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[ profile] gbiscuit507, [ profile] selestria and I went to see Phantom on Broadway yesterday. I hope they had a good a time as I did. We ate garlic bread and pizza with mushrooms at John's Pizzeria and I had a good talk with [ profile] gbiscuit507 about all the things you're not supposed to mention in polite conversation: politics, religious beliefs, and Xena. It felt wonderful to have an expression of ideas without arguments or conflict; we just tried to understand our thoughts and beliefs better. After, we wandered around for a little bit and I noticed the interesting combination of a joke/gag gifts shop next to at porn store that happened to sell gags (as well as all sorts of videos and, er, toys).

Phantom was incredible. Aside from Beauty and the Beast it was the only other musical I've seen on Broadway and I had the same exuberantly pleased reaction. Hugh Panaro played Erik and did it very convincingly. He seemed to slink around on stage and his voice was angelic. The most appealing quality to his performance was that he managed to appear both dangerous and sensitive at the same time. The sensitive part could also be taken as whiny, but I'm not complaining. The only other actor to really intrigue me was Madame Giry. The Victorian outfit, black and proper, along with her cane and hair reminded me of the Ukranian Prime Minister Julia Timoshenko in a good way. From my seat, third row mezzanine wot wot!, she looked like my version of Snape had he been female. It was the stiff but elegant way she carried herself and commanded the ballerinas.

Being me, I couldn't help but start to analyze the show, asking But what does it *mean*?. I had only a rudimentary knowledge of what PotO was about going in so my conclusions may or may not have been valid. I saw Erik as the primal, chtonic side of human nature that is entirely animalistic. No morals guide it, it would kill for the sake of art, and the use of immoral tactics to get the desired result stir no pangs in the conscience. Raoul was the opposite, representing innocence and purity, having met Christine while they were but kids. He is idealism and shining happy love to the core, which is why I couldn't stand him. He seemed spineless, with no edge or fleck of dirt on his character to make the audience relate to him. Christine had both forces in her, was capable of either (Everywoman?) but her own good nature pulled her toward Raoul.

This bothers me. I liked Eric from the moment he crept up on stage. He was clearly intelligent, insanely so, and had a voice Raoul couldn't hope to match. He knew how to make a cloak swoosh and was just so much more *sexual* than Raoul. He kept making references in the songs to how much he desires Christine. "All I Ask of You" sounds childish compared to "The Point of No Return." The second song nearly made me melt when I heard it. I still can't comprehend how Christine could choose to go with Raoul over Erik but that's probably just a transference of my feelings onto her character.

I want to rent the 2004 movie tomorrow and watch that. Consider me hooked. I'm currently reading Susan Kay's Phantom and having more love for Erik after every page.


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January 2016

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