By Amy Elizondo
Never have I seen a production with sets as elaborate and intricate as The Phantom of the Opera. The backdrops and scenes are so stunning in this play that they vividly brought the musical to life. The audience felt as though they were part of the play at times with the beautiful 6,000 beaded chandelier weighing in at 1 ton hanging tauntingly above. It shouldn't really be much of a surprise to me since there are 20 trucks that are used to move the production from one city to the next. However, the way the scenes transformed before your very eyes was magical. There were times when you didn't even notice that a transformation was bring made and then it just appeared. The sets were not overshadowed though by the other real magic of the show, the actual Phantom!
You may know the story or you may not. Even though the production is 25 years old, the story is over 100 years old. Written by French writer Gaston Leroux in 1909 and inspired by historical events, a mysterious man, played by Derrick Davis in this stage performance, lives at the Opera house. He has been training a young soprano named Christine (Katie Travis) , who refers to him as "the Angel of Music." She is the understudy for Carlotta (Trista Moldovan), but the Opera house receives a letter from the Opera Ghost. Since he is very fond of Christine and is falling in love with her, he order that the managers allow Christine to perform in the lead role of Marguerite and that doc 5 be left empty for his use or the Opera house will be cursed and drastic events will take place if they don't follow through. After Carlotta is almost hurt in a freak accident, she leaves and they are forced to put in Christine. With mixed emotions, Christine performs beautifully and feels that she owes much of her success to him, but when she is captured by The Phantom, she is terrified.
Every single one of the actors in this musical performance was brilliant, however, Derrick Davis was electric and really stole the show. His voice echoed throughout the entire venue in a breathtakingly eerie way that stayed with me long after the acts were over. Even when he wasn't on stage, his presence was felt. I always wondered where he was lurking. The sets, singing, and acting all came together in a way that makes this rendition of The Phantom of the Opera one that I won't soon forget.
With over 30 cast members and 17 orchestra members that perform Andrew Lloyd Webber's magnificent score, it's definitely a performance not to be missed. All your favorites including Music of the Night, All I Ask of You, and Masquerade are still part of the production.
The Phantom of The Opera runs through Sunday, April 30th. For more information, call (512) 471-4453 or to buy tickets, click here!
Photo by Matthew Murphy