Great White Snark: This haunted face holds no horror for me's in your soul that the true distortion lies.

Friday, February 12, 2010

This haunted face holds no horror for me's in your soul that the true distortion lies.

{Picture courtesy of LA Times}

This past weekend my Mom and I went to see Phantom of the Opera (Happy Early Birthday to me!). I was THRILLED. When I was little, I used to sit and gaze intently at my mom's album (yes, as in, record players and those massive black discs). The inside of the record case was a photo album from the Broadway play, and Mom used to listen to it while cleaning house when I was little. And she'd tell me the story and point out the pics that went along with it. Needless to say, I've been a HUGE fan of the story for a long time, and FINALLY had the opportunity to see it at the Bob Carr!

A pic of the stage from our seats. Taking pics during the performance is actually illegal (silly copyright laws!), so that's why I only have intermission pics.

Lot 666, then: a chandelier in pieces. Some of
you may recall the strange affair of the
Phantom of the Opera: a mystery never fully
explained. We are told ladies and gentlemen,
that this is the very chandelier which figures in
the famous disaster. Our workshops have
restored it and fitted up parts of it with wiring
for the new electric light, so that we may get a
hint of what it may look like when re-
assembled. Perhaps we may frighten away the
ghost of so many years ago with a little
illumination, gentlemen?

They did a really great job putting it on. All the singers were incredible, and the acting was wonderful. They said that the actors who played Christine, the Phantom and Raoul had just finished their SEVEN THOUSANDTH performance together. Singing like that is EXHAUSTING. I can't even imagine doing the whole thing once, much less that many times. And the special effects were incredible. At the opening of the play, the chandelier really is on the floor, looking all broken. And then the Overture starts playing and it swings up and right over the audience to its fixture in the ceiling. It went RIGHT over us. Very cool. Just one of many instances where I was left saying, "OMG how did they do that??" There were a lot of optical illusions used, too, kind of like a half-musical half-magic show.

I think the art of performing live is severely underrated in our movie-obsessed age. In a movie, yes, you can have even better special effects and better acting and more close-ups. But the art of acting and putting on a show well live is extremely difficult, and audiences cease to be amazed by live performances, especially in a show like this where a really fantastic movie adaptation was just released. And while I adore the movie version of "Phantom," I couldn't help but be more amazed by seeing it on stage, right in front of me, of seeing candles rise out of the floor and a boat glide its way on a stage just feet away from me. Stage shows (plays, ballets, musicals, WHATEVER!) are incredible, and if you haven't been to one lately, I highly recommend doing so (Hamlet is playing at the Orlando Shakespeare Festival. Just sayin'.).

My Mom and I look NOTHING alike!

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