The Phantom is Within Reach!

You don’t have to travel to New York to experience an amazing Broadway musical. The musical comes to you! From Avenue Q to Wicked, I’ve seen countless of Broadway shows right here in Austin, Texas. Visiting us now is Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Phantom of the Opera.

I first saw the play when I was 10 years old in San Antonio and instantly became infatuated. The music, the story, the costumes, the scenery – really everything about it captivated me. Yes, I was the girl who learned to play almost every Phantom song on the piano.  Needless to say, my Phantom obsession soon subsided though I’ve always cherished the memory of seeing the play with my family. I’ve loved that experience so much that I can’t bring myself to watch the movie. There are so many elements of surprise during the live theatre play that I just don’t think a movie could do it justice. 

Now that several years have passed and the Phantom is back, I grabbed my best gal pal for a fun night out. We sat third row center just behind the conductor of the live orchestra! It was definitely the way to go. Despite vaguely recalling the storyline, we were instantly sucked into each scene. I don’t want to give too much away for those who haven’t seen it, but the special effects were intense sitting that close to the stage…yeah I’m talking about the fire, the chandelier, the set changes…we were completely transported to a different world and loving every minute of it.

After seeing the Phantom of the Opera for a second time all these years later, I have to say it’s still my favorite. The songs are beautiful, the vocal talent is astonishing, and the scenery is so realistic. Plus the special effects keep you guessing and the guys entertained.

“The Phantom of the Opera is here”…in Austin until April 4th, and will continue to travel the country. It’s a great date event (yes guys, the ladies will likely jump into your lap following some startling surprises) OR it’s perfect for a ladies night out (who knows, maybe you’ll meet your Raoul that night). Enjoy!

The Menaced Phantom

Sci-Fi fans are notorious for reacting poorly to news of a sequel or remake of some highly cherished film or TV show, secure in the knowledge that the mere existence of such thing totally and completely invalidates / ruins the original. I have some pride in the fact that I don’t subscribe to this theory. Heretical though it may be to the orthodoxy, if someone wants to create a sequel to something or a completely new version of it, I’ll wait to actually see it before deciding whether it’s good or bad. Also, I like both Star Trek and Star Wars.

So is this neurosis confined to the dark basements of sci-fi geekdom? No, apparently not. Last week Andrew Lloyd Weber announced opening dates for the sequel he’s created to The Phantom of the Opera. Howls of protest escaped the Internet soon after.

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Though the news of the sequel “went wide” last week, its existence hasn’t exactly been under wraps. Currently the longest running show in Broadway history, “The Phantom” is the subject of an adoring fan base. I’ve never seen it myself, though I’ve probably heard the “big” song. Something about “night” and “music”, I think. The plot is about a disfigured homicidal stalker and the woman he stalks, er… “loves”. All the murder is done in a highly romantic fashion, though, thus it has a great deal of appeal to the theatre-going masses and makes it “okay.”

Making a sequel to this, one of the most successful in musical history, is not going over well amongst many of the Phantom’s biggest fans. Despite the fact that the sequel is being scored by the same guy responsible for the thing they hold so dear (Webber), it matters not. Ask George Lucas about that sometime. The sequel, Love Never Dies, is loosely based on a 1999 novel by Frederick Forsyth, The Phantom in Manhattan, itself a sequel to the original novel upon which the musical version was based. The Phantom has set up shop in Coney Island as a freakshow attraction/entrepreneur, and lures his preferred stalkee to the Island with the offer of a steady singing gig at his theatre.

Despite Broadway’s fascination with Hollywood, the one thing they have yet to master is the art of the successful sequel. Did you know there was a sequel to Annie? Yeah, you and no one else, since it bombed in 1989. Remains to be seen if Phantom 2 will suffer the same fate. If it does, there will be a heaping helping of schadenfreude in the halls and message boards of the Phantom purists.

It’s early, since the opening isn’t until March 2010 in London’s West End, but we have a Love Never Dies tickets page up, where you can sign up for updates on ticket availability.

Sequel to ‘Phantom’ to debut next year

phantomAndrew Lloyd Webber’s popular musical Phantom of the Opera was based on the French novel Le Fantôme de l’Opéra by Gaston Leroux.  The famed composer transformed the story into an international theatre sensation running on Broadway for over two decades. 

Webber plans to continue the story of the Phantom and his long lost love against a Brooklyn backdrop in Phantom: Love Never Dies.  In the new play, Christine will reunite with the Phantom character on Coney Island.  Though details of the cast have yet to be released, Webber hints at a big surprise in the lead role.  His sequel will make a historic splash with simultaneous openings in Shanghai, New York and London in 2009.

Signup for ticket updates regarding the latest theatre shows, here.