Last week, my family and I took a trip to New York City (as you do as a New Jersey family during the holiday season). We knew we wanted to see a Broadway show, but since "Hamilton" and "Book of Mormon" are impossible to get tickets for on an average worker's salary, we settled into the Majestic Theatre to see "Phantom of the Opera" — the longest-running show on Broadway.
And can I say this before I dive right in: that theatre was so tiny! The Majestic Theatre might have been smaller than my small high school's theater! It's strange to see an award-winning show like "Phantom" be performed in such a small place. I have always thought of "Phantom of the Opera" as a grand spectacle, a larger-than-life musical experience. It's weird how it is in a very subdued venue. It makes you wonder about how they had to go about some of the show's most eye-popping scenes.
But regardless of its theatre, the show itself really was larger-than-life. It's been running so long for a reason: it's a thrilling tale of murder, love and music, with great musical numbers and cool special effects. The chandelier may be small, but it was still neat to see it rise to the ceiling during the Overture and then come crashing down at the end of Act One. All the actors performed well, really selling their flashy and sophisticated world of opera to the audience. The Christine at my performance did a wonderful job hitting the high notes, and I was surprised by the wit and charm of the supporting cast.
But, of course, good production values aren't the only reasons "Phantom" is still chugging along. It's all about that Phantom, one of Broadway's premier characters. The Phantom has a gorgeous voice; when the Phantom first began to sing, his voice sent chills down my spine. He's an emotional mess, a brilliant composer cursed with a distorted face, and his constant mood swings are the best parts of the show. He's a tragic, handsome character, and, boy, the women in the audience wild about him! I couldn't help but look around and see some of the women ogling the Phantom whenever he was up on stage. They were really into him. I was also into him, frankly, but who can't help but love the Phantom?
Do I recommend seeing "Phantom of the Opera"? If you're a heterosexual female that likes emotional stories, then what are you waiting for? For everyone else, I believe it's worth seeing just for the experience of seeing Broadway's longest-running musical. I was surprised to see young kids attending the performance with their families. There's nothing offensive about "Phantom," but I don't know if it's really an exciting show for kids. But for for mature audience, the musical will suck you right in. It's a great time for anyone that loves a great musical. It's also one the few musicals that you can afford to see, since "Hamilton" is still expensive as heck. But don't worry, you have plenty of time to see "Phantom," since it probably won't close until the end of the world.