The Phantom of the Opera

Discussion of musicals other than Les Misérables.
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Prisoner 24653
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The Phantom of the Opera

Postby Prisoner 24653 » Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:43 am

It seems that we've got quite a few Phantom Phans (or at least people who enjoy this story) around, and so I thought we could use a topic. Feel free to discuss the musical versions (and perhaps even the original novel, spinoffs, and film adaptations) here!

I'm a bit of a die-hard Phan... I discovered the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical and Gaston Leroux's novel in high school, later saw a few of the film versions and discovered a couple of the other musicals, and wound up seeing ALW's version in 2009, 5 years after first hearing it. Thus far, I've gotten to see it onstage 9 times (US Tour x1, Las Vegas x5, high school production x1, and community theatre production x2). Like LM, it never gets old for me.

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Re: The Phantom of the Opera

Postby The Bricklayer » Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:45 am

I've never seen a live professional production, but my school did POTO last year for our fall musical. Being on sound crew, I saw it about 10 or 12 times. I've seen the Lon Chaney and the 2004 movies and own the Phantom 25 DVD and received the LND DVD for my birthday (good music, fanfiction type storyline).
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Aurelia Combeferre
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Re: The Phantom of the Opera

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:54 pm

Not a Phan, but I've had the chance to see this musical live. I love POTO, but I cannot stand "Love Never Dies". Maybe because I read the spin-off "Phantom of Manhattan" first and consider LND as a step down from this 'sequel'.
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Odetta
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Re: The Phantom of the Opera

Postby Odetta » Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:50 pm

I first read the Leroux novel in seventh grade then went and saw the 2004 movie. As of now I've seen the 1925, 1943, 1989, 1991 BBC TV, 1999 versions. There was also another I've seen but I can't remember the year, I believe it was from around the 60's-70's and the Phantom had a cat...
I've also read Susan Kay's version and another sequel called "Letter's to Erik". Haven't seen it live yet, the closet I've gotten is the blue ray disc of the 25th anniversary.
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Taelin
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Re: The Phantom of the Opera

Postby Taelin » Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:51 am

I'm a pretty big Phan as well. I've seen the show live in Vegas, own the OLC, book and 25th anniversary version.

Still waiting to go to London though.

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enjolraslesunicorn
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Re: The Phantom of the Opera

Postby enjolraslesunicorn » Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:20 am

Haha, I've seen the movie version with Gerard Butler when I was seven or eight, just recently saw the 25 anniversary(it's on Netflix), read the book, and saw the silent movie version. I love it, and am a huge Phan!
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Re: The Phantom of the Opera

Postby Taelin » Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:44 am

So is the 2004 movie as terrible as people make it out to be? I'm still afraid to watch it.

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enjolraslesunicorn
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Re: The Phantom of the Opera

Postby enjolraslesunicorn » Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:59 pm

No. It was the first one that I ever saw, and Gerard will always be my Phantom(Ramin's a close second though). Yeah, I've watched it at least five times, and I love it. And honestly, Emmy's not bad like people make her out to be! She just doesn't have an opera style voice, which you have to play someone who is in an opera, but that's not a huge problem for me. So yeah, it's good.
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Re: The Phantom of the Opera

Postby Auf die Barrikaden » Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:36 pm

Visually it is impressive. But when it comes to details you simply want to bang your head against a wall to erase the memory. They changed the timeframe to 1870, which means they celebrate the year change to 1871. What a foolish plain stupid idea. France was at war then and Paris under siege, forcing the people to eat rats and zoo animals. That is no joke. But hey, let's celebrate and put on a gigantic show...that's what you get for hiring the guy as director who gave Batman a suit with nipples. Oh yeah and they let Madame Girry speak with a French accent. When it takes place in France and almost everyone else is French. Glorious idea.
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enjolraslesunicorn
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Re: The Phantom of the Opera

Postby enjolraslesunicorn » Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:00 pm

Yeah, they did make some pretty stupid changes, but some of us didn't know anything about that period of time. If you ignore all of that, or imagine that it's still in the original time frame, it makes it better. It is a great movie, though.
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Taelin
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Re: The Phantom of the Opera

Postby Taelin » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:26 pm

Well, I watched a clip (All I Ask of You) from the movie, and who the heck plays Raoul? The guy seriously looked bored while singing that song.

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Re: The Phantom of the Opera

Postby Gervais » Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:07 pm

If it's Wiggy Wig guy, Patrick Wilson. He has a beautiful voice, but he made me severely question and dislike a character whom I love in the book. And that wig is almost as bad as the one from the music video with Steve Harley. :shock:

I kinda miss Raoul's little mustache in most of the movies. It sounds too adorable in the book. (Which I read 20 times in a row once. I was obsessed a few years back...)
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Re: The Phantom of the Opera

Postby YoungStudentMarius » Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:19 pm

I've never seen Phantom of the Opera live, but I became acquainted with it this year when listened to a few recordings, read the book, and saw the 2004 movie with the french audio track, not the english one, strangely enough, so I suppose I can't comment much on their voices. But their facial expressions I found...monotonous. And somewhat laughable, but the sets were so elaborate, and I was having enough trouble trying to decipher the meaning of the words that I didn't pay all that much attention to the voices, anyway. I did like the book; it's not my favorite ever, but I enjoyed it, and I think Raoul is a much better person than most make him out to be. I enjoy Phantom; but it's not what I go to when I want to think, however, more of what I listen to while I restore some semblance of order to the barricade that is my room. I'd love to see it live someday, however. It's really the scale of Phantom that makes it so interesting, I think, the grandiose sets and lush score and costumes more detailed and individual then snowflakes that would really make it breathtaking.
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Prisoner 24653
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Re: The Phantom of the Opera

Postby Prisoner 24653 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:38 pm

I'm not a big fan of the 2004 movie. I found the acting to be pretty wooden from nearly everyone -- it seemed like the only ones who were making much effort there were Gerard Butler and Minnie Driver. I agree with Taelin and Gervais about Patrick Wilson as Raoul -- he, the director, and the composer all said in one way or another in various interviews that they didn't care much about the character, and it showed in the movie.

As for the singing... I'm not a huge stickler for vocal quality in musical films, but the way the script built up the Phantom and Christine as having divine, angelic voices made the casting in the movie more than a tad unbelievable for me. When Christine is getting stupendous applause despite having a voice that realistically wouldn't carry past the first row or two of the theatre, and when the Phantom is described as being an angel of music despite sounding just slightly better than your average Joe at a karaoke party, that kind of destroys the illusion for me. And on the flip side, the movie also goes out of its way to make it seem like Carlotta is a horrible singer, even having stagehands stuffing cotton in their ears when she starts to sing, when the character actually has perhaps the best voice of anyone in the cast (and yes, I know the actress was dubbed). When it comes to things like that, I actually find it easier to suspend my disbelief when seeing performers who aren't necessarily the best singers playing these roles in a stage show compared to a film.

The biggest issue for me with this movie, though, was that the director didn't seem to care all that much about the story or the characters. He cast actors who were, in his own words, "young and sexy" for the main roles rather than choosing performers with the kind of acting and singing experience required for the parts. He didn't seem to pay much attention to the novel or to the real-life historical events that made the novel's Phantom somewhat plausible. The movie tried too hard to humanize the Phantom and explained away his "magic tricks" in a way that didn't make him seem like much of a genius -- the novel, by contrast, also explained a lot of his tricks, but the secrets behind them did require a substantial amount of skill and outside-the-box thinking on Erik's part to pull them off. And the toning down of the Phantom's deformity felt a bit condescending to the audience in my view; it was like the director thought the audience wouldn't sympathize with someone who was too ugly, and so he made the deformity into something that looked like just a bad sunburn/allergic reaction.

In any case, I don't hate the movie, and I did enjoy rewatching it sometimes. The foreign-language dubs were pretty good as well, and fixed a lot of the problems I had with the vocal performances. But now that we have the 25th anniversary concert and YouTube clips of various live productions, I usually turn to those rather than the movie if I want to see Phantom and can't get to a live show.

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Re: The Phantom of the Opera

Postby Gervais » Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:03 am

Agreed.

THE SUNBURN OF DOOOOOM! RUN, IT'S HIDEOUS! :shock: :lol:

There was a clip of a movie I've seen from either the late 80's or early 90's where Erik wasn't deformed at all and had a rat fetish, so at least Shoemaker didn't give us that. :shock: And there's another one I've heard of from the same time where Erik took Christine on picnics in the cellar, which at least showcased his engineering abilities.

Anyone else here a fan of Phantom of the Paradise in all it's campy and absurd glory? :oops:
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