,Phantom of the Opera, Pantages Theater, Los Angeles

Gordon and I went to opening night of The Phantom of the Opera at the Pantages on Hollywood Blvd. last night. I hadn’t seen the musical–actually, it’s more like an operetta–since it was at the Ahmundson about thirty years ago and it just confused me. I wasn’t familiar with the music and we were in the nosebleed seats so I missed a lot of the effects. I do remember the plunging chandelier; that was great. It should have been; I remember reading in the LA Times that the Music Center had put in $6 million worth of improvements so the chandelier could travel halfway across the theater. The chandelier in last night’s production only plunged down but they had lots of explosions and fireworks so it was still impressive. Only problem was: Gordon got hit in the face with shrapnel. He wasn’t hurt but I was glad the plastic bits didn’t put his eye out. I think I’ll mention that when I respond to the theater (they sent an email asking for comments). They maybe need to back off on the explosions a little bit or use stronger plastic on the prop. They don’t need a multi-million lawsuit. Other than that the production was amazing. The only ‘name’ was Chris Mann who was apparently a runner-up on The Voice and I can see why he got so far. He was perfect in the role. The cast all had operatic voices; they could dance and act….we have an amazing amount of talent in this country. The set was astounding. Hydraulic steps came out and faded back in the revolving pieces, the gondola drifted convincingly through the dry ice, jets of fire from the apron lights almost burnt off the eyebrows of the people in the first row, and the fireworks kept everybody awake. Lots of fun. I commented to Gordon that I always found the Phantom more interesting than Raoul but who wants to live in the Paris sewers? Talk about your fixer-upper; even I couldn’t face that. But it was a wonderful production. I recommend it.

 

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About Barbara Schnell

I've dedicated my life to full-time employment avoidance. I've been an actress, renovated a 1921 California Bungalow, set a cash-winning record on $25,000 Pyramid, and came in last on Jeopardy. I live in Los Angeles with my patient husband and two cats.
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