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25th Anniversary 
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Post Re: 25th Anniversary
Jaded Mandarin wrote:
But do the performers actually move around the stage, and fully act out their parts like in a proper stage production?


Yes, thy do, and it's very well done. I think this concert was much, much more enjoyable than the movie.

I don't remember how much set pieces the stage version originally has. Here it is a "back drop" of large screens showing curtains, the opera roof, the grave yard etc. It is a tacky (but possibly necessary) solution, and it works fairly well, despite some compromises, like the undropping chandeliere.

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Wed Oct 05, 2011 3:07 am
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Fresh Face
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Post Re: 25th Anniversary
Hello all! Feel free to check out my blog post on the 25th Anniversary cinema screening!!

http://reviewspp.blogspot.com/2011/10/p ... -hall.html

It was fantastic wasn't it?? Can't wait to get the DVD!! :D :D :D :D


Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:56 am
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Post Re: 25th Anniversary
I have not seen the whole concert, but have seen enough to know it's exactly what the Les Mis concert should've been.

They truly honored the original show; they thanked and acknowledged the original creative team; they made special mention of the elements from the original that have helped the stage version play effectively...and continuously without the need for updates or other such nonsense it doesn't need; they left intact the show's iconic sound of its orchestration by adapting it to be as much in line with the original as possible and the few changes are carefully thought out and are rare enough that they truly make that familiar score glisten. All of the most integral elements are respected. They CELEBRATED the original show. What a concept, eh?

I guarantee you that if this was dealt the same hand that Les Mis was, everyone who is claiming they loved the concert would also be bashing the original; praising the weak, brittle new orchestrations; and disrespecting the original creative team. Like the revival of A Chorus Line, you tell people that it's OK to celebrate and cheer for the original that started it all, they will do so with gusto. I will always wonder why it had to be my favorite musical of all time that had to be met with such utter disrespect, dumbed and thinned out, and the tackiest of sensationalistic tone and sound, I consider it an imposter that uses the original's success to sell, then claims the sales are as good as they are because of a bunch of blurry projections and recorders in the pit.

It is a good day for a Phantom fan. And this Les Mis fanatic envies y'all soooooo, lol.

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Wed Oct 05, 2011 11:27 pm
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Tony Winner
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Post Re: 25th Anniversary
I hear it was a TERRIBLE BORE!!


Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:53 am
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Post Re: 25th Anniversary
GungaDin wrote:
I hear it was a TERRIBLE BORE!!


It wasn't terribly boring, but the show is somewhat dull. This presentation, though, shows it from its best angle.

The scenes with Carlotta are very fun.

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Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:01 am
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Post Re: 25th Anniversary
I saw the encore showing last night. I loved every minute of it. Random thoughts:
- This was so much better than the movie. Joel Schumacher didn't do the stage show any favors with his movie direction.
- They did a good job of translating the action to a temporary stage. Some of the staging had to chage from the original to make this happen, but it worked.
- The leads all performed well, especially Sierra Boggess. She acted the part instead of just singing it like many Christines have done. Loved her performance.
- It was a real treat to be able to see a stage presentation with closeups of the actors when warranted.
- The large orchestra was fantastic. It helped to really bring the music to life.
- The very large chorus enabled the presentation to do more with scenes like "masquerade". This is far preferable to the mannikins used the the actual stage show.
- The encore part of the performance is a nice added touch. The only disappointing part was that Michael Crawford was there but didn't sing like the other returning stars. It was still nice to see so many luminaries on stage at once.

I really hope they bring this out on DVD for purchase. I'll buy a copy!

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Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:19 pm
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Post Re: 25th Anniversary
I agree with Hans that the projections were sometimes tacky, but Phantom is tacky as all hell, so it was quite fitting. The story's ghost element also helped them work better than they did in Les Mis, which were even more tacky even though the choice in slides and color were in good taste.

Oh, and I think Cammack has latent desires to write a musical and be credited as its sole creator because, if the way he tacks his name above the titles of Phantom and Les Mis as of late is any indication, he is downright desperate to be given the bulk of the praise.

Sadly, he isn't deserving of any of it for Les Mis as what people are praising are ideas rather than realities. Phantom is different and I applaud him for coming to his senses and acquiring some taste.

The assistant directors seem to have taken the advice of most of those who thought the Les Mis concert was a dullish night of reedy passions and counting wrinkles on the faces of deer-caught-in-headlights actors and have chosen a CONCEPT for the Phantom concert! Ooooh, what a concept, EH? Why, those assistants are about ready to become professionals any day now, ya think?????????????????????? OK, so my favorite show of ALL TIME was a guinea pig for their fragmented amateur experiments and they ruined it forever, but life goes on...

So while the assistants and GENIUS producer turned Les Miserables into "LE MIZ!!!! The BROADWAY MUSICAL SENSATION!!!!! OMFG!!!! AHHHHHHH!@!!!!" they went for honesty and integrity for Phantom. yay

Don't worry about me. I will be bitter for life when it comes to all things Les Mis and surely it will be ongoing, lasting up to when my dentures chatter in anger as a white haired old goat that smells of Ben-Gay and a face that looks like a road map, but at least I'll still have the tacky tale of a horny ghost and his empty headed diva regularly upstaged by a giant lighting fixture as the one British megamusical that buckled under the demands of doing the original justice and respecting its integrity. Great.

That reminds me...I still have two epic novels (posts) left in my Les Mis 25-cent tour review. These last two novelas I've saved for last because they contain the elements that are most important and make everything else look perfect in comparison. Watch for it!

Seriously though, congrats Phans.

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Thu Oct 06, 2011 4:00 pm
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Post Re: 25th Anniversary
deleted for being unacceptable contribution, account deletion pending


Last edited by KristinT on Sun Oct 09, 2011 5:36 pm, edited 3 times in total.



Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:08 pm
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Post Re: 25th Anniversary
Kristen, I will say your posts are very confusing to me. Not because I disagree with anything you've said above, but because they give a strong impression you're defending something that doesn't need to be defended because nobody is really being as negative about it as you seem to think they are.

Addressing weaknesses in the execution or feature of a concert is not arguing against the concert format itself. And I am further confused on what is obviously a need to also defend yourself as a 'type' of fan and how anyone not from an ordinary, sleepy town that lacks Broadway scale productions is probably just being petty and listening too closely to the voices in their heads. :twisted:

In the end, it seems you're really self-conscious about your newbie status and trying to reassure yourself that all this supposed richness that I and other dedicated fiends--whether Les Mis, Phantom, or of another musical--see so vividly is nothing you're missing out on because it simply doesn't really exist. You're entitled to that belief if it is what you believe.

Otherwise, quit being a silly goosehead, put down that red flag and quit defending novices, integrate yourself into our fan communities (which are anything BUT elitist. Fellow fans have my affection for a reason!) by simply being another who loves the musical; novel; or story alone (Les Mis, that is. I don't speak for Phans!), and approach things that you may not fully understand now with a sense of wonder. I know if there was a way to enhance my interest in the show even more, I'd eagerly at least look into a possible gateway into that instead of pretending it's not important or even there, even if it initially confuzzles me. And please don't interpret this as scolding or as coming from a-holism. I'm about as far from anger right now as Cammack has been from improving Les Mis!! XD

At any rate, SuBo would make an excellent Piangi.

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Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:38 pm
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Post Re: 25th Anniversary
I agree mostly with what you're saying, but I'm not sure about this:

Set_Buildin_Dad wrote:
- The leads all performed well, especially Sierra Boggess. She acted the part instead of just singing it like many Christines have done. Loved her performance.


Too often I sat with a feeling that Charistine is rather empty. Her blank face and dull eyes too often made me wonder if Sierra Bogges is a weak actress or if the character just is badly written, so that there isn't much else to do with it.

Set_Buildin_Dad wrote:
- The encore part of the performance is a nice added touch.


I also found the encore part ridiculous. Sarah Brightman appears bizarre and like a second rate Madonna. I found the heavy focus on Andrew Lloyd Webber's person tasteless and lacking of recognition of the co-creators of the show. And those two songs chosen are the least interesting in the show. Sarah Brightman trying to make the impression that this is Important Art (or something) is very weird.

Quique wrote:
I agree with Hans that the projections were sometimes tacky, but Phantom is tacky as all hell, so it was quite fitting.


Sure. But I think POTO is expensive tacky, while those screens are cheap tacky (not the actual price of the screens, they must cost a trillion, but the effect).

This sounds probably like I didn't enjoty the thing at all. That's not true. I'm only arguing about the praise I disagree with, and will probably buy the DVD, since much of it is very cool (particularly the Carlotta sequences and the mock opera parts).

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\"You all are f***ing crazy, except Hans, who is actually quite smart\" - Jennyanydots


Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:51 am
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Post Re: 25th Anniversary
Quique wrote:
Two questions:

1. Why, oh why, oh why do many Phans argue that Michael Crawford is too old to play the Phantom ever again on stage and was too long in the tooth to play him on film but use the "LOOKS DON'T MATTER!!!1!!1!" argument when trashing Ramin and Butler?

The Phantom is not supposed to be an orgasm inducing hottie visually, true, but the fact he is supposed to be repulsive looking (enough to make you and your orgasm want to die) means there is no such thing as "too old" looks-wise when it comes to casting for the role. Now, too old to perform on stage 8 times a week is one thing; too old to sing such a high score, as well, but I'm sure Crawford still has it in him to perform a one-off in celebration of the show's 25th anniversary. I'm actually surprised they did not go for Crawford for the concert. For the film, it makes sense, as they wanted a 'name,' but having Crawford back in celebration of the stage version's 25th would have been phenomenal.

I've also gotten the impression that hotties aren't welcome as the Phantom. Hogwash. Bologna. Hooey. Nonsense. Rubbish & poppycock!

While they certainly went overboard in the film, giving the Phantom an itty bitty scratch of a social out-casting deformity, the stage version assures any actor who graces the Her Majesty's and Majestic stages in the role will look like his head got run over by rush hour traffic. If female audiences rub their thighs and swoon at the sight of Ramin, they won't be doing anything the old Crawford groupies didn't do back in the day.

2. I also don't know what the big fuss is about over the Autistic thing. It's not like Ramin is trying to rewrite the novel, the role, or the reason the Phantom is a murderous lunatic. It's what a good actor does to add nuance and to drive their interpretation of a role; something to work from, an element from which his artistic eye will derive inspiration. Now if he suddenly sings "Stranger than you dreamt it. Can you even bear to look or bear to think of me; this loathsome, AUTISTIC gargoyle who burns in hell..." then y'all'd have a point.

Oh, and the 25th anniversary tour will feature GLORIOUS new staging and spectacular, re-imagined scenery inspired by the drawings of murderous lunatic John Wayne Gacy. I cannot wait.

I got the impression that his age was against him health wise. He suffered a hiatus hernia towards the end of his first run, and it is a very physical part.


Sat Nov 26, 2011 9:16 am
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Fresh Face
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Post Re: 25th Anniversary
So, does anyone have any idea if Michael Crawford was (a) unwilling, (b) physically unable, or (c) contractually unable to do any singing in the finale? It seemed odd that he would be billed as performing in the finale when all he actually did was smile and shake hands with Andrew and Sarah...


Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:01 am
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