The Toronto Production

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  operafantomet on Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:05 pm

I wanna say the costumes were different too. Very ornamental, very defined shapes, and in style a mixture between the European and American ones. The tailoring of the Canadian costumes was way up there. One might be a Phantom costume nerd to notice any big difference to the other productions, though... Laughing

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  woodsyallen on Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:13 pm

yes, I got the impression from this thread that the makeup was different along with the costumes being slightly different.

what about the masks, i get the impression that there are different molds for the masks for certain productions. was it the same case for toronto?

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  operafantomet on Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:17 pm

Raphael wrote:Welcome woodsyallen (love your screenname, btw), we're glad to have you here. And congratulations on experiencing "Phantom" live after 12 years Smile

woodsyallen wrote:Clearly the stand-out of the show was Mr. Panaro. I was never the biggest fan of Crawford, and while the previous actors I saw play the role were excellent (Ciaran Sheehan and Jeff Hyslop - of which Hyslop was my favourite) my favourite Phantom was always Colm Wilkinson. While many have criticized his performance over the years there was something about his darker rougher voice that I found was far more suited to the darker character than that of Crawford (I know that to some this will sound sacrilegious, please do not hate me).
We have phans of all different actors here (Wilkinson, Crawford, Panaro, Little, Bourg, Crivello, etc), and we all get along pretty well, so there's no need to worry. I myself am a huge phan of Crawford (the juxtaposition of an angelic voice and such a dark character is very appealing to me - I'm all about the duality), but I appreciate Wilkinson (he'll always be my favorite Valjean) and others too. Each actor brings something different to the role and more often than not there's something to enjoy there.
Agreed. My main reason for seeing this musical again and again (and again....) is because I enjoy seeing different singers bring the characters to life. I have my favourites, but my view on how the role should be acted or sung is challenged every now and then, and often it results in me getting a new favourite. Which in turn might mean that my heroes from the past get bumped down. Some remain eternal favourites.

But though I have opinions, sometimes strong opinions, on who is the best Phantom/Christine/whatever, I always try and respect that others have different favourites. In the end it always comes down to personal preferences moreso than neutral appreciation of a stage talent.

Anyhow, very interesting to read your thoughts on it, revisiting it after so many years. It's like Heidegger's Hermeneutic Circle: for everything you learn, you see the world differently. For every time you see the world differently, you learn something new. And so it continues...

I think I will merge this with the Canadian thread, if that is OK with all of you? I know it should probably be placed in the review section, but I thought it interesting to hear thoughts of the original Toronto production in context with the current Broadway production.

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  Bunvendor on Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:18 pm

woodsyallen wrote:yes, I got the impression from this thread that the makeup was different along with the costumes being slightly different.

what about the masks, i get the impression that there are different molds for the masks for certain productions. was it the same case for toronto?
Toronto had its own style of mask. Every actor had one made specifically for them, but they all followed the same style. Look at Pictures of Paul Stanley's mask, as that is a good example of the general look. They were very different to Broadway, and far superior. Hope that helped!
OG

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  SenorSwanky on Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:32 pm

Yes, the deformity was different in Toronto than in the US and UK. Not drastically like in Basel or Australia/World Tour, but a little different. Of course, even between US and UK productions, there have been differences in the way the makeup has been applied, even though the prosthetics are technically the same.

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  SenorSwanky on Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:41 pm

I'm a defender of Paul Stanley (used to have that in my signature on the old boards), in the sense that I love the guy and the talent and effort he put into the role, but not really a fan of the results of his performance.

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  woodsyallen on Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:42 pm

I'll have to go back and re-look at my souvenir programs from the original times I went when Im back home (Im currently on the road with a TV show travelling throughout the US) so I can see these subtleties. Of course finding images of the makeup (besides the one posted here earlier) will be tricky since they liked to keep those under wraps.

I remember whenever we went to visit toronto when I was a kid, even if we weren't going to see the show I would BEG my mom to take me to the Pantages to go to the gift shop or just to look around. She would always oblige since she loved the Phantom wine gums (didn't have any when I went on broadway, which is a shame... she would have loved a package - maybe it was a Toronto only thing?). That theatre truly is a sight to be seen, so lavish, so grand. I was surprised when I stepped into the Majestic because I was expecting something similar. The majestic is nice, but it paless in comparison to the beauty and elegance of the Pantages.

I also remember the small details they took in Toronto: specifically all the ushers and people walking around the theatre were dressed in period french police (gendarmes?) costumes. It was just one of the many subtle touches that made the experience all the more magical. Clearly the Canadians took this thing very seriously.

To this day thinking about how it closed, especially since it was all due to LiveEnt's folding, I get very sad. It sort of sounded the death knell for theatre in Toronto. Within a few years we went from having first rate, lavish productions (sometimes better than their broadway counterparts) to nothing but a series of boring tours and the occasional permanent show. Even the best of those is now gone (Jersey Boys). I remember the first show to open in the Pantages (redubbed the Canon by this time) was a Scooby Doo musical. When I heard that, even as a 11 year old I knew that was just absolute blasphemy. I have many friends who work in musical theatre now (including my girlfriend) and so I hear first hand the frustrations of being an actor in Toronto and having nothing but tour after tour after tour. My only hope is the recent announcement that Stratford's JCS is going to Broadway will renew interest in theatre in Canada and we will begin to see a renaissance of the true Canadian Cast productions of musicals.

Hopefully this new production of Les Mis will revive things a bit, though there's a great deal of controversy surrounding it since it's so different from the original show. With this new Phantom UK tour one can assume we might see it here in the great white north again but if it's a stripped down alternate version of the show it will be truly unfortunate. Don't mess with what's not broken I say.

One thing is for certain: should Mirvish decide to remount Phantom I'll be there with bells on. More than once probably. ESPECIALLY if it's in it's true home: The Pantages.

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  SenorSwanky on Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:46 pm

If there're pics in the Toronto brochures we haven't seen, particulary of the deformity, I'd love to see them. But it's rare you'll find a pic of the Phantom without his mask in any brochure before recent years, and even now, often it's only London that blatantly photographs it.

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  woodsyallen on Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:57 pm

I remember there was an article in one of the toronto magazines about the show and the whole process of being phantom and the like and in it there were a few shots of the makeup being applied - however "the producers" asked the magazine not to reveal the deformation so it was shot in a way as to obscure the final look. It was a fun little article about Ciaran Sheehan and his experiences with the role. Sadly, it likely won't do much to help us see how the makeup looked.

I'll have to do my best to start tracking down the masks though. I had no idea that there was such a difference. Though I know one thing; this ten dollar, souvenir mask I picked up from the show looks NOTHING like the real thing - much too rounded and large. Unless of course it's modelled on the london mask or something? Regardless it will look nice as a display piece I guess.

One more memory for everyone: I had been a phan of Phantom (well the music at least) since I was a toddler, and despite having not seen the show (and didn't until I was about 7 or Cool knew all the songs and loved to get my hands on everything related to the show (which my parents happily obliged). I even went as the phantom for halloween on SEVERAL occasions, even if no one in my neighbourhood knew who I was ("Who are you? Two-face?").

My costume was so notorious that I guess my grandmother decided to take a photo of me in it with her when she saw the show in Vancouver and managed to get it to the gentleman who played Phantom there (apologies, but I do not remember his name). Well he must have got a kick out of it because he sent me a signed 8x10 of him in his Phantom gear and wrote me a rather long letter to go with it. I've still got it kicking around at home and I should scan it and share with everyone. It's one of my favourite momentos of my childhood obsession with the show.

I still have a great deal of the stuff from back then. All the souvenir programs (there were a few different ones that they put out) are still kicking around, as are some brochures and stickers, and a couple lapel pins. Both the shirts I got have long since been worn out (and while I was tempted to buy a new one while in New York the prices were much too high). My Dad's magic mug which he uses only for special occasions is still around, but it too has since faded and lost much of it's "Magic", so I took the liberty of replacing it while in New York. It will make a fantastic Christmas gift. And naturally I got one for myself.

On second thought, maybe it's a good thing it's not still in Toronto. I might never leave.

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  woodsyallen on Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:59 pm

operafantomet wrote:
I think I will merge this with the Canadian thread, if that is OK with all of you? I know it should probably be placed in the review section, but I thought it interesting to hear thoughts of the original Toronto production in context with the current Broadway production.

I think that's probably alright. It would also be well suited in the Review section (again, apologies for not putting it there) since while it does reference my memories of the Toronto production it is more a review/discussion of the current broadway show but quite honestly I'm easy.

I've already received an amazing response here so I'm happy either way.

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  operafantomet on Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:59 pm

woodsyallen wrote:Hopefully this new production of Les Mis will revive things a bit, though there's a great deal of controversy surrounding it since it's so different from the original show. With this new Phantom UK tour one can assume we might see it here in the great white north again but if it's a stripped down alternate version of the show it will be truly unfortunate. Don't mess with what's not broken I say.

One thing is for certain: should Mirvish decide to remount Phantom I'll be there with bells on. More than once probably. ESPECIALLY if it's in it's true home: The Pantages.
I know I'm conservative, but amen, amen, amen and aaaaamen.

I think those wine gum bears was Toronto/Canada only. I remember some Canadian phans frequenting this board posted a picture of a "vintage" package they still had. I had never seen them before. Each production seem to have their own merchandise, though. London has a mighty cool pen. Copenhagen had an awesome laptop bag, and also a cool umbrella. Hamburg had EVERYthing - watches, tee shirts, ties, towels, you name it. Argentina had lots of usable stuff, like laptop covers, note books and other office supplies. So yeah, the merchandise is local rather than international.

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  SenorSwanky on Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:04 pm

Oh the Michael Crawford souvenir mask that's been around forever (I think since the show opened)? Yeah, it's way too big for anyone's face, not meant to wear. My grandparents gave me one when they saw the show on Broadway in 1990, when I was first getting into the show.

woodsyallen wrote:managed to get it to the gentleman who played Phantom there (apologies, but I do not remember his name)
Peter Karrie?! That's awesome. Did you never see him when he was in Toronto?

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  woodsyallen on Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:25 pm

operafantomet wrote:I think those wine gum bears was Toronto/Canada only. I remember some Canadian phans frequenting this board posted a picture of a "vintage" package they still had. I had never seen them before. Each production seem to have their own merchandise, though. London has a mighty cool pen. Copenhagen had an awesome laptop bag, and also a cool umbrella. Hamburg had EVERYthing - watches, tee shirts, ties, towels, you name it. Argentina had lots of usable stuff, like laptop covers, note books and other office supplies. So yeah, the merchandise is local rather than international.

That must be it then. My mom LOVED those things. We got them every time. I enjoyed them too, but only the "red" masks.

I noticed when I looked online before I went there was some cool merch, but then arriving at the Majestic was shocked to see how little of it they had. Now it makes sense, most of it was "localized" to London.

I remember Toronto had a great deal of stuff, including the watches and other stuff like that. Hell, they were even selling the Vinyl for many years (which I eventually bought at a thrift shop). I wish I had more of the Toronto shwag, but my Broadway shwag will make nice memories too (especially my Phantom Broadway Cares pin and Poster).

SenorSwanky wrote:Oh the Michael Crawford souvenir mask that's been around forever (I think since the show opened)? Yeah, it's way too big for anyone's face, not meant to wear. My grandparents gave me one when they saw the show on Broadway in 1990, when I was first getting into the show.

Glad to know it's not just me then. I sent a picture to my sister and she said "its huge! how does it not fit you!? After all, you have a huge head" haha. So I take it that it is modelled on Crawford's mask which is why it looks much different from the one I've seen in photos for everyone else? It seems to swoop around the side to cover a great deal more of the face.

Peter Karrie?! That's awesome. Did you never see him when he was in Toronto?

Yes, I think it must have been Peter. I'll have to check when I'm home. Sadly no, I never did see him. The three Phantom I've now seen are Ciaran Sheehan and Jeff Hyslop and then Hugh Panaro the other night. I remember liking Jeff a lot. As for Ciaran, it was SO long ago I can't honestly say I remember what I thought.

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  operafantomet on Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:05 pm

A note on Red Death not disappearing through trapdoor: it's only in New York they have removed that detail, it's still done with a trap door in the rest of the world. Though someone might have commented on that already...

I still mourn they didn't pick up the idea from one of the original technical staff (the guy helping out with magic tricks... I don't remember his name, but I think he was featured in the BBC "Behind the Mask" documentary). He wanted Red Death to disappear out of his costume, leaving only a bundle of clothes left on the floor. THAT would have been awesome, and according to him quite plausible to do. But the others had this idea of showing that the Phantom was no ghost, that he was a man and that it was a point of seeing him disappearing. Not sure I agree on that. And I'm actually a bit surprised the Las vegas production didn't pick up that idea, seeing how many other "unused" ideas they went with.

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  Paula74 on Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:13 pm

I actually like that idea and can picture it with the Masquerading revelers actually reacting in shock and horror to the empty costume on the floor...I can see it adding a mix of terror and resolve when it comes to Notes II and their decision to stage "Don Juan Triumphant" and trap the Phantom.

I thin it fits in rather well with the balance of "man and mystery."

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  SenorSwanky on Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:22 pm

woodsyallen wrote:I noticed when I looked online before I went there was some cool merch, but then arriving at the Majestic was shocked to see how little of it they had. Now it makes sense, most of it was "localized" to London.
They also can only sell so many things at those little stands in the tiny lobby.

So I take it that it is modelled on Crawford's mask which is why it looks much different from the one I've seen in photos for everyone else? It seems to swoop around the side to cover a great deal more of the face.
No, it's not a direct replica of his mask, but it's similar in shape to the mask he wore in London. And it's pretty similar to the US masks, just without the eyebrow.

It would be kind of cool to see if they could do the disappearing-out-of-the-clothes thing for the Red Death, but someone would then have to pick his costume up. I guess they could leave it there until they put the staircase away behind Mme. Giry and Raoul.

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  woodsyallen on Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:24 pm

I completely and totally agree. In fact it had been so long since I saw the show I thought it actually DID happen. Apparently the problem was more with the giant staff he was going to carry?

Its the kind of trick that would probably even easier with more modern technology and you'd expect to see with newer productions like Vegas and this newly updated version thats apparently going to tour. I'm a firm believer in if it aint broke dont fix it (looking at you RENT 2011), but enhancing what's already there wouldn't hurt.

that said, lets stay clear of the rats and white horses.

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  justin-from-barbados on Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:47 pm

Of all the Toronto swag, I totally regret not getting one of the jackets.

Another 2 minor scenic changes coming from a secnic geek was the bed in Il Muto, usually after the scene it is flown out and the matress part pushed off. In Toronto the whole thing was pushed off to the side, canopy and all. The other thing was the reverse tabs curtain before the dressing room scene, In all the other productions when the dressing room comes on it is slowly pulled off to one side where in Toronto it was just flown up and out.

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  operafantomet on Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:09 pm

SenorSwanky wrote:
woodsyallen wrote:I noticed when I looked online before I went there was some cool merch, but then arriving at the Majestic was shocked to see how little of it they had. Now it makes sense, most of it was "localized" to London.
They also can only sell so many things at those little stands in the tiny lobby.
But they have two stands selling identical items. They could have t-shirts, sweatshirts and caps in one, and CD, DVDs and stationary items in the other one. For example.

And though the souvenir shop at Her Majesty's is better situated, it's not that much bigger. And yet they sell probably 3 times as many different items. I don't really think space is the reason they have cut down on the souvenirs available in NYC.

Justin, cool set details, I didn't know the dressing room was done that differently (off stage, I mean).

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  woodsyallen on Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:41 pm

In Toronto I'm pretty sure they had a whole ROOM dedicated to shwag, which is why we sold so much. But the point of having two identical stands is a good one. Not to mention the fact that they could have more downstairs.

I also thought I remembered another scenic detail: the "reversed curtain" from after think of me I could swear had a little metalic chain that was used to draw back the curtains, where as in NY they just seemed to be pulled back by rope or something. But again, this could just be my mind playing tricks.

I also feel like I remembered seeing an "audience" (in silhouette) in that scene as well, where as in NYC I simply noticed a conductor. Though, truthfully that could be because I was further back and just didn't notice.

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  SenorSwanky on Thu Nov 03, 2011 3:26 pm

I'm sorry, but anytime you say "shwag" instead of "swag," you make me think of Wayne's World. I've never seen it spelled with the "h" before. Laughing

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  justin-from-barbados on Thu Nov 03, 2011 6:44 pm

I think the audience shilouette thing may just be a memory thing, all they have is the conductor and some foot lights, yes the metal ringlets are there too, probably just saw them better in Toronto.

What I also liked about Toronto is the Don Juan set was so much more vibrant that it usually us. It's so darn in NYC and almost black last time I saw the showin London, In Toronto I actually thought the first time I saw it that it was an actual 3D setpiece.

Toronto had that nice BIG giftshop outside by the box office, lots of room to look around. NYC only really has the small one by the steps, but alot of people don;t know that the Majestic actually has a fairly big lobby downstairs of the main groundfloor one, But you wouldnt get ushered into it unless you were sitting in the front orchestra, but still, no where near the size of the Pantages, Pantages also had that nice long walk up from Young St.

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  SenorSwanky on Thu Nov 03, 2011 6:54 pm

The downstairs lobby at the Majestic where the bathrooms are doesn't lead to the orchestra. Both times I've sat in orchestra left, I entered and exited through the left ramp into the main lobby at street level.

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  Guest on Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:49 pm

What he said....

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  justin-from-barbados on Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:21 pm

right, my bad, getting Majestic mixed up with Her Majesty's again pale

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  woodsyallen on Sat Nov 05, 2011 12:16 am

I just finished re-listening to the Canadian Cast Recording... MAN is it good! It's a real shame a complete version doesn't exist somewhere. The performances are all wonderful, and the orchestrations are magnificent.

Damn those Crawford/Brightman contracts! DAMN THEM ALL!

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  justin-from-barbados on Sat Nov 05, 2011 12:37 am

If you like the Toronto orchestrations, you should try to get hold of a copy of the recent 2009 Korean cast CD, they use the Toronto orchestra track (as does the first Korean CD & the Mexican CD) but the 2009 one sounds so much richer and fuller and louder (and the singing, although in Korean, isn't that bad either)

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  SenorSwanky on Sat Nov 05, 2011 12:46 am

I like the intimacy of the OCC. The OLC has a lusher orchestral sound, and the voices sound more reverb-y, like you're further back in the audience. The OCC sounds more like a soundboard. I generally prefer the OLC, not just for its completeness but for its sound and cast, but I love Colm's Phantom (though he sounds not nearly as good on the OCC as he actually was on stage--same for MC and most performers). Caine definitely sounds much better live; her voice has always sounded really throaty and dry and husky on the OCC to me. Her voice rings much more live, and I like bright-voiced Christines like SB. I have never liked Byron Nease's Raoul though. No one can hold a candle to Steve Barton, but even then, I just don't like Nease's voice or acting. Not big on the managers on the OCC, but they might've been better live too.

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  justin-from-barbados on Sat Nov 05, 2011 2:11 am

My only beef with the OCC managers is they sound so similar so it's hard to remember who is singing what, whereas in the OLC they have distinctive voices from one another. Also not a fan of the OCC Carlotta, but at the time, was thrilled they included so much of Hannibal.

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  ML6 on Sat Nov 05, 2011 3:45 am

The OCC has some interesting instrumental bits. Like, Hannibal, the music that plays when the dialogue between Mme. Giry and Raoul after Point of No Return. That's some interesting music.

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Re: The Toronto Production

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