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The London production 2

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Post  MajesticPhantom Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:51 am

This is in response to SweetChristine...

My thoughts on...

Sofia Escobar: You can really tell that Sofia is having a blast being on that stage. She has a very generous spirit up there, and it just seduces you into having a great time with her. I was so choked up by her sheer passion in "Think of Me," actually, the first time I went. Overall, I think she is a very good Christine, very open, generous, and plays well with her fellow actors. I preferred her interpretation with Will Barratt (who, I think, was extraordinary as Raoul). I actually got the sense in their Dressing Room scene that the "Red scarf...the attic...Little Lotte..." note was not the first he had sent. There was something very distinctly expectant about their initial reaction... They almost seemed to be knowingly joking with one another as she feigned not being sure of who he was, and he was very aware of the game. It was quite beautiful. They built a beautiful love with one another. Thus, I feel her Christine was a young woman

I wasn't distracted by her accent, really, because she emitted so much passion. I will say that I was less impressed with the relationship between she and Killian Donnelly, but I saw them together the Friday after the 25th Anniversary, and she reported on Twitter of missing all that week due to illness, and subsequently called out the next day because the performance I attended was apparently too soon for a return. Plus, I saw she and Will at the very end of a year together, and she with Killian only a month into their year.

Katie Hall: Another generous soul. Her youth is refreshing... 21... and her Raoul that night, Nadim Naaman, couldn't have been much older. Seeing two "kids" deal with a disturbed man was a very exciting angle to watch the show from.

Her Christine hopeful...not faithful, like Doyle's, but her hope was at the same level. There was this definite hopefulness for something better in her life. She was enticed and thrilled by her Angel of Music's presence, and her thrill being crushed by reality tormented her. She seemed so flustered by what to do with the Phantom's threats, and also flustered by Raoul's actions in Twisted Every Way. I also loved how in charge her Christine was, in a way. Of course, the blocking in the Final Lair (in London) calls for Christine to really have to help up a struggling Raoul from the ground after he is freed, but Katie very particularly seemed to commit to this action with a zest and fortitude.
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Post  starryeyed Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:32 pm

Operafantomet I most certainly will pass that on. It is a crying shame really, I remember being at his last show and it was almost as if (at parts) he thought "I'm leaving anyway, they can't do much now" and really went for it. His last Final Lair especially was one which I shed a lot of tears for The Phantom (my first Phantom was Ramin and, without being harsh I didn't have much sympathy for his Phantom for some reason) because he really played it as though he accepted his actions were exactly what had got him where he was and the whole scene was the conflicting emotions he experienced through that realization.

Raphael, it is a real shame. It would be nice if actors almost had free reign (within reason) to do what they saw fit for the role, I think you'd get more of a sense of it being a genuine performance being given. Interestingly one thing I have noticed, with the London production at least, is the Raoul's tend to be allowed to interpret the role how they see fit a bit more. It could be coincidence but, in my opinion, I've never seen two identical Raoul's in the London production whereas I think sometimes the Christines and Phantoms can blur together a tad. That could be however because on paper the character of Raoul is rather "blank" so to speak and therefore it is a role that can only be what the actor makes of it.

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Post  AlwaysChristine Tue Jan 17, 2012 5:52 pm

Thank you MajesticPhantom for your thoughts about Sofia Escobar and Katie Hall.

@starryeyed: Thank you for all about David Shannon. I like him. It´s sad that he hasn´t the chance to show what his Phantom can be. That there are people who said what he must do.
But why are they so detailed by the roles of Christine and Phantom and why can some actor do what he want and some not?

It´s sad that David Shannon hasn´t a good time at Phantom as Phantom. After this experience, do you think he would play it again? Sometimes?

Scott Davies plays the role as he like and want it.
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Post  PhantomsGhost Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:04 pm

Interesting about the resident director. I thought their job would be to keep the integrity of Hal Prince's direction intact, not add their own flair to the role, leaving perhaps a bit more interpretation up to the actor.
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Post  London-Phan Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:10 pm

I think that Scott Davies gets away with more as he has played the role many times over the years and has a very long association with the show. I would have thought that the phantom would have a bit of freedom with the role while Sam Hiller is resident director as he has played the role himself.
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Post  PMB1034 Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:14 pm

I was wondering, on the rare occaision Hal Prince visits the show - do his notes overide the resident directors?
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Post  Bunvendor Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:55 pm

PMB1034 wrote:I was wondering, on the rare occaision Hal Prince visits the show - do his notes overide the resident directors?
I don't know, to be honest. I hope so! I know that Gillian Linne will see the show and then go backstage and tweak the things that she thinks are slacking.
OG
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Post  auctioneer Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:14 pm

Hi friends - long time, no post. Interesting to re-visit David Shannon. Like starryeyed, I was at his last performance (posted about it), and it was as though he 'let go' and did what he always wanted to do. One of the best final lairs I've seen in twenty years.

Will be interesting to see how Sam tweaks the show. My hunch is that he will allow the cast more liberties....but this is coupled with my fear that the show will take on some of the 'new direction' of Laurence Connor's 25th anniversary production. I don't want them to mess around with what has worked for them for 25 years, but I fear they might.

I haven't been since August, when JOJ gave his usual fine performance. Any recent reviews on Earl Carpenter? And starryeyed, any early scoops on who may or may not be renewing in the fall? We have a few now who have been around for a few years.

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Post  operafantomet Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:43 pm

auctioneer wrote:I haven't been since August, when JOJ gave his usual fine performance. Any recent reviews on Earl Carpenter? And starryeyed, any early scoops on who may or may not be renewing in the fall? We have a few now who have been around for a few years.
Earl Carpenter is one of my top 5 Phantoms, and I would really like to see him in the role again. But I've read a couple of recent reviews on him online, and I'm kinda... disappointed. Many comments on his Phantom is cold and calculating and very sure of himself. That's not how I remember him at all. I loved how his Phantom seemed INsecure in many places, "Wandering Child" being the exception. I also loved the vulnerability he brought to the role. I don't know if I just perceived it differently back then, or if he has really changed his portrayal. Another reason to go see him I guess... Laughing

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Post  starryeyed Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:38 am

Sorry auctioneer it's been a while since I've properly spoken to anyone who would know. Will be seeing a couple of people next week so will see if there's any early indications but realistically it isn't until around June it's "confirmed" though last year it was earlier. What I know for definite though is Scott Davies is staying until they basically kick him out so he'll probably be around for a while!

Speaking of Sam Hiller and the resident director debate, apparently he IS indeed sort of introducing new ideas to the cast members so we will see how that all pans out over the coming months.

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Post  SenorSwanky Mon Jan 23, 2012 4:06 am

operafantomet wrote:Earl Carpenter is one of my top 5 Phantoms, and I would really like to see him in the role again. But I've read a couple of recent reviews on him online, and I'm kinda... disappointed. Many comments on his Phantom is cold and calculating and very sure of himself. That's not how I remember him at all.
That's how he's always come across to me.
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Post  AlwaysChristine Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:54 am

starryeyed wrote:Sorry auctioneer it's been a while since I've properly spoken to anyone who would know. Will be seeing a couple of people next week so will see if there's any early indications but realistically it isn't until around June it's "confirmed" though last year it was earlier. What I know for definite though is Scott Davies is staying until they basically kick him out so he'll probably be around for a while!

Speaking of Sam Hiller and the resident director debate, apparently he IS indeed sort of introducing new ideas to the cast members so we will see how that all pans out over the coming months.

Great that Scott Davies is staying! I hope they don´t kick him out.
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Post  AlwaysChristine Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:55 am

SenorSwanky wrote:
operafantomet wrote:Earl Carpenter is one of my top 5 Phantoms, and I would really like to see him in the role again. But I've read a couple of recent reviews on him online, and I'm kinda... disappointed. Many comments on his Phantom is cold and calculating and very sure of himself. That's not how I remember him at all.
That's how he's always come across to me.

I have seen him only one time, his interpretation wasn´t mine. Maybe he has changed.
Yes I think his Phantom was cold.
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Post  auctioneer Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:43 pm

It would be cool if Sam Hiller started doing Monsieur Andre's Intermission quickie again....though this time I guess it would be the Resident Director's Intermission Quickie.

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Post  operafantomet Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:04 pm

auctioneer wrote:It would be cool if Sam Hiller started doing Monsieur Andre's Intermission quickie again....though this time I guess it would be the Resident Director's Intermission Quickie.
I had forgotten he was the one behind those! They were awesome, especially that he used the cane as a "microphone". Did he make more than these three? I seem to remember there were a fourth one, possibly involving Ramin Karminloo? But I couldn't find it online.

Phillip Griffiths (Auctioneer/longtimer):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27Wt26k_pWI

Wendy Ferguson (Carlotta):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Osy_suS9unw

Benjamin Lake (Piangi):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zx-3m8W0RzU

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Post  London-Phan Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:58 pm

So I was just wondering if anyone has any ideas about who will be the next London Phantom in September, or who would you like to see join the cast as Phantom? I know a lot of people would like someone new but I think it would be cool to have one of the past phantoms return. I would be very happy with any of the following Mike Sterling, Simon Bowman, Ethan Freeman, Ramin, Peter Karrie(he has said recently that he would love to do it again) Matt Cammelle, Nic Greenshields. I know many of those are very unlikely but it would be cool. I myself and some other phans think Bowman may possibly return mainly because of him being in the POTO segment at the Royal variety and he did return to the role of Valjean almost 10 years after he first played it. Though if I could have anyone back as the Phantom it would be Richard Halton my absolute fave Phantom.
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Post  AlwaysChristine Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:07 pm

London-Phan wrote:So I was just wondering if anyone has any ideas about who will be the next London Phantom in September, or who would you like to see join the cast as Phantom? I know a lot of people would like someone new but I think it would be cool to have one of the past phantoms return. I would be very happy with any of the following Mike Sterling, Simon Bowman, Ethan Freeman, Ramin, Peter Karrie(he has said recently that he would love to do it again) Matt Cammelle, Nic Greenshields. I know many of those are very unlikely but it would be cool. I myself and some other phans think Bowman may possibly return mainly because of him being in the POTO segment at the Royal variety and he did return to the role of Valjean almost 10 years after he first played it. Though if I could have anyone back as the Phantom it would be Richard Halton my absolute fave Phantom.

Good idea! What happens with Mike Sterling after Phantom?
I´ve never seen Simon Bowman, Peter Karrie, Matt Cammelle or Nic Greenshields. I would take all.
Ethan Freeman was my Phantom for 3 times in Essen, but I didn´t like his interpretation.
In Vienna he was better...!

I would like to see "older" Phantoms! It´s sad that Anthony Warlow only played in his country and never in London.
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Post  London-Phan Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:18 pm

Well Mike Sterling left the London production and took over the tour before Peter Karrie started, then in '02 he played Valjean in London for a while. He does a lot of musical concerts now often with other well known musical theatre performers. Yeah I'd like an older phantom to return especially one who I haven't seen.
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Post  SenorSwanky Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:57 pm

London-Phan wrote:So I was just wondering if anyone has any ideas about who will be the next London Phantom in September, or who would you like to see join the cast as Phantom? I know a lot of people would like someone new but I think it would be cool to have one of the past phantoms return. I would be very happy with any of the following Mike Sterling, Simon Bowman, Ethan Freeman, Ramin, Peter Karrie(he has said recently that he would love to do it again) Matt Cammelle, Nic Greenshields. I know many of those are very unlikely but it would be cool. I myself and some other phans think Bowman may possibly return mainly because of him being in the POTO segment at the Royal variety and he did return to the role of Valjean almost 10 years after he first played it. Though if I could have anyone back as the Phantom it would be Richard Halton my absolute fave Phantom.
Agreed on Sterling, Freeman, and particularly Karrie. Or Michael Ball.
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Post  London-Phan Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:04 pm

SenorSwanky wrote:
London-Phan wrote:So I was just wondering if anyone has any ideas about who will be the next London Phantom in September, or who would you like to see join the cast as Phantom? I know a lot of people would like someone new but I think it would be cool to have one of the past phantoms return. I would be very happy with any of the following Mike Sterling, Simon Bowman, Ethan Freeman, Ramin, Peter Karrie(he has said recently that he would love to do it again) Matt Cammelle, Nic Greenshields. I know many of those are very unlikely but it would be cool. I myself and some other phans think Bowman may possibly return mainly because of him being in the POTO segment at the Royal variety and he did return to the role of Valjean almost 10 years after he first played it. Though if I could have anyone back as the Phantom it would be Richard Halton my absolute fave Phantom.
Agreed on Sterling, Freeman, and particularly Karrie. Or Michael Ball.

Actually I think Michael Ball would be good, I'm quite surprised that he's never played it. sterling would be good as I only got to see him once and can't remember too much about his performance, I remember being impressed at the time though.
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Post  operafantomet Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:25 am

SweetChristine wrote:Ethan Freeman was my Phantom for 3 times in Essen, but I didn´t like his interpretation.
In Vienna he was better...!
I agree, Ethan Freeman was very cool in Vienna and London, but he was quite... bad in Essen. I still don't know what happened there, if he was instructed differently or just uninspired. But he really wasn't good, which was a huge disappointment seeing how he rocked the stage elsewhere.

As for the London Phantom after Peter Jöback, I would love to see someone new. New, as in none from Cameron Mackintosh' (Les Mis) stock, and none who's done the role in the past. But I would prefer if the person wasn't a "young and sexy" guy, and one with a kick ass voice envoking the ethereal qualities of Leroux Phantom. No, I would not want Hadley Fraser as the Phantom. Please, no...

If some old timers were to reprise the role, I would LOVE it to be Mike Sterling or Peter Karrie. I would also love to see Ian Jon Bourg on the London stage, and obviously Anthony Warlow.

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Post  AlwaysChristine Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:08 am

I´ve seen Ethan Freeman in 2 days 3 times. I don´t know what happend to him, but he was very strange.
Ian Jon Bourg was also one of my Phantoms in Essen..! I saw him 2 times.

Yes the stock of Les Mis or Phantom is really large!
I have found a flyer with Ramin as Raoul.

I would like more "older" Phantoms and not the "young and sexy" ones.
And some with a special voice..!
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Post  Miss von Krolock Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:20 pm

operafantomet wrote:As for the London Phantom after Peter Jöback, I would love to see someone new. New, as in none from Cameron Mackintosh' (Les Mis) stock, and none who's done the role in the past. But I would prefer if the person wasn't a "young and sexy" guy, and one with a kick ass voice envoking the ethereal qualities of Leroux Phantom. No, I would not want Hadley Fraser as the Phantom. Please, no...
Well, he belongs to the Les Mis stock as you say (which, for me, is not necessarily a bad thing unless they think casting Alfie Boe as Phantom might be a good idea), but I still think David Thaxton could be a great Phantom, so I'm hoping he gets to play the role one day. Great voice, great acting!
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Post  starryeyed Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:46 pm

Sorry for steering the conversation away guys but I went to see the London production on Monday.

It was an odd experience to say the least, as in I loved both the performances of Earl Carpenter and Katy Treharne yet still managed to come out the show feeling very "meh." I'll elaborate more over the next few days but I may think it could be because I didn't like Killian Donnelly's Raoul one bit (sorry to any fans of him!) I love it when you can really relate to all of the trio yet I just couldn't warm to Killian's interpretation at all he went from arrogant (to the point of annoying) in the "dressing room" by standing admiring himself in the mirror as Christine spoke (yes really) to whiny little boy rather quickly and then back to arrogant. Very odd.

Earl Carpenter was fantastic (though moreso in the second act) though I do agree that it is his acting that makes him not his vocals. His Final Lair was absolutely heartbreaking, honestly absolutely devastating and he was fantastic in Point of No Return as well, doing things which I hadn't seen any other Phantom do (he even cheekily patted the bench after groping Katy trying to signal her to come back!) Oh and if Raphael is reading you'd love Katy's Point of No Return...

The only other cast member I hadn't seen was Jeremy Secomb and I honestly can't remember much about him so he clearly wasn't that impressive. He reminded me of Ronald McDonald in his make-up and wig (not a good thing when you're terrified of Ronald McDonald.)

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Post  AlwaysChristine Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:53 pm

starryeyed wrote:Sorry for steering the conversation away guys but I went to see the London production on Monday.

It was an odd experience to say the least, as in I loved both the performances of Earl Carpenter and Katy Treharne yet still managed to come out the show feeling very "meh." I'll elaborate more over the next few days but I may think it could be because I didn't like Killian Donnelly's Raoul one bit (sorry to any fans of him!) I love it when you can really relate to all of the trio yet I just couldn't warm to Killian's interpretation at all he went from arrogant (to the point of annoying) in the "dressing room" by standing admiring himself in the mirror as Christine spoke (yes really) to whiny little boy rather quickly and then back to arrogant. Very odd.

Earl Carpenter was fantastic (though moreso in the second act) though I do agree that it is his acting that makes him not his vocals. His Final Lair was absolutely heartbreaking, honestly absolutely devastating and he was fantastic in Point of No Return as well, doing things which I hadn't seen any other Phantom do (he even cheekily patted the bench after groping Katy trying to signal her to come back!) Oh and if Raphael is reading you'd love Katy's Point of No Return...

The only other cast member I hadn't seen was Jeremy Secomb and I honestly can't remember much about him so he clearly wasn't that impressive. He reminded me of Ronald McDonald in his make-up and wig (not a good thing when you're terrified of Ronald McDonald.)

Sounds great! Maybe Earl Carpenter is now better. Everyone deserves a second chance...! The last time with him was disappointed.
Oh Katy´s Point of No Return....so hot? Wink I am very interested in...
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Post  Helen Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:32 pm

starryeyed wrote:Earl Carpenter was fantastic (though moreso in the second act) though I do agree that it is his acting that makes him not his vocals. His Final Lair was absolutely heartbreaking, honestly absolutely devastating and he was fantastic in Point of No Return as well, doing things which I hadn't seen any other Phantom do (he even cheekily patted the bench after groping Katy trying to signal her to come back!)

So pleased you liked him! I know what you mean about his Final Lair.

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Post  SenorSwanky Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:44 pm

Earl has always made some brilliant acting choices (I love what you describe on the PONR bench), but they always come across as premeditated to me, not spontaneous. Some say the same about Karrie, and I can see why, though I just prefer his voice, and his general air and sound just scream "Phantom" to me more than Earl does.

I could definitely see them casting Hadley Fraser. Hadn't really thought of that. I wouldn't necessarily be opposed; didn't hate his Raoul in the RAH concert as much as you all did, and the Phantom's a different role, and he's got a pretty good voice.

No Alfie Boe. Nice voice, but stilted acting.

I'd also love to see someone new, but what're the odds at this point that they cast someone new? It's becoming much like the US productions. And if they do cast someone new, like Joback, it's not likely to be someone 40+ and with gravitas and a nice, non-belty voice. If the options are someone of the Joback/Karimloo mold and a great Phantom of the past, the choice is clear.
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Post  Scorp Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:56 pm

SenorSwanky wrote: If the options are someone of the Joback/Karimloo mold and a great Phantom of the past, the choice is clear.

Gerard Butler? Wink

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Post  starryeyed Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:03 pm

SenorSwanky wrote:Earl has always made some brilliant acting choices (I love what you describe on the PONR bench), but they always come across as premeditated to me, not spontaneous. Some say the same about Karrie, and I can see why, though I just prefer his voice, and his general air and sound just scream "Phantom" to me more than Earl does.

Well, I'll be honest the PONR bench did actually seem rather spontaneous (and Katy said that she can never tell what he'll do next) though he did do something in the Final Lair which is definitely pre-meditated though he carried it off pretty well. He did seem to "flow" his acting quite seamlessly throughout the show so perhaps the break from the show did him some good.

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Post  SenorSwanky Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:07 pm

starryeyed wrote:
SenorSwanky wrote:Earl has always made some brilliant acting choices (I love what you describe on the PONR bench), but they always come across as premeditated to me, not spontaneous. Some say the same about Karrie, and I can see why, though I just prefer his voice, and his general air and sound just scream "Phantom" to me more than Earl does.

Well, I'll be honest the PONR bench did actually seem rather spontaneous (and Katy said that she can never tell what he'll do next) though he did do something in the Final Lair which is definitely pre-meditated though he carried it off pretty well. He did seem to "flow" his acting quite seamlessly throughout the show so perhaps the break from the show did him some good.
That's good to hear. I like Earl, particularly in other roles like Javert and Joe Gillis and even when he's been underused in bit roles like the Bishop in the Les Mis concert and the auctioneer in the RAH concert. Just never have entirely liked his Phantom, partly for the kind of too-cerebral acting choices and partly because, being a baritone, his voice seems strained in the higher end of the score.

Scorp wrote:Gerard Butler? Wink
Yes, he's definitely what I meant when I said "great" former Phantoms.
SenorSwanky
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