Thursday, August 11, 2016

Phantom of the Opera at the Kennedy Center

Image found here.
This past weekend, I finally got to see The Phantom of the Opera at the Kennedy Center! As soon as I heard the show would be coming to DC, I really wanted to go! I had never seen the play before, but I knew it was a big deal (and I knew there was a Gerard Butler movie), so I was excited to experience it!
Image found here.
First of all, we were in the beautiful Opera House of the venue, which is gorgeous! Every time I go to the Kennedy Center, I am blown away by how incredible it is. The space itself is so conducive to great art!
I was BLOWN AWAY by this show! I think one of the most famous parts about this play is the chandelier, and the effects were astounding! The chandelier dropped from the ceiling, and when it was turned on, it would flicker almost like a strobe light, and pyrotechnics abounded with flames and sparks. And when the Phantom broke the chandelier, a loud popping sound startled the audience, and in the dark we were sprinkled with bits of tiny, clear plastic, meant to mimic shards of glass. How neat is that?

Image found here.
The show has a new set, and it is amazing! I was especially impressed with the way the show takes you from the opera house to beneath the building and across the lake to where the Phantom lives. A large cylindrical building represents the outside of the opera house, and steps magically appear and just as quickly disappear as the Phantom leads Christine to his lair (if you will). Smoke gives the illusion of fog on the water, and candles light his bedroom where Christine (innocently) becomes blindfolded and sleeps in his bed (ahem?). The opera house is also staged beautifully, and it is fun to see a play within a play.
Obligatory selfie. Image found here.
I thought the acting and singing was very well done, and didn't think that anyone was the "weakest link." Julia Udine's understudy, Kaitlyn Davis, played Christine, and I thought she did an incredible job. She can definitely sing! The music is such a key part of this play, and it stays with you for hours (if not days) later! Click here to listen to the soundtrack.

Image found here.
Chris Mann, who was actually a contestant on the show The Voice, played the Phantom; he's quite cute in real life, but it's hard to tell with his deformed make-up on during the show.

 Jacquelynne Fontaine was very funny has the snotty Carlotta. Image found here.
Image found here.
I liked what dancing was in the play, although I will say that it's obvious why these dancers are in a play and not actually performing with a ballet company. But I'm a ballet snob!

I thought this performance was REALLY amazing and recommend that anyone and everyone see it. The show is still at the Kennedy Center until August 20th, and there are tickets on Goldstar, so you don't have to spend a fortune (although if you do, row J is pretty amazing. Just saying.). This show is definitely the experience of a lifetime!

Here's a piece from the Washington Post about the new set for the show.

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