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  1. #1

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    Phantom: the Las Vegas Spectacular... I saw it! (pics)

    If you clicked here hoping for pics of the show, I'm sorry to disappoint you. They don't allow pictures of the performance, and my camera's too big to sneak some. However, I do have plenty of pictures of their banners and such, as well as a chance to review the show for you!

    Damn you, Andrew Lloyd Webber, you're going to cost me a lot of money! (Because I'm going to have to see this show every time I go to Vegas!)

    First off, and I know you've already heard this, but the theatre is AWESOME! It is used to great effect early in the show during Christine's triumphal premiere.

    The chandelier. Yes, I know there's all this buzz about it, blah blah blah... but it deserves every word written about it. When you first enter, the pieces are scattered about, not just piled up on the stage, but also hung, in separate pieces, at odd angles througout the theatre's ceiling space. Here's my ONE pic from inside the theatre (okay two, but they're both of the same view and the first is too dark to see much)



    If you look closely, you can see pieces of the chandelier hanging in places, as well as covered onstage.

    The way it comes together is very impressive, and perhaps a little Cirque inspired. Pieces rotate around, making sure everyone (especially the folks directly beneath it) get a good view of all the pieces before they self-assemble during the overture.

    There are some cuts which will be noticeable to devotees of the show, little bits of lines, the occasional re-written line, bits of songs. But the overall concept of the show is not killed off by these minor changes. I think, once they're a few more weeks into the run (technically they're still in previews, I believe), the show will feel a little less "rushed". Right now, it does seem at times that they are racing the clock, and it causes a couple of formerly smooth lines to become a bit staccato.

    Mind you, I also saw this on a Monday, so I got the 2nd cast in terms of Phantom and Christine. Anthony Crivello, and I forget the name of the girl who played Christine, but apparently she was on Talon's floor in his dorm at UCSB... go figure! (But he didn't see the show, so he didn't find this out until he looked at the Playbill and recognized her, hah, serves him right for not going with me!). While Crivello was no Michael Crawford (who is? Oh yeah, Brad Little), he was no Franc D'Ambrosio either (thankfully, blech). So he was a pretty good Phantom. Didn't over sing, over operatize the Phantom's role, but he was good enough that he didn't distract you by under singing the music either (the movie, anyone?). Anyway, he gets a nod of approval from me. I'd rank him about with the guy that played Erik when Phantom closed its run at the Ahmanson (whose name escapes me at the moment, but I'm sure I'll remember it later).

    Since I love to rank Phantoms with descriptions of their character (Michael Crawford being the "Passionate Phantom", Brad Little being the "Scary Phantom", etc), I'd call Crivello the "Pervy Phantom". He played the role in a manner you might expect of an Aspergers Case... someone who is brilliant, but has trouble relating to other human beings or seeing things from their perspective, and often obsessing on their own interests, seeing the world through the perspective of that interest. Hard to explain, but his characterization of the role gave the music a heightened importance, as if music and sex were the same thing. To relate to modern day, this is the phantom you would find surfing the net, "Trekkie Monster" style. (I'm not going to elaborate on this on a "public" forum. Research Avenue Q to make sense of what I just said.)

    Madame Giry was played in a different manner than I've seen before. She was less deadpan, perhaps a bit more campy, but not distractingly so. And, given the new pacing of the show, perhaps that was necessary to bring life to a character for whom so many lines were cut.

    Okay, more on the chandelier. This was the most MAJOR change from the standard format of the show. They moved the chandelier bit to later in the show. Yes, there is still action on the chandelier during Il Muto, but the "major" bit comes later, and to great effect.

    Aside from the re-imagined chandelier, there is another major new set piece, and it is used for the transition into Masquerade. As you might remember, there used to be an intermission, which allowed time to set up the staircase for Masquerade. Well, not so here. This major set piece self-assembles (reminded me of Les Miserable, except nothing flips over, it just rotates in pieces and assembles itself in place). VERY beautiful piece too - the Opera Garnier exterior. New special effects handle the transition between the rooftop scene and the Gala. Effects you won't be expecting, though they do fit in with the concept.

    Unusually and exceedingly peculiar and altogether quite impossible to describe...



  2. #2

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    Re: Phantom: the Las Vegas Spectacular... I saw it! (pics)

    And now onto the pictures!

    I posted a few in my Vegas trip report thread, but here I'm subjecting you to every phantom-related picture I took:

    Crowds exiting the theatre




    A recurring icon throughout the lobbies of the theatre


    The store











    Unusually and exceedingly peculiar and altogether quite impossible to describe...



  3. #3

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    Re: Phantom: the Las Vegas Spectacular... I saw it! (pics)






    Unusually and exceedingly peculiar and altogether quite impossible to describe...



  4. #4

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    Re: Phantom: the Las Vegas Spectacular... I saw it! (pics)

    thanks for sharing


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    Re: Phantom: the Las Vegas Spectacular... I saw it! (pics)

    The hallway leading into the theatre


    And all the Phantom decorations on the Venetian's exterior (daytime)




















    Hope you enjoyed them!

    Unusually and exceedingly peculiar and altogether quite impossible to describe...



  6. #6

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    Re: Phantom: the Las Vegas Spectacular... I saw it! (pics)

    Sorry, but saw it in London....can't beat that!
    Mom, remember, it's not what a person is like on the outside that counts,
    it's what they are like in their HEART!


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  7. #7

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    Re: Phantom: the Las Vegas Spectacular... I saw it! (pics)

    sounds amazing! So like chandelier falling, what happened exactly?






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    Re: Phantom: the Las Vegas Spectacular... I saw it! (pics)

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfy999
    Sorry, but saw it in London....can't beat that!
    Yeah, but on the bright side, this theatre's seats don't crush your knees like the ones in Her Majesty's!

    Unusually and exceedingly peculiar and altogether quite impossible to describe...



  9. #9

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    Re: Phantom: the Las Vegas Spectacular... I saw it! (pics)

    Mine were fine....another story about Tim's knees! Right with that one!
    Mom, remember, it's not what a person is like on the outside that counts,
    it's what they are like in their HEART!


    - Wolfette

  10. #10

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    Re: Phantom: the Las Vegas Spectacular... I saw it! (pics)

    Quote Originally Posted by Disney Analyst
    sounds amazing! So like chandelier falling, what happened exactly?
    Well, it's already been discussed in another thread, but just in case...
    Spoiler
    During the spot where the chandelier traditionally falls, it shakes a bit and Phantom is hanging down, suspended from the center of it.

    Later, during Don Juan Triumphant, Phantom uses the falling chandelier to effect his escape with Christine. The chandelier plummets STRAIGHT down at the audience (hilarious, watching the people in the orchestra section duck!) but before it stops about 20 feet above their heads, the lights go out, and the whole business quickly retracts into the ceiling, where it will remain for the rest of the show.

    Unusually and exceedingly peculiar and altogether quite impossible to describe...



  11. #11

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    Re: Phantom: the Las Vegas Spectacular... I saw it! (pics)

    Spoiler
    So the Vegas chandelier fall is a lot like the movie's. I'm not sure how I feel about that.

    But after reading this thread, I'm interested in seeing it... Thanks, Morrigoon!

  12. #12

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    Re: Phantom: the Las Vegas Spectacular... I saw it! (pics)

    Thanks Morrigoon! Sounds like a great show. I saw it in NYC but may have to see it if I get to Vegas!
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  13. #13

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    Re: Phantom: the Las Vegas Spectacular... I saw it! (pics)

    The Vientian has two great shows now, hopefully both will play off eachother and raise admissions to both....
    ...a vaguely celtic music fills the air...

  14. #14

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    Re: Phantom: the Las Vegas Spectacular... I saw it! (pics)

    I want to see this soooooo badly

    I ahve seen the broadway show 3 times already but just love phantom...

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    Re: Phantom: the Las Vegas Spectacular... I saw it! (pics)

    Kelly: I'm with you. I'm a HUGE fan (or "phan" as they say ) of the original show, having seen it 4 times with Michael Crawford in LA, 5 with Davis Gaines in LA, twice with Franc D'Ambrosio in San Francisco, once with Brad Little (touring co.) in LA, once in London, and once in Washington DC. I may be leaving one out here, I'm pretty sure I saw it 15 times... maybe New York? Yeah, probably, I was there working and saw quite a few shows, Phantom was bound to have been on the list.

    So, speaking as a serious fan of the original... I was not displeased by the "Las Vegas Spectacular" version. You just expect shows to be trimmed down to 90 minutes in Vegas, and they did a pretty good job of it.

    I was thinking about this more after I wrote the OP last night. I think the Girys lost the most lines, between Meg and Madame Giry. Ubaldo Piangi also lost a lot, and Monsieur Reyer is nearly non-existent. This is because many of the detailed (and humorous) "rehearsal" bits, for Hannibal and Don Juan Triumphant, found themselves on the chopping block for time, as well as some of the bits that really set up the gags in Il Muto.

    Actually, most scenes that take place during rehearsals were cut or severely trimmed: the entire Don Juan Triumphant rehearsal with the piano and Reyer trying to get Piangi to sing it correctly, completely gone. Much of Carlotta's diva-ing during the Hannibal rehearsal (and the gag of her seamstress struggling to follow the hem of her dress) was cut or trimmed. A few bits and pieces otherwise, a verse or so from "Notes", for example, were trimmed out. I suspect, but cannot prove without checking the CD and seeing the show again, that some lines were redistributed to other characters in a few spots. Nothing terribly jarring, I just remember thinking that certain lines were being sung by someone of the wrong gender, etc.

    So while a few characters became a little more shallow, or at least a little less important, the vital parts remained to carry the story forward. I would not want to see these changes take over the traditional production of the show, of course, but for Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular, which purposely bills itself as a different version, I am perfectly okay with them. In fact, some of the changes I mentioned earlier (new effects, new set pieces) I quite liked.

    Unusually and exceedingly peculiar and altogether quite impossible to describe...



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