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LND - What would you change? 
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Realistically, the show has already passed through the "development" stages and into production, so any fixes will be of the "band-aid solution" variety.

Nonetheless here are my suggestions:

1. Dump the sub-plot about Meg having a crush on The Phantom completely. It's something that you'd expect to turn up in a fan-fiction story, not a professional theatre production.... you can keep the tension between Madame Giry and The Phantom, but have the tension be totally business related - Madame Giry objects to the way The Phantom is managing his fortune and the exorbitant sum of money he is spending to bring Christine to New York.... or if the tension between the Girys and The Phantom must be made personal, it is because they are acting out of fear - both Madame Giry (who is like a mother-figure) and Meg (who is like a sister-figure) are afraid that if Christine returns, The Phantom will revert to his violent ways. Make this the reason for the tension between the Girys and The Phantom, instead of Meg having a crush on The Phantom and Madame Giry being angry because she feels her daughter is being ignored.

2. The show needs a completely different ending, one that is less contrived than Meg suddenly becoming a deranged murderer.... I would end it with Madame Giry setting fire to the concert hall out of spite for the way in which The Phantom has mismanaged things and abandoned a "normal", "reasonable" life to pursue Christine once more.... the fire gets out of control and the whole amusement park ends up going up in smoke. This ending would also make the freaks' interrogation of Madame Giry in the prologue seem more justified and understandable.

3. Make the change in Raoul's character more mild and subtle. Have him acting in a mannered, coldly formal way to Christine - have references in the songs to him becoming progressively more reserved and less passionate over the course of their marriage.... have references in the lyrics to how Raoul doesn't talk as openly about his feelings as when they were younger... and imply that the reason Raoul has become so formal and introverted is because he senses that he'll always be second best in Christine's heart.... but dump the references to him being an alcaholic and a gambling addict, and don't have him throwing tantrums or complaining about having to listen to Christine practice her singing. All of these things seem like way too much of a stretch for this character.... I've always imagined that if Raoul and Christine's marriage fell into decline it would be with Raoul becoming more formal, reserved and introverted but still going through the motions of a happy marriage, rather than him becoming an alcaholic with anger management issues.

4. When The Phantom confronts Raoul in the bar, Raoul starts by trying to talk things through reasonably.... but then The Phantom is overcome with rage and a fight ensues, and it seems like The Phantom is likely to murder Raoul. The Phantom's dark side, which he has worked so hard to repress, comes out in this scene... the fight ends with Raoul pinning the Phantom to a wall, and it is Raoul who suggests the "Devil Take The Hindmost" wager - which recalls to mind the scene where Raoul bested The Phantom in the graveyard and then formulated a plan to trap him in "Phantom Of The Opera".... to me this seems more in-character for both men than the way things play out in "Love Never Dies".

5. The musical arrangement for "Beauty Underneath" needs to be more subdued. As is, it sounds too contemporary and sticks out like a sore thumb. Dump the drum-machines and electric guitars, if you are going to keep the song at all, then give the song a softer, more subdued orchestral arrangement similar to the reprise of the theme at the end of the current show where The Phantom is trying to talk Meg out of holding the gun.

6. I don't know if it's a good idea to kill Christine. Having her survive and live happily ever after with The Phantom and their young son is very schmaltzy... but still, killing her off just seems like a very contrived, sensationalistic and manipulative attempt at forcing a tear-jerker ending. I can't think of a single way to kill her off that won't come across as a cheap shock-tactic, like the ending of Meg shooting Christine already does. So, go with a happy ending. Much as it pains me to imagine The Phantom settling down with Christine and becoming a family man, at least it's not a sensationalistic attempt at forcing a reaction out of the audience by killing someone off... and let's be honest, that happy ending is the one that a lot of fans secretly want anyway.


Fri Mar 12, 2010 6:07 pm
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Jaded Mandarin wrote:
Realistically, the show has already passed through the "development" stages and into production, so any fixes will be of the "band-aid solution" variety.

Nonetheless here are my suggestions:

1. Dump the sub-plot about Meg having a crush on The Phantom completely. It's something that you'd expect to turn up in a fan-fiction story, not a professional theatre production.... you can keep the tension between Madame Giry and The Phantom, but have the tension be totally business related - Madame Giry objects to the way The Phantom is managing his fortune and the exorbitant sum of money he is spending to bring Christine to New York.... or if the tension between the Girys and The Phantom must be made personal, it is because they are acting out of fear - both Madame Giry (who is like a mother-figure) and Meg (who is like a sister-figure) are afraid that if Christine returns, The Phantom will revert to his violent ways. Make this the reason for the tension between the Girys and The Phantom, instead of Meg having a crush on The Phantom and Madame Giry being angry because she feels her daughter is being ignored.

2. The show needs a completely different ending, one that is less contrived than Meg suddenly becoming a deranged murderer.... I would end it with Madame Giry setting fire to the concert hall out of spite for the way in which The Phantom has mismanaged things and abandoned a "normal", "reasonable" life to pursue Christine once more.... the fire gets out of control and the whole amusement park ends up going up in smoke. This ending would also make the freaks' interrogation of Madame Giry in the prologue seem more justified and understandable.

3. Make the change in Raoul's character more mild and subtle. Have him acting in a mannered, coldly formal way to Christine - have references in the songs to him becoming progressively more reserved and less passionate over the course of their marriage.... have references in the lyrics to how Raoul doesn't talk as openly about his feelings as when they were younger... and imply that the reason Raoul has become so formal and introverted is because he senses that he'll always be second best in Christine's heart.... but dump the references to him being an alcaholic and a gambling addict, and don't have him throwing tantrums or complaining about having to listen to Christine practice her singing. All of these things seem like way too much of a stretch for this character.... I've always imagined that if Raoul and Christine's marriage fell into decline it would be with Raoul becoming more formal, reserved and introverted but still going through the motions of a happy marriage, rather than him becoming an alcaholic with anger management issues.

4. When The Phantom confronts Raoul in the bar, Raoul starts by trying to talk things through reasonably.... but then The Phantom is overcome with rage and a fight ensues, and it seems like The Phantom is likely to murder Raoul. The Phantom's dark side, which he has worked so hard to repress, comes out in this scene... the fight ends with Raoul pinning the Phantom to a wall, and it is Raoul who suggests the "Devil Take The Hindmost" wager - which recalls to mind the scene where Raoul bested The Phantom in the graveyard and then formulated a plan to trap him in "Phantom Of The Opera".... to me this seems more in-character for both men than the way things play out in "Love Never Dies".

5. The musical arrangement for "Beauty Underneath" needs to be more subdued. As is, it sounds too contemporary and sticks out like a sore thumb. Dump the drum-machines and electric guitars, if you are going to keep the song at all, then give the song a softer, more subdued orchestral arrangement similar to the reprise of the theme at the end of the current show where The Phantom is trying to talk Meg out of holding the gun.

6. I don't know if it's a good idea to kill Christine. Having her survive and live happily ever after with The Phantom and their young son is very schmaltzy... but still, killing her off just seems like a very contrived, sensationalistic and manipulative attempt at forcing a tear-jerker ending. I can't think of a single way to kill her off that won't come across as a cheap shock-tactic, like the ending of Meg shooting Christine already does. So, go with a happy ending. Much as it pains me to imagine The Phantom settling down with Christine and becoming a family man, at least it's not a sensationalistic attempt at forcing a reaction out of the audience by killing someone off... and let's be honest, that happy ending is the one that a lot of fans secretly want anyway.


I agree with some things.... I think Madame Giry should set fire to the place, I think Meg shouldn't have a crush, but should still want to be made into a star. I think Raoul can work as written with a more subdued acting portrayal. This guy does tend to shout when quiet frustration would work better. "Why Does She Love Me" is (upon each listen) getting better and better, but I think needs one more verse and a definitive ending.
Beauty Underneath doesn't need the rock taken away...just needs orchestra added in....a bit of brass would make it just like the "ROCK" song that is "Phantom of the Opera"

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Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:23 pm
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Quote:
Realistically, the show has already passed through the "development" stages and into production, so any fixes will be of the "band-aid solution" variety.

Nonetheless here are my suggestions:

1. Dump the sub-plot about Meg having a crush on The Phantom completely. It's something that you'd expect to turn up in a fan-fiction story, not a professional theatre production.... you can keep the tension between Madame Giry and The Phantom, but have the tension be totally business related - Madame Giry objects to the way The Phantom is managing his fortune and the exorbitant sum of money he is spending to bring Christine to New York.... or if the tension between the Girys and The Phantom must be made personal, it is because they are acting out of fear - both Madame Giry (who is like a mother-figure) and Meg (who is like a sister-figure) are afraid that if Christine returns, The Phantom will revert to his violent ways. Make this the reason for the tension between the Girys and The Phantom, instead of Meg having a crush on The Phantom and Madame Giry being angry because she feels her daughter is being ignored.

2. The show needs a completely different ending, one that is less contrived than Meg suddenly becoming a deranged murderer.... I would end it with Madame Giry setting fire to the concert hall out of spite for the way in which The Phantom has mismanaged things and abandoned a "normal", "reasonable" life to pursue Christine once more.... the fire gets out of control and the whole amusement park ends up going up in smoke. This ending would also make the freaks' interrogation of Madame Giry in the prologue seem more justified and understandable.

3. Make the change in Raoul's character more mild and subtle. Have him acting in a mannered, coldly formal way to Christine - have references in the songs to him becoming progressively more reserved and less passionate over the course of their marriage.... have references in the lyrics to how Raoul doesn't talk as openly about his feelings as when they were younger... and imply that the reason Raoul has become so formal and introverted is because he senses that he'll always be second best in Christine's heart.... but dump the references to him being an alcaholic and a gambling addict, and don't have him throwing tantrums or complaining about having to listen to Christine practice her singing. All of these things seem like way too much of a stretch for this character.... I've always imagined that if Raoul and Christine's marriage fell into decline it would be with Raoul becoming more formal, reserved and introverted but still going through the motions of a happy marriage, rather than him becoming an alcaholic with anger management issues.

4. When The Phantom confronts Raoul in the bar, Raoul starts by trying to talk things through reasonably.... but then The Phantom is overcome with rage and a fight ensues, and it seems like The Phantom is likely to murder Raoul. The Phantom's dark side, which he has worked so hard to repress, comes out in this scene... the fight ends with Raoul pinning the Phantom to a wall, and it is Raoul who suggests the "Devil Take The Hindmost" wager - which recalls to mind the scene where Raoul bested The Phantom in the graveyard and then formulated a plan to trap him in "Phantom Of The Opera".... to me this seems more in-character for both men than the way things play out in "Love Never Dies".

5. The musical arrangement for "Beauty Underneath" needs to be more subdued. As is, it sounds too contemporary and sticks out like a sore thumb. Dump the drum-machines and electric guitars, if you are going to keep the song at all, then give the song a softer, more subdued orchestral arrangement similar to the reprise of the theme at the end of the current show where The Phantom is trying to talk Meg out of holding the gun.

6. I don't knw if it's a good idea to kill Christine. Having her survive and live happily ever after with The Phantom and their young son is very schmaltzy... but still, killing her off just seems like a very contrived, sensationalistic and manipulative attempt at forcing a tear-jerker ending. I can't think of a single way to kill her off that won't come across as a cheap shock-tactic, like the ending of Meg shooting Christine already does. So, go with a happy ending. Much as it pains me to imagine The Phantom settling down with Christine and becoming a family man, at least it's not a sensationalistic attempt at forcing a reaction out of the audience by killing someone off... and let's be honest, that happy ending is the one that a lot of fans secretly want anyway.


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I agree with some things.... I think Madame Giry should set fire to the place, I think Meg shouldn't have a crush, but should still want to be made into a star. I think Raoul can work as written with a more subdued acting portrayal. This guy does tend to shout when quiet frustration would work better. "Why Does She Love Me" is (upon each listen) getting better and better, but I think needs one more verse and a definitive ending.
Beauty Underneath doesn't need the rock taken away...just needs orchestra added in....a bit of brass would make it just like the "ROCK" song that is "Phantom of the Opera"


Sounds good to me. I would be WAY less reluctant to see the show if these changes are made before the show hits Broadway in November. If ALW and the creative team keep it the same, then I will just go and see POTO instead.


Tue Mar 16, 2010 7:35 pm
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I repeat what I said in the production details thread:

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I wish that Mdme Giry hadn't been turned into Mama Rose. She never showed any sort of ambition for Meg in the original show...although ALW may well have gotten that from Leroux's novel...still, it's just too overly dramatic, although I suppose something exciting has to happen. Perhaps instead of Meg and her mother, ALW could've just invented a completely new character. It would have worked better since it left him free to do exactly as he wanted without having to worry about making unrealistic changes to already existing characters. Meg's story could just as easily go to some random Phantasma chorus girl/headliner and it wouldn't feel so contrived. In fact, it would be very interesting to see said character interact with the mysterious Frenchwoman her boss seems so enamoured with, like "Who's this woman that he never pays any attention to ME. What makes her so special?" I dunno, maybe I'm just being blindly optimistic XD

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Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:04 pm
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Phantom of Manhatten had a different character in a similar sort of role to Madame Giry. But if she and Meg weren't in it at all, we'd lose Dear Old Friend. Which amuses me. :lol:

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Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:51 am
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The only way I can possibly see LND having the same exact feeling as POTO is to have LND with same or familiar situations as POTO. But, in the slightly different setting with characters who portray the same archetypes as previous characters.

It might/will seem fanfic-ish but ...

I can see The Phantom somehow waking up 1980s/1990s to a world where's there's musicals and people are more trained to sing with microphones than they are trained to sing without them. Waking up to find his opera house changed. His lair undiscovered and unchanged. But, the opera house itself... I think this would set off his murderous ways as he tries to return the opera house back to it's glory. Wanting the theatre to have nothing to do with musicals.

Who would be the "Christine" in this? New chorus girl/stagehand/cleaning crew girl/etc/whatever you want her to be. The Phantom's new obsession. But, not with the girl herself but with trying to change her into who Christine was.


I don't know really. It was just an idea that came to my mind that I had to write out.


Wed Apr 21, 2010 1:04 pm
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Sanari wrote:
I can see The Phantom somehow waking up 1980s/1990s to a world where's there's musicals and people are more trained to sing with microphones than they are trained to sing without them. Waking up to find his opera house changed. His lair undiscovered and unchanged. But, the opera house itself... I think this would set off his murderous ways as he tries to return the opera house back to it's glory. Wanting the theatre to have nothing to do with musicals.

Who would be the "Christine" in this? New chorus girl/stagehand/cleaning crew girl/etc/whatever you want her to be. The Phantom's new obsession. But, not with the girl herself but with trying to change her into who Christine was.


I don't know really. It was just an idea that came to my mind that I had to write out.

Sorry to say it, but while I like the concept of the Phantom having a psychotic obssession with bringing the opera house back to its glory days, the premise of him being somehow brought into the distant future is just a little much...

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Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:14 pm
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Lol yeah, I don't really like it either. I just couldn't think of another way for him to experience the music of today. I think a time traveling phantom is the last thing we need :lol:


Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:52 pm
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Quote:
I wish that Mdme Giry hadn't been turned into Mama Rose. She never showed any sort of ambition for Meg in the original show...although ALW may well have gotten that from Leroux's novel...still, it's just too overly dramatic, although I suppose something exciting has to happen. Perhaps instead of Meg and her mother, ALW could've just invented a completely new character. It would have worked better since it left him free to do exactly as he wanted without having to worry about making unrealistic changes to already existing characters. Meg's story could just as easily go to some random Phantasma chorus girl/headliner and it wouldn't feel so contrived. In fact, it would be very interesting to see said character interact with the mysterious Frenchwoman her boss seems so enamored with, like "Who's this woman that he never pays any attention to ME. What makes her so special?" I dunno, maybe I'm just being blindly optimistic XD
True. But on the flip side, there's the whole "a lot can change in ten years" deal. BUT now that I think about it, that doesn't really serve to be a good excuse for this plot choice. I mean come on! Since when has Mdme. Giry cared this much for the Phantom? I doubt she would have done as much as she says she does in LND. So I have to agree with you. I woulds also like to see ALW give the Phantom and Gustave more time to interact with each other. I feel like they both aren't given much time to get to know each other.


Wed Apr 21, 2010 5:19 pm
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Sigh,

If so much trouble must be taken to explain why the characters are the way they are or to fix what is wrong with the show or the characters, I think that there is too much wrong with the whole thing and regret that ALW didn't write beautiful music about a story and characters that aren't inevitably going to be compared to the ones in what is one of the most loved shows ever. :?

Let it sink.


Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:00 pm
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Sanari wrote:
Lol yeah, I don't really like it either. I just couldn't think of another way for him to experience the music of today. I think a time traveling phantom is the last thing we need :lol:

A frozen and defrosted Phantom may be a tad more believable, but still pretty ridiculous for a premise. xD

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Thu Apr 22, 2010 6:12 pm
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Maybe a man learning of the history of the theatre and donning the persona of The Phantom only to become fully invested and obsessed to the point where he has emotions and memories that aren't his? The ghost of The Phantom living on through this man.

The musical starts off with the tour of the Opera House (a little run down at this point and dusty as hell). A man in the tour, entranced with the whole place, wonders off. Only to return later to the tour group ... different.


Thu Apr 22, 2010 7:32 pm
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