In the interest of full disclosure, I haven't been inside the Majestic Theatre in roughly 20 years, mainly because The Phantom of the Opera isn't one of my favorite shows. I have heard wonderful things about the current leads, and thought, why not revisit this Broadway classic? I figured it would at least be a pleasant experience, but nothing prepared me for how much I genuinely enjoyed it. What a terrific surprise!
In terms of the performance, Phantom is also remarkable for its intensity and maintenance. At the intermission, we wondered if Hal Prince was in the audience, so on point is the company. No resting on laurels here - from the corps de ballet executing Gillian Lynne's showy choreography with precision, to the entire company fully embracing (and not over-doing) the book's Gothic melodrama - everyone is bringing it. I've seen shows less than a year old that weren't as tight. The orchestra was simply wonderful as well. Of course, it should have been, considering the show's original conductor, David Caddick was at the baton. (I am pretty sure Mike and I were the only audience members who exclaimed with delight when his name was announced!)
While I have seen better individual Mssrs. Andre and Firmin, both Laird Mackintosh and Craig Bennett work very well together. Though Raquel Suarez Groen's Carlotta and Carlton Moe's Piangi could have been a touch more supercilious, their singing and understanding of the opera styles they are sending up fit the show humorously. I've always found the Giry women to be delightfully mysterious (Madame) and a creepy oddity (Meg), and Maree Johnson and Kelsey Connolly, respectively, keep that
The Phantom Love Triangle
Ben Crawford, Kaley Ann Voorhees and Jason Forbach
So glad we made a return visit - maybe we'll be back in another 20 years. It'll still be here.