. As Paula said, Hugh Panaro treasured his so he wouldn't have to switch to the then new, one-size-fits-all ones. I seem to remember hearing that David Gaschen, longtime understudy on tour and Broadway (as well as several other international productions), may have kept his custom mask.

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Re: The London production 1

Post  Miss von Krolock on Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:53 pm

Stephen John Davis will be going on as Phantom again tonight. Ramin seems to be struggling with his neck injury again...

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Re: The London production 1

Post  Scorp on Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:56 pm

Miss von Krolock wrote:Stephen John Davis will be going on as Phantom again tonight. Ramin seems to be struggling with his neck injury again...

I'm soooo tempted to go! But I am staying restrained. Plus if I go tonight I'll get Tabitha Webb and though I've not seen her in the role yet, I'd rather see Gina Beck again. If he's on later in the week and I'm free and Gina's on...then that might be another question. Though apparently loads of people are out at the moment due to illness/injury, so maybe it's worth waiting until people get better so I don't pay £££ to see an empty staircase in 'Masquerade'...

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Re: The London production 1

Post  Miss von Krolock on Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:02 pm

Out of the 3 new London Phantoms, Stephen is actually the one I'd most really like to see. I remember seeing him as the Bishop in Les Mis and think his voice is great! Maybe someday...

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Re: The London production 1

Post  Scorp on Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:07 pm

Miss von Krolock wrote:Out of the 3 new London Phantoms, Stephen is actually the one I'd most really like to see. I remember seeing him as the Bishop in Les Mis and think his voice is great! Maybe someday...

I'm so relieved you just said that because if you'd said "I'm going tonight Scorp, you should join me", I'd have lost what little willpower I have and completely given in and got a ticket from TKTS or something. Laughing

Must...resist...

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Re: The London production 1

Post  Miss von Krolock on Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:16 pm

Scorp wrote:
Miss von Krolock wrote:Out of the 3 new London Phantoms, Stephen is actually the one I'd most really like to see. I remember seeing him as the Bishop in Les Mis and think his voice is great! Maybe someday...

I'm so relieved you just said that because if you'd said "I'm going tonight Scorp, you should join me", I'd have lost what little willpower I have and completely given in and got a ticket from TKTS or something. Laughing

Must...resist...

Haha!! I would have loved to have said I'm going, but you know... living about 2000 kms away from London doesn't help Sad
But it would be cool if you went and posted a review - sorry if I'm tempting you Laughing Twisted Evil

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Re: The London production 1

Post  Scorp on Tue Oct 27, 2009 1:53 am

Is it bad that I've just heard Nigel Richards' Phantom and now am not as interested in seeing him as I once was? Maybe it makes sense live? Maybe not?

But then I can't ignore the good stuff I've heard about him....but then some of it has come from Nigel's friends...

So much for a return to the traditional 'maestro' Phantom...Neutral I hope David Shannon's good, otherwise this is going to be one unsatisfied fan this year.

Hoping that Stephen J Davis is a good alternative!

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Re: The London production 1

Post  Scorp on Tue Oct 27, 2009 2:25 pm

Miss von Krolock wrote:
Scorp wrote:
Miss von Krolock wrote:Out of the 3 new London Phantoms, Stephen is actually the one I'd most really like to see. I remember seeing him as the Bishop in Les Mis and think his voice is great! Maybe someday...

I'm so relieved you just said that because if you'd said "I'm going tonight Scorp, you should join me", I'd have lost what little willpower I have and completely given in and got a ticket from TKTS or something. Laughing

Must...resist...

Haha!! I would have loved to have said I'm going, but you know... living about 2000 kms away from London doesn't help Sad
But it would be cool if you went and posted a review - sorry if I'm tempting you Laughing Twisted Evil

Well so much for resisting temptation, I did warn you I have very little willpower. Just got a ticket for the front of the stalls (what happened to my idea of seeing it on the cheap? Mind you, I did at least get it from the TKTS booth...) to see Stephen perform tonight. Hoping Gina is on too (she should be, right? Haven't they reverted back to Monday and Thursday being the alternate days?). Expecting a relatively empty staircase in 'Masquerade' though as apparently loads of the company are off ill.

Hoping Stephen will be good now that (unfortunately) I seem to have lost the urge to see Nigel in the role. Hope I get the same refreshed feeling about it all as I did when I went to see the Copenhagen production. Very Happy

Oh, and a small aside for Londoners: you know those Tube 'posters' that aren't really posters but are actually videos? There's a Phantom one now! Looks pretty cool. I just saw one at Leicester Square tube when I went to get my ticket from TKTS.

Anyone fancy joining me tonight? A fan I know is by chance going today too, so at least I can have a mini-geek-out in the interval or something. Please come, you know you want to! Wink

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Re: The London production 1

Post  Miss von Krolock on Tue Oct 27, 2009 2:31 pm

Ohhhh I somehow knew you'd end up going to see Stephen Exclamation
Have fun tonight, Scorp! Can't wait for the review.

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Re: The London production 1

Post  MlleMusique on Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:15 pm

*tiptoes into thread*

Er, hi guys. So I have a question for any Londoners here: next year in June I'm going to the UK for a holiday (YAY!) and I am SO seeing Phantom when we get to London. My mother wants to know if there is anywhere to buy cheaper tickets for Phantom, and for any other shows on in the West End. She wants to know if its possible to get good seats and pay less... Neutral I don't mind paying full price if its Phantom (duh) but for her sake, anyone know of anywhere?

Should I pop along to TKTS, line up at the returns line at Her Majesty's or go elsewhere?

Thank you!

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Re: The London production 1

Post  Helen on Tue Oct 27, 2009 11:59 pm

MlleMusique wrote:*tiptoes into thread*

Er, hi guys. So I have a question for any Londoners here: next year in June I'm going to the UK for a holiday (YAY!) and I am SO seeing Phantom when we get to London. My mother wants to know if there is anywhere to buy cheaper tickets for Phantom, and for any other shows on in the West End. She wants to know if its possible to get good seats and pay less... Neutral I don't mind paying full price if its Phantom (duh) but for her sake, anyone know of anywhere?

Should I pop along to TKTS, line up at the returns line at Her Majesty's or go elsewhere?

Thank you!

If you're booking in advance go onto www.theatremonkey.com and click on "latest special offers." You might find something there, but a lot of offers don't become available until nearer the time. Aslo, try doing an internet search and see what you come up with. If you want to get your tickets on the day, I'd go to the TKTS booth first to see if Phantom tickets are available that day. If they're not, go to the theatre box office and see if they've got anything. Good luck!!

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Re: The London production 1

Post  starryeyed on Wed Oct 28, 2009 9:16 am

I'd check nearer the time as I think the current offer ends in February but Encore tickets do top price tickets for £35 for Tuesday matinees. Apart from that I'd check the TKTs booth if you left it until on the day, if you are going in June it may be a bit busier but not as hectic as I've seen it in July/August when trying to book tickets for other shows.

And for shows apart from Phantom it's always worth checking lovetheatre.com (i think that's what it is called...) they have advanced offers, but not entirely sure how far in advance.

ETA: Just checked lovetheatre... they don't have that many offers just now but definitely had a lot over of the summer which is when you are looking to go. They have a good allocation as well (but always worth giving theatremonkey a look to check where seats are.)


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Re: The London production 1

Post  MCfan on Wed Oct 28, 2009 9:43 am

Or you could always try dating a cast member. Failing that i would be of the opinion that TKTS would be the best option available as i have myself never caught phantom on any of the online discount sites.

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Re: The London production 1

Post  Scorp on Wed Oct 28, 2009 3:52 pm

Miss von Krolock wrote:Ohhhh I somehow knew you'd end up going to see Stephen Exclamation
Have fun tonight, Scorp! Can't wait for the review.

That's not fair, I never review! Now you make me feel guilty for not posting one. Oh go on then, I'll write a quick one since at least it's a method of procrastination...

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Re: The London production 1

Post  ML6 on Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:55 pm

Scorp wrote:Is it bad that I've just heard Nigel Richards' Phantom and now am not as interested in seeing him as I once was? Maybe it makes sense live? Maybe not?

I think his 'Mirror' scene is absolutely terrifying -- and in a bad way! And, his 'I Have Brought You' is like the devil and a horde of snakes took over the organ and started banging on the keys. Truly disturbing.

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Re: The London production 1

Post  operafantomet on Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:32 am

Scorp wrote:Anyone fancy joining me tonight? A fan I know is by chance going today too, so at least I can have a mini-geek-out in the interval or something. Please come, you know you want to! Wink
Oh believe me, I want to! I'm on such a serious POTO drawback after my Copenhagen spring. But I've spent the last three weeks trying to fix my sister a super wedding (including making her a wedding dress). There just aren't enough hours, and I'm exhausted. That, plus I live in the wrong country... But how do you feel like the early/mid December? I'm dead serious. I'm heading for Florence, and wouldn't mind stopping by London on my way down.

But first, Copenhagen. Les Mis. Tomas "Tomas" Kofod or Flemming Enevold as Valjean. Both awesome. Which reminds me, I should have emailed Josefine ages ago.

But before that, wedding and exams... God help me. Sleep

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