Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Group production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom Of The Opera are making theater history, today as they celebrate their 29th year. This record-extending feat has been achieved by no other Broadway show. The 29th Anniversary will take place this Thursday, January 26 with two performances (2 & 8PM) at The Majestic Theatre (247 West 44th Street).
The New York production of Phantom has played over 12,000 performances to 17.5 million people and grossed a staggering more than $1 billion. The Phantom Of The Opera has been Broadway’s longest-running show for over a decade.
Leading man James Barbour continues his astonishing performance in the title role, alongside his acclaimed co-stars Ali Ewoldt (Christine Daaé) and Kyle Barisich (Raoul). Continuing in their co-starring roles are Laird Mackintosh (Monsieur André), Craig Bennett (Monsieur Firmin), Linda Balgord (Madame Giry), Craig Bennett (Monsieur Firmin), Michele McConnell (Carlotta), John Easterlin (Piangi) and Kara Klein (Meg Giry). At certain performances, Kaley Ann Voorhees plays the role of Christine.
Based on the classic novel Le Fantôme de L’Opéra by Gaston Leroux, The Phantom Of The Opera tells the story of a masked figure who lurks beneath the catacombs of the Paris Opera House, exercising a reign of terror over all who inhabit it. He falls madly in love with an innocent young soprano, Christine, and devotes himself to creating a new star by nurturing her extraordinary talents and by employing all of the devious methods at his command.
The Phantom Of The Opera is produced by Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Group, music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and is directed by Harold Prince. Lyrics are by Charles Hart (with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe) and the book is by Richard Stilgoe and Andrew Lloyd Webber. The Phantom Of The Opera has production design by the late Maria Björnson, lighting by Andrew Bridge and sound design by Mick Potter with original sound by Martin Levan. Musical staging and choreography is by Gillian Lynne. Orchestrations are by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
This spring, with the return of Sunset Boulevard, Andrew Lloyd Webber will have the rare distinction of having four musicals running simultaneously on Broadway: The Phantom Of The Opera, School of Rock – The Musical, Cats and Sunset Boulevard.
The Phantom Of The Opera became the longest-running show in Broadway history on January 9, 2006 with its 7,486th performance, surpassing the previous record-holder Cats, also by Andrew Lloyd Webber and also produced by Cameron Mackintosh. Incredibly, since breaking that record, The Phantom has played both an additional 11 years and more than 4,500 performances .
On November 28, 2016, the New York production celebrated another historic milestone: becoming the first and only Broadway show to reach 12,000 performances. (By way of comparison, hantom has played over 9 years and 4,000 performances more than Broadway’s second longest-running show, Chicago.)
Phantom became the first stage production to reach worldwide grosses of $6 billion, which it did in 2014. Revenues far surpass the world’s highest-grossing film Avatar (at $2.8 billion), as well as such other blockbusters as Titanic, The Lord of the Rings, Jurassic Park and Star Wars.
Worldwide, a staggering 140 million people have seen The Phantom Of The Opera in 35 countries and 160 cities in 15 languages.
The flagship London production of The Phantom Of The Opera opened October 9, 1986 at Her Majesty’s Theatre. Last month, it celebrated its 30th Anniversary and surpassed 12,500 performances. Previously, in October 2011, it reached 25 Years, a milestone that was celebrated with a special production at London’s Royal Albert Hall to tremendous acclaim. A live recording was released on CD by Decca and a DVD of the event was released by Universal Home Entertainment.
There are currently seven productions of The Phantom Of The Opera around the world: London, New York, Sapporo (Japan, in repertory), Budapest (Hungary, in repertory), Prague (Czech Republic), Stockholm (Sweden) and Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production, now in its third year on North American Tour. The next confirmed international opening will be Gothenburg (Sweden) in August 2017.
The musical has won more than 70 major theater awards, including seven 1988 Tony Awards (including Best Musical) and three Olivier Awards plus the 2016 Olivier Audience Award in the West End. The original cast recording, with over 40 million copies sold worldwide, is the best-selling cast recording of all time. Since September 2010, thousands of high school and college student productions of PHANTOM have been licensed through R&H Theatricals.
Broadway’s A Doll’s House Meticulously Stunning Revival Soars Like a Birdie Above That Clumsy Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
For a revival to find its footing, it has to have a point of view or a sense of purpose far beyond an actor’s desire to perform a part, whether it suits them or not. It needs to radiate an idea that will make us want to sit up and pay attention. To feel its need to exist. And on one particular day in March, I was blessed with the opportunity to see not just one grande revival, but two. One was a detailed pulled-apart revolutionary revival of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House that astounded. The other, unfortunately, was a clumsy revival of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof that fell lazily from that high-wired peak – not for a lack of trying, but from a formulation that never found its purpose.
Relevantly Tuneless Fairytale Bad Cinderella Isn’t Bad, It’s Forgettable
You are seriously asking for it, when you make the title for your musical Bad Cinderella, however the show is not bad, it’s just seriously lacking. For an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, which is normally rich in melody, the only song that has any kind of hold is “Only You, Lonely You” sung by Prince Sebastian (Jordan Dobson or in my performance the wonderful Julio Ray). The lyrics by David Zippel and book by Emerald Fennell, adapted by Alexis Scheer are inane. It doesn’t help that the cast for the most part speaks and sings with mouths full of cotton. The orchestrations sound tinny and computerized, The lead Linedy Genao has no charisma or vocals that soar musically, instead she is rather nasal, like Bernadette Peters with a cold. Why this show is two and a half hours long is beyond me.
The show is based in a town called Belleville (beautiful town en Francais), that is based solely on looks and prides itself on its superficiality. The opening number starts with “Beauty Is Our Duty,” the Queen (a fabulous Grace McLean) is into her hunks including her missing son Charming (Cameron Loyal).
And the fairy godmother (Christina Acosta Robinson) is a plastic surgeon who sings “Beauty Has a Price”. In a day and age, where we are suppose to see past all that, this show is politically incorrect.
Cinderella a Gothic, and a graffiti artist, naturally does not fit into the town’s mold of beauty, which is how she earns her nickname. Her rebel move happens when she defaces a memorial statue of Sebastian’s older brother, Prince Charming. Sebastian is more of a geek, and he and Cinderella are in the “friend zone,” since both lack communication skills in admitting their love.
Sebastian is being forced by his mother, the Queen to find a wife at a ball and invites Cinderella. Cinderella’s stepmother (the always remarkable Carolee Carmello) blackmails the Queen to get one of her daughters Adele (Sami Gayle) or Marie (Morgan Higgins) the gig.
McLean and Carmello are the bright spots in the show and if the show had been about these two, maybe we would actually have a show that could work. These two steal the show.
Cinderella has not one, but two what should have been show stopping numbers “I Know I Have A Heart (Because You Broke It)” and “Far Too Late,” but she does not have the vocals, the character development or the star power to carry them off.
The set and the revenge porn costumes by Gabriela Tylesova, are just over the top, with the storybook set faring much better than the over complicated flowered pastels that waltzed across the stage.
The direction by Laurence Connor is just dull and lacks oomph.
If you like buff men and Chippendale type choreography this is the show for you.
Bad Cinderella, Imperial Theatre, 249 West 45th Street.
Did You Know There Is A Kander & Ebb Way?
On Friday, March 24th, the 96-year-old John Kander was given a Mayoral Proclamation from Mayor Eric Adams in celebration of the first performance of his new Broadway musical New York, New York. Following the proclamation, Lin-Manuel Miranda unveiled the sign renaming 44th Steet ‘Kander & Ebb Way. On hand was the Manhattan School of Music to performed the iconic Kander & Ebb song “New York, New York.”
New York, New York opens Wednesday, April 26, 2023 at Broadway’s St. James Theatre (246 West 44th Street).
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