When I was in fourth grade, my parents offered me a ticket to see Phantom of the Opera, and I foolishly turned it down. It soon stopped touring and I feared I would never be able to see it and would have to settle for the mediocre movie version. However, I miraculously (I frequently stalk musical productions) found out a 25th anniversary tour was happening and that it was going to be in Minneapolis! Easily worth the five and half hour drive in the dead of winter. By the way, you have not experienced cold until you’ve been to Minnesota in December. FROZEN.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the story line, the musical follows a chorus girl, Christine Daae, and the phantom's obsessive love of her, which is manifested through terror on the opera house. In contrast with the more “pop" style that is seen in musicals these days, e.g. Wicked, Once, Rent, etc., Phantom is obviously operatic, and has a rock tone to it. It's more famous songs are "Music of the Night," "Think of Me," "All I ask of You," and it's title song, "Phantom of the Opera." I love me all good musicals, but there really is something about the quality of opera (when it is done well), that is absolutely uplifting.
Phantom has always had a stunning and majestic reputation due to it’s spectacle and intense musical scores. Even though the 25th anniversary was a non-replica rendition, it did not disappoint! The show was complete with a falling chandelier, moving and disappearing staircases, colorful costumes, and a hefty amount of pyrotechnics. Nothing was spared, it was truly a majestic performance.
Ultimately, I experienced everything one should during a musical- I was wowed by the spectacle, caught up in the music, fascinated by the idea of a play within a play (thank you, Shakespeare!). Minneapolis was only the second city on the tour, so I give them some room for error. The show had to be stopped mid-performance due to technical difficulties (which is actually really ironic because there is a scene in Phantom when that actually happens as part of the storyline). Also, intermission was prolonged due to more technical problems. I’m not sure if it was the venue or the production, but it did noticeably throw the performance off. In general, the entire flow seemed a little disjointed, but hopefully it gets smoother with time.
The tour has long moved on from Minneapolis and is currently in Chicago, IL if you fancy a trip! It will also be showing in New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and a few other locations. Click here for more information or look up the 25th anniversary performances on Youtube to get a taste of the songs, you won't be disappointed!