Sunday, 14 July 2013

The Phantom of the Opera

Night time, flattens
Dulling each sensation
Darkness wilts and
stifles imagination...

I have a few things that I am obsessed with.
Bargain hunting.

And The Phantom of the Opera.

I don't know what it is about it that has me hooked. It is like the Andre Rieu of the theatre world*.

Real musicians don't listen to Andrew Lloyd-Webber.

The Phantom of the Opera is my guilty little pleasure. I know all of the words. And when I say all of the words, I mean all of the words.

I've lost count how many times I've seen the movie. I've seen two full scale productions - one in Melbourne and one in Adelaide. I will continue to see productions whenever they a) come to my city or b) I visit theirs. And now I can add an amateur production to the list.

For the first time, despite all of the times I have experienced The Phantom, I discovered something new.
Until this week, I had never known that The Phantom of the Opera was a comedy.

I was concerned the amatuer production would ruin it for me. What I didn't expect was it to be side splittingly hilarious, my shoulders heaving with barely contained laughter.

We were given the wrong seats and I didn't realise until we went to sit down. They had given my really good seats to someone else, so we chose to sit on the left of the stage in a group of three seats. It was as close as we could now get - and turned out to be a fantastic spot as I didn't disturb others.

Each time a main character was introduced, I had to stifle my fits of giggles. Carlotta. Raoul. The Phantom. Christine had be sold to me as "300 pounds"- I had to see this. This turned out to be a gross overestimation and she was very pretty and had an amazing voice and was not big in any sense of the word - except that Christine is meant to be a tiny little 16 year old ballerina so it was a little disconcerting seeing her towering over the other dancers.

The Phantom left me horribly confused. He had moments of utter magic, which were then overshadowed by Elvis-style inflections reminicient of his kareoke king title. The one thing that shouldn't have bothered me - and this is going to make me sound incredibly shallow - was that he was fat.

The Phantom of the Opera was fat.

This messed with my mind. I can't bare it. My dearest readers, in confidence I tell you this, but I may have on occasion had a dream about said Phantom (a la Gerald Butler).

Never again. Ruined.

Now all I will see is straining pant buttons as The Phantom rubs himself sensuously while singing What raging fire will flood the soul, what rich desire unlocks its doors, what sweet seduction lies before us?

In truth, I found him and Christine to be really rather good and they had a very pleasing chemistry.

Raoul, on the other hand...

Every time he took the stage, I giggled. I'm sorry. But this actor was clearly only chosen on account of his boyish good looks. Consistently flat and out of tune and a strange I'm here, look at me possessiveness when he took the stage and a horrible lack of chemistry made me long for Christine to run away with The Phantom (which I kind of want her to do anyway, but...).

I'm so glad I went. My dearest Phantom of the Opera wasn't ruined, but in actual fact taken to brand new dizzying heights.

In sleep he sang to me, in dreams he came...

*Note: Andre Rieu is not well respected the music world. He brings "classical" music to the bogan masses and makes uncultured people feel cultured because he is playing music on a - god forbid - violin. He plays Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on a violin with a firework display and makes a shit tonne of money because it makes people feel high class. We can't be friends if you like Andrew Reiu.