The Music of the Night Lives On...


I remember curling up close next to the boom box when I was much younger, pressing play, and hearing the first sweet, intoxicating, and heart pounding cords of the Overture in the Phantom of the Opera. I would lay curled up on my side, close my eyes and, from what my Mother told me and the rich cords coming from the small speakers, envision what was unfolding. It was a great playground for my vivid imagination. As I’m typing this I’m listening to the very CD that I would play while lying on the carpet curled by the small stereo.

As I grew I left the Phantom behind me, and the winsome fancy and childlike wonder I held for the project. The movie brought the same magic back to the tiny girl inside. I was moved beyond expression, and my big girl mind was able to reap a whole other level of depth from the piece that my young mind never could. The depth of sorrow of what it is like never to have the caress of real love upon your life, while brilliant, cruel, cold, harsh, and with many animalistic qualities, not being able to truly love…and being softened by one act of true love. The layers of what the Phantom represents is deep and complex, and in fact could very much reflect certain aspects of us if we would take a longer look in the mirror, in dichotomy Christine is all the is pure, humble, sweet, trusting and honest in the human spirit. Raoul is more the steadfast character; he is strong, true, honest, practical…yet unafraid of love and compassion, and a good fight. Here were my thoughts after I had seen the movie…

Well I have seen the Phantom of the Opera for the second full time. All in all I have seen the movie two and a half times. It is a magical fantastical experience. I cried again. It is a true story of the human spirit. The spirit of ugliness, bitterness, resentfulness, and cruelty, and the spirit of humanity, kindness, giving, love, grace, mercy, and compassion. It is the essence of the passionate human heart and broken spirit. It is beauty and tragedy. It is fantastical and pure. It is magical and simple. It tugs at the heart strings. You are placed in front of a mirror and you see the reflection of yourself, truer than you might like. The Phantom infuses every pore of this film, and thus embodies all aspects of humanity.

Needless to say it got under my skin. In subsequent years I have periodically looked to see if the “Opera” would be coming around my neck of the woods. In a random search last August, not expecting much, I about fell out of my chair when I realized that Phantom would be playing at the end of this month in Louisville, KY. I called my dear friend Jamie and left her a message. When she heard it her husband thought someone had died by the way she acted. She is also a HUGE fan, so of course we set to go. I had been trying not to think about it too much, but it was ever one my mind. I knew that before I knew it would all be over.

So, this past Saturday evening we went…and well…it was FABULOUS! It was hard for me to concentrate I was so full of thoughts and jumbled emotions. The set, the props, the costumes, the sweet music coming from amazing talent, just incredible. I wished I could have seen it again so that I could have relaxed a little to fully take it in. Nonetheless it was such a rich experience for me. I was truly spellbound, and almost wished that I was seeing it with no pre-conceived notion, that the little girl in me could go back to that time when my stomach would flutter when I heard it for the first time. I had wished that I had never watched the movie as many times as I did. I wished to be a part of the music of the night as much as it had been a part of me in years past (maybe next time). Even so I am feeling so privileged to have had the opportunity to see it. Jason Mills (Phantom) was fabulous, what a rich vocal range and powerful presence he brought to the stage. Greg Mills, no relation, (Raoul) was a handsome and powerful Viconte de Chagny. Sara Jean Ford (Christine) was incredible, lovely, and what a set of pipes, a true and genuine actress. DC Anderson (Monsieur Andre) and Bruce Winant (Monsieur Firmin) played their roles with rich practicality and humor. Kim Stengel was fabulous as Carlotta Gludicelli. John Whitney was great as Ubaldo Piangi, and all the other cast did fabulous. I’m so thankful that they helped make a little girls dream come true.

So with childlike wonder and fantasy, unlike the end of the play, the music of the night is never over. Oh, what richness it does offer.

Comments

Anonymous said…
stumbled upon your blog while randomly clicking. i LOVE phantom. and i love broadway. so thanks for sharing. nice blog.

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