Musical Review: The Phantom of the Opera

9 Feb

“Do you remember your first time?”

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera” is without a doubt, my number 1 favorite musical, why, I have seen it 4 times on stage, (and dont even ask me about the film version, I love you Gerry!) own 2 original soundtracks and can sing all songs by heart. If I was a soprano, I’d make the perfect Christine. Since 2006, it has officially become the longest running West End musical having been on stage for 20 years.

During my sister’s recent London visit, we just couldnt pass up the chance to watch it together, or at least make sure that she gets to watch at least one West End musical, and the Phantom has to be it, or else that’s just wrong! We called it our Gerry Butler Day. In the course of 5 years, I have seen the Phantom performed by 3 different actors- Welsh stage actor John Owen-Jones who was the longest-running London Phantom, and he played the Phantom all the 3 times I saw it at the Her Majesty’s Theater in Haymarket and Mr Jones didnt disappoint, Scotsman Gerard Butler on the film version (there are no words to describe his performance), and the latest Phantom playing the London production, Earl Carpenter.

The first time I saw it in 2001, John Owen-Jones’ vocals was perfect, I heard some people who have seen the production several times, who even saw it when Michael Crawford did it, that Mr Jones was the best Phantom. I had to agree. I saw him again twice and was just as impressed.Then in 2004 a film version was released much to my surprise, and I was like, “who is this Gerry Butler playing the Phantom?” Never even heard of the bloke. Can he sing? Can he make me cry? Can he make me fall in love with his Phantom? I really dont want to answer that, you just have to guess, I am weak, I am only human!

And then Earl Carpenter. On this cold Thursday evening, after admiring works of art at the National Gallery, we psyched ourselves to remember our first time. Tonight will be the first Phantom I have seen on stage since I saw the film in 2004, and I was still as mesmerized, as moved, as heartbroken. I really was thinking Mr Butler was behind that mask, that I was Christine, his beloved. Carpenter’s “Music of the Night” was as emotional as Butler’s and totally did it for me. Watching it again rekindled my love for the doomed, the passion for my true love, my Gerry, my Phantom.

“You alone can make my song take flight, it’s over now the music of the night.”

14 Responses to “Musical Review: The Phantom of the Opera”

  1. Sheila February 23, 2006 at 10:05 pm #

    there is only one phantom.

  2. Monette February 24, 2006 at 10:20 am #

    My Phantom. *winks*

  3. Pedro February 24, 2006 at 4:13 pm #

    I heard Michael Crawford is the best, a mythycal one. Is that true?

  4. Sheila February 24, 2006 at 4:42 pm #

    michael crawford is an amazing singer, that much is true, but he does not embody the magnetism and mysticism that monsieur butler has. butler’s phantom is tragic and dangerous and dead sexy. crawford’s phantom is kinda fruity. πŸ˜‰

  5. Monette February 24, 2006 at 5:27 pm #



    I’ve only heard Crawford sing not perform, I wouldnt be able to give a fair judgment.

    But Monsieur Butler….ehr, did I just say I love him?

  6. Sheila February 24, 2006 at 7:20 pm #

    yeah, yeah, whatever!

  7. Richard February 26, 2006 at 4:20 pm #

    I’m pleased Simone, you enjoyed Earl Carpenter’s ’emotional’ performance. I loved his playing of the Phantom when I went to see him at Chrismas as well. πŸ™‚

  8. Monette February 27, 2006 at 10:11 am #

    Richard, was that your first time? *winks*

    Ever seen the film version?

  9. Richard February 27, 2006 at 2:37 pm #

    Nooooooooooooo! Hmmm, 2nd actually…and no I haven’t seen the film version.

  10. Monette February 27, 2006 at 3:27 pm #

    Who played the Phantom the first time you saw it?

    Oh please watch the film version, you will be surprised how very good it is!

  11. Richard March 2, 2006 at 4:20 am #

    The boyo from the valley, Mr John Owen-Jones himself.

  12. Monette March 2, 2006 at 12:18 pm #

    And what did you think of his performance? He was brilliant wasnt he? πŸ˜‰

  13. Richard March 3, 2006 at 1:18 pm #

    He was good, but Earl Carpenter was better. I think the problem was that I went to see John Owen-Jones during a matinee performance. To play that role twice in one day has got to be demanding. I think as a result, to me it seemed like he was holding back, knowing he had another performance later on. But, then what do I know? I’m not a singer. He was still good, just not as good as Earl Carpenter. Anyway, I thought we went through all this when I came round your house! πŸ˜‰

  14. Monette March 3, 2006 at 2:47 pm #

    Are you sure we had that conversation? Cause now that you mentioned it, when you did come over, I couldnt remember that we talked about the performances, I remember Andrew moaning about Lloyd Webber supposed ripping off somebody’s melody for the Phantom theme music, but I cant remember anything else, talk about old age! LOL

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