Can’t really see, but still it’s something. Em is wearing a white blouse and a blue/purple skirt?
coincidence? I think not.
EVERY STINKING TIME!We love you. Go away. (then come back)
No, but really: just attend meetings OFTEN because I live for the moments when you’re being quiet so I assume you’re away, a wild Rumbelle appears and then you come back and you just explode with feels! :D
THANK YOU fellow Phantom lover!!! x
The first time I saw Phantom, Harriet Jones looked me dead in the eye during ‘Think of Me’ and that’s the story of how I died.
YOU ARE THE ACTUAL WORST
This is my review of ‘The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre. The role of the Phantom/Erik is portrayed by Gerónimo Rauch, Harriet Jones as Christine Daaé, and Sean Palmer as Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny. Martin Ball as André, Andy Hockley as Firmin, and Lara Martins as Carlotta Guidicelli.
I sat in the Stalls, seat C1.
We begin at the Opera Populaire. Having never seen a production of Phantom live before, I was surprised as to how fast this entire scene went. As expected, once the Overture began, I felt my eyes tear up just a little. Her Majesty’s Theatre is gorgeous, and completely set the mood. I really enjoyed Sean Palmer’s acting in this scene. After he done was singing his part for this scene, he pushed away the music box, which I thought foreshadowed how he would interpret his character.
The Dress Rehearsal of Hannibal:
Lara Martins did a fantastic job at portraying Carlotta and her “prima donna” attitude, was spot on! Her voice was as equally incredible, but her acting blew me out of the water. A fantastic Carlotta! Harriet Jones was fantastic! Unfortunately, I was trying to look for a brown wig during this scene, and then realized that Harriet was wearing an auburn wig for this performance, which I was very fond of; and not out of personal bias! During ‘Think of Me’, I felt that Harriet’s voice was very strong, and her cadenza was well approached and that she was not trying to push her voice beyond its limits. Sean Palmer’s voice was just incredible in this scene. He has a really strong voice, and it was great to see his acting match up with his voice.
Christine’s Dressing Room:
This was a great scene for both Sean and Harriet. Their chemistry was great, although I must say that I felt that Sean was portraying his character as one that indeed, cared for Christine, but also was very self-centered and not as loving as I would have liked to see during this scene. I also noticed that instead of a rose, Raoul brought a bottle of champagne, which I am not sure is the norm for this specific production. After Sean had left the dressing room, I felt Harriet was just getting better by the minute. Her portrayal of Christine during the beginning of this scene as an timid young girl, which I thought was a great acting choice which I think captured the many sides of Christine that the audience does not normally see.
The Labyrinth Underground:
Such an incredible scene. I really loved how the Phantom and Christine swiftly walked across the stage horizontally, before they went up onto the catwalk. I was in prime seating for the arrival into the lair, which was just magnificent. To get a look at this scene live, was very special. A perfect lead up to the following scene.
Beyond the Lake:
"The Music of the Night" is perhaps one of the most recognizable if not notable songs to emerge out of the score for this musical. To hear this song live, was absolutely breath-taking. I adored Gerónimo’s acting in this scene. His Phantom acted as rather timid at first, but then became much more comfortable with Christine. I also liked the physical chemistry between the pair in this scene as well. During the "Only then, can you belong to me" was incredible, very sensual, which surprised me, as I have yet to see a blocking choice of this kind. He was very much more physical with her, which I liked very much. Christine’s faint was predictable, but I felt that it did not take away from the scene whatsoever.
Beyond the Lake/The Next Morning:
This. Scene. Was. Incredible. Harriet was late lifting Gerónimo’s mask, and Gerónimo lost it. From chasing her around the stage, to finally falling to his knees. I thought his choice of blocking for crawling towards Christine was the best thing I’ve ever seen. He over-exaggerated his crawling towards Christine, whereas it was more of a violent squirm than anything else. It added such an element to this scene for me, I loved it! I also loved Harriet’s choice of acting in this scene as well. She hands the Phantom back his mask in a very thoughtful and considerate way.
The Manager’s Office:
Sean, Andy, Lara, and Martin shared the stage with grace and I felt that neither of them They all shared the stage with each other well, and put a an unforgettable version of “Notes/Prima Donna.”
The Roof of the Opera House:
Finally seeing the Il Muto gown in person was a dream come true. It is one of my favorite gowns that Christine wears throughout the show. “All I Ask of You” was performed beautifully by Sean and Harriet. I felt that there could have been a little more chemistry between the two of them, but it didn’t talk away from scene at all. To see the Phantom on the angel so up close was great! I was worried that he might fall off, only because it was swaying a lot during this part of the scene. The Phantom covered his ears as he heard Raoul and Christine sing, and seemed as if he felt as if he had been completely betrayed, and was heartbroken.
Act Two (Six Months Later).
The Staircase of the Opera House/New Year’s Eve:
Martin and Andy are just the right dose of comedic relief. This entire scene is a spectacle within itself. The music, costumes, lighting, blocking, choreography; everything is done to perfection. It was a change to see the mannequins onstage, as I am used to the 25th anniversary production, which had 100+ people onstage during this scene. The entrance of the Red Death, always amazing. However, when he was to make his exit through the trapdoor, he ended up running off stage, instead of going through the trapdoor, which I thought was interesting.
The Manager’s Office:
This is, and I think will always be the scene that completely turns me off from Raoul, however, the way that Sean portrayed the character has changed my mind for the better. Raoul was very protective over Christine, and her not wanting to participate in the Phantom’s opera. Sean is definitely more consoling, and has the right balance of how this character should be portrayed in this scene.
A Graveyard in Perros:
Harriet’s ‘Wishing’ was lovely; I do feel that she could work on this specific song, but with what she lacks vocally, she makes up with her acting. I’ll admit, my jaw dropped when I saw Gerónimo at the graveyard. He literally, came out of nowhere. His acting was great here, and he used the stage very well. I have never liked the ‘Wandering Child’ trio, but this was definitely one of the best I have ever heard. I felt that neither Sean, Harriet, or Gerónimo overpowered each other with their voices, they were all as equally as strong as each other. Overall, I thought the acting was great once the song was finished, Christine was completely transfixed by the Phantom, and it was nothing short of perfection.
Before the Premiere:
Seeing this scene live was a real treat for me. For some reason, I really enjoy this scene. Having a guard in the pit was also very cool. Sitting where I was, it was just a prime spot to see him shoot towards Box 5. Could have sworn that I saw the Phantom in Box 5 as well, which was also really neat.
Don Juan Triumphant (Point of No Return):
Definitely one of my favorite scenes in this entire musical, and Gerónimo and Harriet hit it out of the park. Just a sensual performance. Gerónimo’s acting in this scene was spot on. I do feel that Harriet was going back and forth between how she wanted to portray her character in this scene. Something that I love that she did towards the end right before the unmasking, was that she screamed “No!”, once she realized that it was the Phantom, and not Piangi. Such a brilliant performance of this scene from two amazing performers. The unmasking was full of emotion; Gerónimo got down on his knee to give Christine the ring, and I just lost it. The entire scene really set the intensity level for the next.
Beyond the Lake (Final Lair):
Wow! I cannot begin to describe this Final Lair scene. This is the reason Gerónimo, Harriet, and Sean all equally showed so many emotions in this scene. I loved Sean’s acting in this scene so very much. He didn’t just stand there, he made it very authentic when he had the punjab lasso around his neck. The chemistry between Harriet and Gerónimo was a privilege to see. When Harriet sang, “You deceived me! I gave my mind blindly!”, Gerónimo screamed “No!”, which broke my heart, as if it wasn’t broken already. The kiss was great, just full of emotion. Perhaps it was my view, but I could have sworn that Gerónimo went in for the second kiss. After the kiss, the Phantom let Raoul go fairly quickly, which was something I wasn’t used to seeing. As Christine gave the ring back to the Phantom, he looked at her and continued to hold it up to her, as if she was going to take it back, until she pushed his hand away, and ran offstage. Gerónimo was completely heartbroken, grabbed the wedding veil, and wept into it; until delivering the last line of the musical: “It’s over now, the music of the night!”
The cast received a standing ovation, which included myself, in tears.
If you are in the West End or London area, GO SEE THIS SHOW. There is a reason this show has been running for almost 30 years, and it is because of the brilliant casting of those over at Phantom. It does not disappoint!
Hahahaha! Good one, anon!
coincidence? I think not.