Well, tonight I did not have people with binoculars in front of me! Actually, didn't have people at all in front of me! I am NOT writing everything down again tonight. I also think that it was Betina Hershey (Meg)'s birthday. AT least I think that's what Richard Todd Adams (Raoul) told me... Oh, they were selling autographed posters of the show for $40... It took all the restraint I had not to buy one! I mean, it's for a good cause and it's a fully signed poster! I didnt have the cash, but they took checks! And guess who had her checkbook with her? But then I realised that I shouldn't buy one because I don't have money to throw around and a host of other excuses.. But right now I'm wishing I had splurged!!!
Auction: Who doubles as the auctioneer? I noticed that his make-up was pale and his cheeks did not look like cheeks normally do on stage. Could the auctioneer be the same person that doubles Don Attilio?
Overture: I never noticed, but the chandelier does not have lights on all 4 sides! The light just go aorund the front and partway to the sides.
Hannibal: A few things I forgot to mention in my last two reviews... In Toronto, Firmin takes out a cigar out of his coat pocket and Andre motions for him to put it away. That's when Firmin says the "This isn't doing anything for my nerves" line. (NOTE: In the ocurse of this review, I may mix up the managers. Forgive me, I do that all the time!)
Back to tonight's show.. The Piangi understudy (didn't see Frederic Heringes) was played by Jay Lusteck. He had a beautiful operatic voice. In my last review, I was saying how i wished I could see everyone's facials better. Tonight I did. Julie Schmidt as Carlotta seemed to flirst with every breathing man on the stage! Julie also does the lip trills and stuff while the three managers are talking. Too bad her mic isn't turned up louder so people past the first row can hear her! (I think they actually left Kim Stengel's mic on for that...)
While she was having her dress fixed, Carlotta started to stretch her neck out as well as do vocal exercises. Julie also had a hand behind her back when she went offstage with Piangi... I don't know if she meant to do that or if she was just tired! Carlotta and Piangi seemed like they were a couple until Piangi turned to get on the elephant. After that part, it seems that Carlotta would rather be in the company of a bare-chested male dancer who wields a whip instead ;). When Jay climbed the elephant, something broke off of the elephant! The man to the audience right of the elephant picked it up.
Carlotta does not seem too upset that Lefevre is leaving. The opposite of the other three women I've seen play the role! Julie Schmidt must have had lessons on fainting! She's wonderful at it after the backdrop falls! She also does wonderfully on the "Si these things.." speach. I know I said it before, but I LOVE how she gets the manager's ear close to her mouth then SCREAMS "what do you know?" at him! When Carlotta said "Andiamo," Piangi stood there for a moment then had this wonderful expression on his face like "oh! She wants me to go with her!" Then he *waddled* slowly out to the wings. So cute!
Think of Me: Same as my last review.
Angel: Betina Hershey is Meg. She has a lovely voice, but it is so un-Meglike. She has a lovely vibrato and everything, but I just don't see the voice as a Meg character. Lovely acting form her, though! Meg says "Rehearsing, always rehearsing."
Angel Reprise: I LOVE Mme Firmin's dress!! I want one of those! (Well, after Carlotta's Masquerade costume.) Nice thing about sitting up close is that you can SEE the patterns and everything on the costumes, instead of just the effect.
Title Song: Same as Sunday. Except I could see that after the first pass on the travelator, they switched form the doubles to the real people.
MOTN: SOAR! The word 'soar'! I felt like I was watching Peter karrie do it! I do not remember Ted Keegan singing that word the same way last Sunday. This word was so beautiful and so GORGEOUSLY in tune... Wow.
Morning After: I still want to know how that bride doll does it! I have never seen a bride doll who STANDS the entire time without even the veil over her face!
Punjab Lasso: This Buquet (he was an understudy) was so *evil* looking at this part!
Notes: One word: FACIALS! This MADE the scene! The facials on Firmin when Andre reads his note. Oh, I believe this is the first time I understood every single one of Firmin's lines at the beginning! Most Firmins smush those lines together. After the managers denied sending the notes, Raoul (Richard Todd Adams) kind of threw his hands down and said his line, as though he had no clue who else could have written them. (Nice to see a Raoul who can act AND sing!) Julie and Jay worked wonderfully together. I usually try to figure out what their relationship is. But tonight, I had no clue. Piangi seemed to be an item with Carlotta to him, but Carlotta was flirting with everyone so it was hard to tell! During the Phantom's note, the facials that Julie was doing at "Carlotta will play" was like "Of course, I'll get he lead. I ALWAYS get the lead!" then when the Phantom finished the sentence, her face just said "What did he say? What's going on here?"
Prima: Lovely crying on Julie's part! It was so cute! Oh, if you read my review from last Sunday, I said that Julie took off her one glove. That's NOT a glove, it's her handkerchief. After Andre's line, she waved him away with the handkerchief. Then, when the managers are takling about her public, she did the same thing. But when they talk about them adoring her, she got this little smile on her face. Wonderful facials through the whole song!
Il Muto: I could see a dresser sort of poking out from behind the bed! The Confidante was cute in this scene! She and the guy that perfumed the Countess' wig started hitting each other when the phantom first appeared! Then the perfume guy pulled the Confidante back out onto the stage and she said something like "Oh, we're doing it again." Christine does the jerky leg thing, I must have missed it Sunday. Don Atilio's low note is STILL amazing! That man must have the lung capacity of.. well, something with big lung capacity! This Don Atilio looked like he was pretending to like kissing his wife. I hadn't noticed that character being played that way until last October. Before, it was just Don Atilio liking his wife and then being shocked that the maid that he liked was the man his wife was being unfaithful with! When Piangi came out to 'rescue' Carlotta, from my vantage point, he was pushing all of the other people out of his way!
Il Muto Ballet: Whatever manager announced Christine as the Countess said 'The role of the Countess will be sung.." Pause while he thought of who could do it then he pointed at Christine. After Buquet's body is found, Mme Giry came on the SR and pulled the girls off the stage. Then one of the dancers went back onto the stage and Mme Giry came out again and pulled her off by the arm. Nice!
Reprise: I couldn't see the phantom in the Angel, so I watched the shadow. I think everyone shoudl watch that shadow because it was interesting for a change!
Entr'acte: If Julie's husband sees this, nice clarinet playing! Oh, loved the whomever was doign the harp on the keyboard. (I noticed keyboard player II was reading some text book. Hmm, maybe he needs more ot do! ;)
Masquerade: Those managers are hilarious at the beginning. Reminds me of the original two in Toronto. The way they act, it's not like they have been doing this for a long time! It looks like the first time because they are having so much fun with it! I LOVE Julie's tights in this scene! Kim and Sandra up in Toronto have black ones with silver spider things. Julie has purpley-pink ones! They look so cute! I also like Piangi's sun costume. Wait, I liked all of the costumes. They look so much NICER up close! I was actually forced to watch Christine and Raoul for their little duet in the middle of the song because they were blocking everything else! But they were wonderful at that part so I didn't mind. Christine looked so innocent and happy when she talked about the engagement and Raoul acted like he wanted to put the anouncement in the paper that minute! Carlotta looked like she was so happy at that party!
Mme Giry/Raoul: Mme Giry was just swinging that lantern around! Nice to have a Raoul who can act! (Did I say that before?)
Notes II: I *always* feel sorry for Carlotta in this scene and tonight was no exception! When Carlo6tta was yelling at Christine, Piangi turned his back to her and was looking at his watch! HILARIOUS! The way I saw it, Piangi was sick and tired of accompaning Carlotta while she screamed at the managers! After she was done yelling at the managers, carlotta came over to Piangi with this triumphant little grin on her face. As I said last Sunday, Julie's Carlotta seems intelligent. She looks like she's trying to figure out what to do and how to do it instead of just doing the diva thing and whining about it. I always love how Carlotta and Piangi just almost barrel right through Christine and force her into the upstage center! Jay Lusteck as Piangi truend to Carlotta to say something BEFORE he ran over to Christine's side. I don't know which way I like it better. Him just totally dropping Carlotta and forgetting or him actually acting like a nice guy and saying something. (Keep in mind I have no idea what he said!) But Julie's carlotta didn't seem as upset as Sandra Margolese's did at the end of the scene. (Sandra looked almost in tears because no one was paying attention to *her*.)
Sitzprobe: Meg was so cute! She pulled her shawl up tight around her and acted like she was freezing in that little dress! Tonight I got a better look at Carlotta's "The composer is not.." speech. Julie dosn't have the "What are you talking about?" look. She looks very upset with Mme Giry. And then when she does the 'If he were here.." part, she points to the music as if showing what changes she would make. (I wonder what changed she would have made?) But when Mme Giry says her final line, Julie leans back in her seat and her hand went up to her throat as if remembering the croaks! Very nice exchange between those two!
Wishing: Same as Sunday. Except at the end of the Little Lotte part, she fingered the red scarf so that it looked like she was remembering her father. I don't recall seeing that last time.
Wandring: Yes, the gates open. I must have missed them opening Sunday. Ted Keegan LOVES those fireballs! He seemed to enjoy shooting them off! Richard Todd Adams is wonderful in this scene! His "M., I fear you not!" was so much the young lover trying to show how manly he is in front of his girl! ;)
Don Juan: Julie Schmidt can whip out that fan like no one else! She makes it seem so easy!! Also, Carlotta wasn't as 'sexual' as the Carlottas in Toronto.
PONR: Same as Sunday. Except Rebecca Pitcher seemed to LOVE shining that apple. She had it in her left hand and was shining it on her dress for a while. Either she wanted a very shiny apple, or she (she as Christine) forgot that she was doing it at all! Both Carlotta and Christine seemed to like the wine that DJ was serving that night!
The not-so-really Death of Piangi (Just because we all know he doesn't die, he's just unconscious): WHY do they cut Carlotta's mic after her Ubaldo part! I saw some wonderful movements (she had her arm straight out accusing the managers) and sort of heard some wonderful accusing! Now if they didn't have to rush off so quickly and the mic was still on, it'd be nice! Also, after Carlotta accused the two managers, one of them turned back to the stage and put his hands shrugged like he had no idea what to do now!
Final Lair: Wonderful! Someone must have told Rebecca Pitcher to throw that veil a little farther because today it SAILED! Can I say again how NICE it is to have a Raoul who can act? He LOOKED like he was scared for his life instead of just standing there! Also, I LOVED his facials after Christine kissed the Phantom. He was just so "I can't believe this." Wonderful.
Julie said that the cast members get apartments while they are in town and they each drive from city to city. Could you imagine how many miles are on those people's cars?
Anyway, a nice night! Now if I hadn't had a bunch of snobs next to me who refused to clap for *anything* and had enough money to get a poster, it would have been perfect. ;)