I literally had the most wonderful day here as I accompanied Andrea, Sarah and Liz to see a performance of The Phantom of the Opera.Liz has never seen it live, Sarah had seen a horrible understudy and Andrea fell asleep when she went, so it was like a fresh new show for each of them. Mind you, I've seen more times than I can count via youtube and bootlegs, plus I've seen it live here, but my expectations were high.
Disaster almost struck as John Owen Jones, the main Phantom, was ill yesterday (I'm not a stalker, I follow him on twitter because he updates when he'll be out of the show) and I was really worried he wouldn't be on tonight. Considering I have already seen and was not wholly impressed by standby Scott Davies, this concerned me greatly. But my fears were assuaged as I walked by the theatre to see the cast list posted, John Owen Jones was the first name up there. Relief!
We had much better seats in the Grand Circle than I had the first time I went. I even got a few pics.
I won't bore you with details, but let me just say that they were amazing. Sofia Escobar has an amazing voice. She blew me away. I did hear her mess up the lyrics of Think of Me, but she covered well and I was just ecstatic to see her. Will Barrat, who I was alright with, really was fantastic tonight, really chivalrous and caring and crazy in love like Raoul should be. And John Owen Jones. Oh. My. God. Favourite Phantom. No question. He's crazy. He's psycho. He's vulnerable. He's pitiful. He's everything the Phantom should be acting wise. And his voice. Oh my god. Incredible.
Funny moments from the show (featuring some pics from my collection):
The mirror scene. There's this cool trick with lighting that allows the Phantom to be seen behind the mirror in Christine's dressing room. As this happened, Sarah grabbed my arm and said "wow" because it is so. cool.
We did see one of the ballerinas fall in one of the dances, but Andrea thought it was part of the show so she didn't notice.
At the end of Act 1, the Phantom appears on a statue hanging over the stage because he has been eavesdropping on Raoul and Christine. The way its set up is the statue lowers a bit, Raoul and Christine sing All I Ask of You and leave, the statue then lowers and the Phantom appears. Apparently a ton of people in the audience don't know this happens, because when the Phantom appeared there were gasps and murmurs throughout the theatre. Liz turned to me and said "How did they not see that coming?"
He is up on the angel like so. It is suspended above the stage and doesn't look very stable!
The murmur also happened during the graveyard scene. Christine sings Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again and then the Phantom steps out from inside the cross and sings. Lots of gasps at the fireballs too.
Lots of whimpering at the end, because really, who wouldn't? If the Phantom is good, he will keep you enthralled till the end. John Owen Jones is that good. I cried.
As an avid Phantom goer, you must know that I also frequent the stage door to meet the actors. I had the great luck of meeting all three tonight. First Will Barratt, then Sofia Escobar came out pretty promptly. I was actually bold enough to approach Sofia first. Will saw us standing there with our programmes and walked right up and said hello. They were super sweet and took pics with us and everything. Then we played the waiting game. The Phantom does have a lot of makeup, so we figured it would take a while. Luckily, I was on such a high that I didn't mind anything. I just hoped and hoped that he hadn't left some other way. Finally, after a good half an hour to 45 minutes, John Owen Jones appeared, looking very different from the man in the mask. He looked pretty incredulous when he walked out to a good half dozen people still waiting. He said "Oh wow, I didn't expect anyone to still be waiting!" Which either means he hoped nobody would be waiting or he felt bad that he was slow cause he didn't think people would wait that long. I'm hoping the latter. I would have waited till the tube closed man.
Anyway, it was amazing, and I'm super excited to go again in 2 weeks with Cesca. Awesomeness!
Pictures!!!! (Not just from Phantom, but because I've been slacking)
I found a Tim Horton's. What!?!?!?
Found a cool souvenir shop too
With an awesome greeter
Our seats for Phantom
Photo of the stage I'm wasn't supposed to take during the interval. I'm a rebel
She made her own costume
Will Barrat signing autographs
Sofia Escobar signing autographs
Mission Accomplished. I met them all
John Owen Jones- a jolly guy in real life. He didn't expect us to be waiting
Sofia Escobar. So sweet and beautiful. Probably the best Christine I've seen. And I have seen a lot
Will Barratt. He was super nice and friendly and made fun of Liz for spelling her name L-I-Z instead of L-I-Zed. Oh brits and their humour. He also remarked about my name being Christina cause he personalized each autograph. I'm in heaven.
Happily, I also wasn't speechless when meeting all of them. I did only manage a "You guys were amazing" and some other little comments, but its better than my normal speechlessness.