Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-04-18
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER REVIEW The Phantom of the Opera
by Eric Karas
2016-12-28

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber. Lyrics: Chris Hart, with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe. Book: Richard Stilgoe and Andrew Lloyd Webber. At: Cadillac Palace Theater. Tickets: BroadwayInChicago.com: $50-140. Runs through: Jan. 8

Watch out for falling chandeliers!

Phantom is back in Chicago for a four-week engagement at the Cadillac Palace. This is the reimagined staging and scenic design version for the tour, not the Hal Prince version that is the longest-running Broadway musical on Broadway. Most people won't notice the difference and it's the same famous Webber score.

The beginning of the original Phantom is one of my favorite parts, as the broken chandelier comes to life and reassembles to its former glory over the audience. In this version, it isn't quite as grand. However, when it's time for its dramatic decent later I totally liked that moment. Yes, I'm reviewing the chandelier—it is Phantom, after all.

The other "let down" from the original is the masquerade number. Usually, it's on a big staircase full of a huge cast; in this production, it's the cast in masks in front of a mirror—and it's not quite as dazzling. Also, the phantom's entrance here is also not as exciting. This is one change I didn't like at all. The other change that doesn't work is in the graveyard. Usually, the phantom is up above the couple, threatening them; here, he is on the same level they are—making the threat very, um, non-threatening. You're waiting for Raoul to just punch out the phantom.

Now that those negatives are out of the way, let's get to the positives. This production is very sumptuous and you feel you get your money's worth. There is a very cool spinning tube-like structure that lots of the staging comes from, and I enjoyed watching it. Also, the descent of the staircase to the sewers of Paris was fun, and we get our iconic boat-in-the-dry-ice moment. I also loved the dramatic way the opera house spun together.

The music is the beloved Andrew Lloyd Webber score. There's not much to say about it except the scenes where all the people are on stage together. Singing different things at the same time remains confusing and gets old fast. He's much better with the ballads. The funny thing is the Phantom of the Opera song really betrays when it was written. Its 1980s synthesizer sound stands out like a sore thumb from the score. It's a moment that is funny but also so iconic I wouldn't have it any other way.

Derrick Davis, as the phantom, seemed less menacing or creepy than others who have performed in the same role. In his favor, his phantom seems sweeter and more vulnerable. You can understand Christine's compassion for him. Katie Travis plays Christine as the sleepwalking victim she is. It's a challenging role and she hits the right notes literally. Jordan Craig—as her love interest, Raoul—has a masculine charm and never veers into camp, which could easily be done. Trista Moldovan was a fine opera diva as Carlotta, but she could chew the scenery a little more for my tastes.

Overall, it's a very lush production with great sets, costumes and effects. It's nice to see after so many recent projection disappointments or simply set musicals. The whole affair is so iconic that it makes for enjoyable entertainment. Like seeing the King of Siam waltz or Professor Harold Hill lead a children's band, sometimes you want to see a broken-hearted phantom and a vertically challenged chandelier. If you're a fan, go see it.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Jeff Award-nominated musical theatre performers on stage May 21 2018-04-23 - Chicago, IL - Pride Films and Plays will again host its annual NOMINEE NIGHT concert showcasing musical theater performers and productions nominated in ...


Gay News

Nominees Announced For the 45th Annual Non-Equity Jeff Awards 2018-04-23 - Monday, April 23, 2018, Chicago, IL — The Jeff Awards announced today, via a special video at: https://youtu.be/gr97FMaRv08, a total of 115 nominations ...


Gay News

Strawdog Theatre announces 31st Season, "Bravery" 2018-04-22 - CHICAGO - Strawdog Theatre Company and Artistic Directors Michael Dailey, Heath Hays and Anderson Lawfer are proud to announce the company's 31st Season, ...


Gay News

"Striking Out: A Gay Baseball Musical" through June 16 2018-04-22 - CHICAGO - April 20th, 2018 Striking Out: A Gay Baseball Musical is two act musical about the first straight baseball player in a ...


Gay News

Late Nite Catechism celebrates 25 years in Chicago 2018-04-20 - A Chicago original and international hit, Late Nite Catechism turns 25 in the city where it all started. A special anniversary ...


Gay News

Season of Concern hosts 'Cabaret for Care' 2018-04-18 - Season of Concern's 2018 annual benefit titled Cabaret for Care came to the Goodman Theatre on April 9. The evening had donors enjoying ...


Gay News

DANCE PROFILE Getting to know Lucky Plush dancer Aaron-Raheim White 2018-04-18 - How does one go from being a quiet young boy with an unstable home to being a successful Reiki master-teacher and MFA in ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Our Great Tchaikovsky 2018-04-18 - Playwright/Performer: Hershey Felder; Music: Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky At: Steppenwolf Theatre Upstairs, 1650 N. Halsted St. Tickets: 312-335-1650 or Steppenwolf.org; $55. Runs through: May ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW 33 to Nothing 2018-04-18 - Playwright/Composer: Grant James Varjas At: A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells St. Tickets: 312-943-8722; ARedOrchidTheatre.org; $30-$35. Runs through: May 27 ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Ghosts of War 2018-04-18 - Playwright: adapted by William Massolia, from the novel by Ryan Smithson. At: Griffin Theatre Company at The Den, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. ...


 



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.