I saw Andrew Lloyd Webber’s THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA years ago from the nosebleed section. I couldn’t even see the phantom’s face when he was unmasked. This time, upward mobility sent me downward. My seats were so good that the chandelier almost swooped down on me.
What a phantom HUGH PANARO makes! No wonder director HAROLD PRINCE once cast him as the phantom in a previous production and in another one as Raoul. You sense sexuality, dark power, and pain radiating from him. Yet unmasked, he’s as vulnerable as a child. MARY MICHAEL PATTERSON as Christina, is magnetic–both her voice and her movements. Raoul, played by the handsome nobleman, JEREMY HAYS, is the perfect vertex in this love triangle.
The appeal of GASTON LEROUX’S novel is the sympathy he creates for the phantom, despite his villainy of terrorizing The Paris Opera House and all who are in it, and imprisoning Christina in the catacombs of the Opera House. Who wouldn’t feel sorry for a man kept in a cage for public viewing until he could escape? Wouldn’t he have been as fine a suitor as Raoul if only he wasn’t deformed?
The staging is gorgeous! No wonder THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA won 7 Tony Awards and is the longest running stage play in history and the most lucrative!
THE MAJESTIC THEATER, 247 W. 44th St.
For tickets, Call Telecharge 212-239-6200 or visit www.telecharge.com