Thursday, January 29, 2015

Return of the Phantom

The Iconic Broadway musical, Phantom Of The Opera, is on the road and has landed back in Fort Myers; this time with a few tweaks. While the show tells the same fantastic story, with the same moving songs and impressive costumes, it has a little more 'flash.' You'll literally see the flash in the added pyrotechnics and the set appears to be brighter. It's giant pieces also appear to move much better than previously.  

I got a behind the scenes peak at the show when it opened in Fort Myers, including an upclose look at the new chandelier that famously falls from the roof at the end of the first act. It weighs one ton and crews load it with pyrotechnics before each show.
Crews load the 1 ton chandelier with pyrotechnics prior to the show
I also got to see and feel many of the costumes, including the Phantom's cape. The original costume designs are still being used and they are quite spectacular, not to mention heavy, with beads, ropes and sturdy fabrics. The wardrobe for this show takes up an entire semi-truck.

But perhaps the best part of my all access pass was meeting the stars of the show. Katie Travis plays Christine, the ballet dancer who becomes the star of the opera and the center of a love triangle with the Phantom and her childhood friend, Raoul. Travis first saw this show at the age of four and told me she had longed to play the part of Christine from that day on. She auditioned nearly ten times before getting her dream roll.

The Phantom is also a dream roll for Chris Mann, he grew up during musicals. You may recognize his face and/or name from the hit TV show The Voice, as one of coach Christina Aguilera's finalist. While Mann is on the road, he is working even in his down time, releasing new music. 

Me hanging out with the Phantom, Chris Mann
Fans of this classic show will be impressed with the updates, first timers will fall in love like the rest of us. Don't miss it. See Phantom at Barbara B Mann Performing Arts Hall through February 1, 2015. Or if you happen to see it touring in a city while you are vacationing, be sure to check it out. 

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