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The Musical Masterpiece

Staffer reviews the iconic Broadway musical Phantom of the Opera

Nalani Nuylan, News Editor

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From April 19 to the 30, the Tony and Olivier Award winning musical Phantom of the Opera  was playing in the Brass Concert Hall at the University of Texas in downtown Austin. Out of a last minute decision, my parents treated my sisters and I to the masterpiece. And that’s all that it was – a masterpiece. That is the the simplest way I can summarize the production in one word.

It’s fitting, too.  Phantom is the longest running Broadway musical in its history. On Broadway alone, the production has a $845 million gross. That’s Broadway. In New York City. In America. Alone.  And every dollar spent was worth it.

The musical, based off the book Le Fantôme de l’Opéra by Gaston Leroux, is set in the Paris opera house, Palais Garnier in 1881. Where a beautiful singer Christine Daaé (Kaitlyn Davis) becomes infatuated with a mysterious, disfigured composer who may not be the angel of music she thought he be.      

The Phantom (Derrick Davis) in outrage when he finds out Christine (Kaitlyn Davis) sees him as a monster.

The performance was beautifully executed. Each character was authentic and unique in their own right. Davis, who is the understudy to Daaé’s roll, did a excellent job with her vocals with reaching the high notes in the number “Phantom of the Opera.” Derrick Davis, who played the Phantom, conveyed the mysteriousness and horrificness of the Phantom’s personalty. 

We need to talk about the set. It was the most clever way to use the space on the stage while providing the incredible detail. Maria Björnson, if you are reading this, you are a pure genius. Your set, for the most part, was a rotating wall. For the Palais Garnier stage, the amount of detail took my breath away. The molding and architecture was exquisite. For some moments throughout the performance, I thought that stage was carved out by hand because of how much detail was on the golden columns. And the chandelier! That beautiful, plot provoking, 6,000 beads of crystal which weighs one ton. That chandelier was so gorgeous. Thank you Maria Björnson, for making the musical real and exotic for your audience.         

I was in awe. Phantom was on my bucket list for the musicals I need to see before I die, along with HamiltonLes Misérables, and Cats, to name a few. I was so blessed to see the production for myself. It is because of my mother who wanted to re-watch it, considering she saw the original 1988 version of the play. It was her craving that granted me my wish.

No words can explain the amount of love I have for this musical classic. I feel accomplished, in a weird sort of way, that I have the show sadly off of my bucket list. But even four days, in regards to this publication, of watching the musical I am still listening to the soundtrack and daydreaming about that musical masterpiece. The Phantom of the Opera is there inside my mind. And he power over us grows stronger yet.

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The Musical Masterpiece