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"Return of the Three Phantoms" – Sep. 13, 2008 in Honolulu

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"Return of the Three Phantoms" – Sep. 13, 2008 in Honolulu Empty "Return of the Three Phantoms" – Sep. 13, 2008 in Honolulu

Post  IamErik771 Sat Oct 03, 2009 6:18 pm

Once again, rescued from ye olde POL. Smile

"The Return of the Three Phantoms in Concert"

Saturday, September 13th 2008
Hawaii Theatre, Honolulu

Sue Anderson (pianist)
Kevin Gray
Cris Groenendaal
Craig Schulman

Act I
"The Star-Spangled Banner" -- The Three Phantoms
Selections from Les Misérables -- Sue Anderson
"Muddy Water" (from Big River) -- The Three Phantoms
"Man of La Mancha" -- Kevin Gray & Craig Schulman
"Ya Got Trouble" (from The Music Man) -- Cris Groenendaal
"What Kind of Fool am I?" (from Roar of the Greasepaint, the Smell of the Crowd) -- Kevin Gray
"Mr. Cellophane" (from Chicago) -- Cris Groenendaal
"Anything You Can Do" (from Annie Get Your Gun) -- The Three Phantoms
"Coffee in a Cardboard Cup" (from And the World Goes 'Round) -- The Three Phantoms
"Bring Him Home" (from Les Misérables) -- Craig Schulman
"Anthem" (from Chess) -- Kevin Gray
"Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat" (from Guys and Dolls) -- The Three Phantoms

Act II
Selections from Miss Saigon -- Sue Anderson
"There is Nothin' Like a Dame" (from South Pacific) -- The Three Phantoms
"You're Nothing Without Me" (from City of Angels) -- Cris Groenendaal & Craig Schulman
"Memory" (from Cats) -- The Three Phantoms
"Send In the Clowns" (from A Little Night Music) -- Cris Groenendaal
"Why God Why?" (from Miss Saigon) -- Craig Schulman
"Gethsemane" (from Jesus Christ Superstar) -- Kevin Gray
"Phantom of the Opera" Ballet -- Ballet Hawaii, Don Conover (Organ), William Wiley (Percussion)
"The Music of the Night" (from The Phantom of the Opera) -- The Three Phantoms
"Give My Regards to Broadway" -- The Three Phantoms
"White Sandy Beach of Hawai'i" -- The Three Phantoms

I was sitting way up in the balcony, kinda like how I was for the 2006 concert. The stage was set up pretty much the same, with a grand piano on the left and a tall candelabra on the right.

As the concert was beginning, the three Phantoms came out and sang an a capella trio version of "The Star-Spangled Banner," something they hadn't done at the '06 concert (and which wasn't listed in the program). I thought it sounded really cool. Then, Sue Anderson (our pianist) played a medley from Les Misérables, consisting of the "Overture/Work Song," "Castle on a Cloud," "At the End of the Day," "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables," "One Day More," "On My Own," and "Do You Hear the People Sing." The Three Phantoms came out again and sang "Muddy Water" from Big River.

Then came one of the night's big highlights. The actors posed the question, "How does one get to Broadway?" Craig Schulman and Cris Groenendaal agreed that it takes training and practice, but Kevin Gray added, "First, it begins with a dream, and courage!" With that, he and Craig launched into the title song from Man of La Mancha, with Kevin as Don Quixote and Craig as Sancho.

After that rousing number, they began talking about the audition process. Cris played an actor trying to audition for a show, and the auditioner turned down his song suggestions in favor of "Ya Got Trouble" from The Music Man. Cris's rendition was quite good -- he's no Robert Preston, but he easily topped Matthew Broderick.

Afterward, Kevin sang a stirring rendition of "What Kind of Fool am I?" from Roar of the Greasepaint, the Smell of the Crowd, a show I'd never heard any songs from before. When he had finished, Cris came in and said, "Wow, that was good!" Kevin thanked him, but Cris added as an aside to the audience, "You should have heard him sing that 20 years ago!" Kevin paused and glared, saying "I'm right here!" Then he told a joke:

Kevin: "Knock knock."
Cris: "Who's there?"
Kevin: "Cris Groenendaal."
Cris: "Cris Groenendaal who?"
Kevin: "Exactly!"

That led into Cris singing "Mr. Cellophane" from Chicago, probably his best song of the night. Then they did a hilarious rendition of "Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better" from Annie Get Your Gun, with added lyrics to reflect shows they had done. For example: "I'm a better Phantom!" / "Maybe out in Scranton..." or the following gem:

Cris: "Any role you can play, I can play greater! I can play any role greater than you!"
Craig: "Jean Valjean?"
Cris: "What're you on?"
Craig: "Jekyll & Hyde?"
Kevin: "Step aside!"

They went back into the "No you can't / Yes I can" bit, and Kevin concluded with a Mr. Hyde voice and pose for the final "Yes I can!" XD

They followed that number by proclaiming that one of the most necessary tools for an actor to get through each day was . . . COFFEE! They sang "Coffee in a Cardboard Cup" from And the World Goes 'Round, and got to have fun manically running around the stage. After that, Craig talked about how coffee is a requirement because sometimes, actors have to show up for auditions at unearthly hours of the morning. He acted it out with Cris . . .

Cris: "Thanks for being here so early!"
Craig: *tired voice* "Oh yeah, no problem. I'm usually up this early . . ."
Cris: "So what are you going to sing for us?"
Craig: "How about Ol' Man River?"
Cris: ". . . nah. Try Bring Him Home.
Craig: -_-;;

He sang "Bring Him Home" beautifully, and afterward, Kevin came onstage and said, "Wow. You know, he really can sing that high at 5 in the morning. It's a bit scary. Now, how can I follow that?" He sang "Anthem," one of my favourite showtunes. Then, the three followed with "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat." Craig Schulman sang Nicely's part, and Cris and Kevin sang backup.


At the beginning of Act II, Sue Anderson played a medley of songs from Miss Saigon that included "The Heat is On in Saigon," "Last Night of the World," "Bui Doi," "The American Dream," and more. When the Three sang "There is Nothin' Like a Dame," Sue Anderson finally got to speak: "Hello, boys!" Afterward, Cris asked whether they should add a female singer to the concert as well. Craig wondered, "So what would you call it, then? 'The Three Phantoms and a Woman in Concert?'" They followed up with "You're Nothing Without Me," and a beautiful trio rendition of "Memory."

Afterward, they began to give details about some of their first experiences auditioning for professional productions. Cris talked about what it was like to audition for a chorus role in the original Broadway cast of Sweeney Todd; as he put it, it was "much like A Chorus Line, with the auditionees being lined up in groups of ten, and the lines being sent away one by one." He sang a good rendition of "Send In the Clowns," but I felt it lacked many of the pauses that give the song a bit more of a pensive quality.

Next up was Craig. He talked a bit about what it was like to be an opera singer, and then to "break in" to musical theatre. He described an occasion where early in his career, he auditioned for an opera, but was told he was too slim to be paired with the larger soprano. "It was the only time I'd ever been turned down for a role because I was too skinny," he remarked. Then he mentioned that many of his favourite musicals are his favourites because of their connection to the opera world -- POTO, of course, and also Miss Saigon, since it was based on Madama Butterfly. He sang "Why God Why?" and did quite an excellent job with it.

Then, Kevin came on and talked about his first auditions for professional productions -- at the beginning of his career, he auditioned for an Off-Broadway production of Sondheim's Pacific Overtures, as well as the Broadway cast of La Cage aux Folles and the revival of The King and I which would feature Yul Brynner playing the King for the last time -- all in the same week. He described his audition for King and I, which took place at the casting director's apartment . . . with Yul in the room! He joked, "I was halfway through 'I Have Dreamed' when I realized I hadn't taken a breath since I entered the apartment!" Afterward, he was so nervous and terrified that he hurried out of the apartment to the nearest pay phone, and called his agent to say he'd just screwed up in front of Yul Brynner. The agent replied, "Well, you must have done something right . . . because you got all 3 roles!"

Kevin was stunned, and faced with a decision. Finally, he decided to join the cast of Pacific Overtures. His agent thought he was crazy for turning down the two biggest shows on Broadway to work on a tiny little Sondheim show, and the casting director from King and I called him at home, yelling "You'll never work again!" Years later, when Kevin was playing the King on Broadway, that casting director came to see him after the first show and remarked, "You see? I told you that you'd never work again." Laughing Then, to convey that sense of nervousness and terrified anticipation, Kevin sang quite possibly the best rendition of "Gethsemane" I've ever heard -- the passion was 100% palpable, even from way up in the balcony where I was.

Afterward, the Ballet Hawaii troupe (who the concert was held to benefit) did a ballet for POTO, complete with a Phantom, Christine, and Raoul, as well as a huge theatre organ that was built into the pit and could rise up to be in full view of the audience. The POTO medley they played was pretty similar to that of the Orchestra of the Americas (for those who've heard that one), except with a much longer "Masquerade" and no trace of MOTN.

Instead, the Phantoms followed with a beautiful trio version of the song. Afterward, they ended with two songs that weren't on the program: "Give My Regards to Broadway" and "White Sandy Beach of Hawai'i" (the same song they ended the 2006 concert with).

Afterward, they had an autograph (and CD-selling) session in the lobby. I got autographs and photos from the Three Phantoms as well as Sue Anderson, and also got to meet Peter Lockyer, who would be playing Valjean in our community theatre production of Les Misérables. I also bought Craig's CD, "Craig Schulman On Broadway." In all, it was a fantastic concert, and I hope they'll do a third go-around someday soon. Very Happy

Posts : 328
Join date : 2009-09-22
Age : 35
Location : Hawaii

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