The Phantom of the Opera: A Phantastic 7th Time


“The Phantom of the Opera”, Broadway’s longest running musical, has dazzled audiences since it opened in London in 1986.

Based on the French novel by Gaston Leroux, the story focuses on Christine Daaé, a young woman who dances for the Paris Opera House.

When the leading lady of the Opera House’s current show quits, Christine is thrust into the spotlight and amazes everyone in attendance with her beautiful voice. She quickly becomes the obsession of the infamous Phantom, a disfigured man who lives beneath the Opera House. The reappearance of her childhood love, Raoul, complicates matters, however.

When MAC announced that “The Phantom of the Opera” would be this semester’s Broadway trip, I was beyond thrilled, and even more so when I secured a spot for myself. Although this would be my seventh time seeing the show, I was just as excited as I was the first time.

As someone who considers herself a very critical lover of musical theatre, I was also a bit anxious going into this trip because it would be my first time seeing a different actress play Christine on the Broadway stage. I had seen other performances, such as local productions and the U.S. Tour, but Mary Michael Patterson has always been the greatest, and she was no longer there.  

Instead, I had the opportunity to see Kaley Ann Voorhees, the youngest girl to assume the role of Christine on Broadway.

While I cannot say I liked her better than Mary, I can say that she is at the top of my list. Her age added to the innocence demanded of the role, as well as made her voice all the more impressive. Plus, she was an absolute sweetheart when I had the chance to meet her at the stage door after the show!

As for the Phantom, Ben Crawford was absolutely fantastic. I have seen my fair share of men play this role, and he is definitely one of the best. His voice was absolutely perfect. He was able to sound soothing and gentle, but also creepy and deranged when necessary. In a role that demands outstanding vocals and an overwhelming emotional performance, Ben Crawford certainly impressed.

The rest of the cast was incredible as well, except for a few instances.

One of the comical points of the show is that it is often a show within a show. Meaning, the actors and actresses on stage are frequently rehearsing or performing in an opera. In these parts, we see their staged mishaps.

However, some of these mishaps this time around were clearly not staged. With this being my seventh time seeing the show, I am obviously aware of what is supposed to happen, as well as what is not.

There were a couple moments when the dancers were horribly out of sync or seemed as though this was their first time seeing the choreography. Despite noticing these errors, it did not take away from the show because to anyone other than me, it appeared as though it was part of the joke.

Overall, my seventh viewing of “Phantom” certainly did not disappoint. The music still moves me, the special effects continue to amaze me, and the show remains close to my heart.

If you have yet to see it, I strongly encourage you to pop in to the Majestic Theatre as soon as possible. Or, for a cheaper alternative, you can watch the 25th Anniversary at the Royal Albert Hall online.

But whatever you do, do not watch the 2004 movie, unless you want a disaster beyond your imagination to occur to your eardrums. . . .