Review of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera”

Tanya Wummer

The Phantom of the Opera Review

by Tanya Wummer

The Phantom of the Opera Broadway Musical Production by Andrew Lloyd Webber is based on a horror novel of the same name written by Gaston Leroux in 1910.  The main Characters are the Phantom, played by Laird Macintosh, Christine Daae, an opera star is played by Ali Ewoldt, and Raoul, who is Christine’s lover, is played by Rodney Ingram.  The Phantom is a recluse who lives in the basement of the Palais Garnier Opera House in Paris. Christine is currently a lead singer in the Paris opera.  Raoul knew Christine when she was a child and falls in love with her the first time he sees her perform. He meets her after the show and they begin a relationship. The Phantom has been following Christine’s every move and is also in love with her. The Phantom does not know about Christine’s relationship with Raoul.

Laird played the Phantom amazingly well. He was mysterious and had a deep baritone voice. When he sang the words, “Sing once again with me…” in his deep baritone voice it gave me chills. During “Music of the Night”, when he covered Christine with his cloak and lulled her to sleep with his organ music, I truly saw the kind and loving side of the Phantom and no longer thought of him as a mysterious monster. I learned he was human too, and he felt emotions just like anyone else would, such as undying love for Christine. While she is in the Phantom’s Lair, Christine grows curious about what the Phantom might be hiding under his mask, and so when he isn’t looking, she sneaks up behind him and pulls it off! We then see for a split second what the Phantom was hiding… the right side of his face is horribly deformed. Christine is struck with fear and soon backs away from the Phantom as he lashes out at her, yelling, “Is this what you wanted to see?!?!” Christine is scared because this is not at all what she thought was behind the mask. She soon sees that the Phantom is lonely and has not experienced true love before.

During the climax of Act 1, the “All I Ask of You” reprise, we see the Phantom creeping up the wings of the stage, to a balcony, with a machete in hand. He says “You will regret the day you chose not to do what the Phantom asked of you.” He strikes a rope holding the chandelier with the machete.  The chandelier starts swinging wildly, sparks fly out of it, and it comes crashing down onto the stage. I felt a mix of emotions during this scene, first surprise, then fear.

The competition for Christine’s love continues in the second act. The Phantom writes an opera called Don Juan Triumphant for Christine. Raoul sets a trap to get the Phantom, knowing he will attend the opera. However, the Phantom lassoes Raoul, and Christine must choose between the two men. Christine lets the Phantom know that although he is deformed, he is not alone, and kisses him. The Phantom then understands that Christine should be with Raoul and disappears into the night.

The play was great! I was drawn into the story, the songs were both beautiful and haunting. Go to see the Phantom of the Opera, that’s “All I Ask of You”!