Brava, brava bravissima…
I turned to my Mother beside me at the start of the intermission, jaw hanging open and hands held up to my face. “I can’t even handle this right now. I just want to curl up in a ball and cry!” I wanted to freeze time. I didn’t want it to end.
Phantom of the Opera is currently playing at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver, one stop out of many on a Canadian and US tour. It tells the story of Christine Daaé , who works in the chorus as a ballet dancer at the Paris Opera House. She’s being vocally tutored by a mysterious voice that lives below ground and makes demands of the productions, which includes placing his prodigy in all of the lead roles. But when she falls in love with another man, his jealousy becomes out of control and the entire Opera comes under threat.
I’ve attended a lot of Broadway performances in my life and the productions are always top notch. However, there are certain shows that blow all others out of the water. They have musical scores that make you cry. The set has you gasping with each scene change. The costumes are elaborate and bright. And the cast is so ridiculously amazing that you can hardly believe one could hold such talent.
Goosebumps. Tears. Awe. Wonder. I struggle to find the words to explain to you how phenomenal Phantom of the Opera was.
There are few productions that actually pull off such emotions. Les Miserables does it when the curtain closes after ‘One Day More.’ Wicked does it when Elphaba soars above the crowd ‘Defying Gravity.’ And this my friends, is what you’ll also experience at Phantom of the Opera, when Christine Daaé and the Opera Ghost descend into the dark and smoky basement he calls home.
Phantom of the Opera easily slips into my top three spot for all time favourite Broadway productions. In fact, if I could attend it again tonight I would do so. It’s just that good! But it’s not just the popular score and well known story that had me so enthralled, it was the actual cast and set design.
Derrick Davis was easily the best Phantom I’ve ever heard, a statement which my Mother, a well seasoned Phantom attender, agreed with. Strong yet controlled, the torment of his character came across with every step he took and each wave of his hand. Katie Travis was the perfect Christine, a role she makes look effortless with her big voice. It simply cannot get any better than them.
And if you’re thinking you’ve seen it in the past and don’t need to again, there have been new special affects added to the production, including pyrotechnics and a set that turns and emerges with the story. Everything about this show will captivate you. Voices sing hauntingly from the corners of the theatre. Chandeliers fall from the ceiling. Steps appear out of nowhere and flames shoot from the floors.
It’s not often I struggle to find the words to properly convey how incredible something was, but this is one of those times. You simply need to experience this tour with this cast and these sets. If you can score a ticket (there aren’t many left), please, just go. You won’t regret it.