Today I saw PHANTOM 25, the 25th anniversary concert of the wonderful musical, The Phantom of the Opera, by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Due to the fact that I live in the United States and not London, I had to drive to a movie theater nearest me that was broadcasting it. I have to say, the 40 minute drive was beyond worth it.
The Phantom was played by London’s well-known powerhouse vocalist, Ramin Karimloo. His voice is so strong it’s almost frightening. I loved the transitions between his light, head voice and his deep, belting voice. His acting was very convincing and so was the blocking. The way he moved for most of the show was very sexy and mysterious. His portrayal of the character was accurate and it was obvious that he added a bit of himself into the role. In the “Final Lair” scene, he began to cry and I found myself tearing up (which isn’t an easy thing to make happen, considering how many times I’ve seen the show). He also played the “crazy, psychopath” aspect of the Phantom VERY well. Oh, another bonus, the man is absolutely gorgeous. Aside from a bit of over the top, shouty, and off key notes, I was EXTREMELY pleased with him, as usual.
Christine was played by Ms. Sierra Boggess. Oh my god, she was perfection. There’s a reason why she’s my favorite Christine in history, and her performance tonight proved my opinion to be correct. Her acting was superb. Her vocals were literally flawless with just enough vibrato, just enough airiness, to have the perfect balanced sound needed to play Christine. She used her mixed and head voice most often, but I picked up on her warm belting voice a few times. When she sang Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again, her lovely soprano talent was showcased. I sat in the audience, my eyes wet with tears and jaw dropped, applauding like a moron. She truly PERFORMED today. I have nothing but good things to say. I love her, I love her, I love her.
Hadley Fraser played Raoul, the Viscount de Chagney. His voice gave me chills; very powerful and beautiful. His portrayal of Raoul was confusing at times. In the beginning of the show, he was good. Then, in the middle, he often seemed annoyed at Christine, rather than in love with her. All the sudden, in the midst of All I Ask of You, he turned like-able again. From that point on, I loved his portrayal of the character. He was phenominal in the “Final Lair” scene; very convincing and emotional. It doesn’t hurt that he’s also really attractive. Overall, he was a good Raoul; I approve.
The whole show was great. The staging was well done and they worked hard and used what they had to work with to the best of its ability. I found it very interesting the Ramin and Sierra were cast as the Phantom and Christine in Love Never Dies, together. It almost felt like they brought something new to the characters in THIS show because they know what happens next. They are very well acquainted with their roles at this point and I loved watching them. The casting was good for the three leads, the costumes were to die for, and the score is, of course, magical. I enjoyed the concert so much and I would have honestly given anything to had been in London and had seen it live. I am so psyched to purchase the DVD when it comes out next month. You guys should definitely check it out.