So how do you follow up the phenomenal success of the phenomenon that was “Hamilton?”
Why, you bring in one of the classics, of course.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera” has returned to the Fox stage for a 12-day run. This latest production boasts new scenic design, choreography and staging. I couldn’t tell much difference from the last time it was in town aside from some of the set designs. This version did feature more pyrotechnics than I recall and probably the tallest Phantom I’ve ever seen on stage.
The story, based on a novel by Gaston Leruox and transformed into a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Charles Hart and Richard Stilgoe, remains the same. A mysterious, disfigured man calling himself “The Phantom” (Quentin Oliver Lee) torments the owners and players of the Paris Opera House in the late 19th century. He’s particularly keen on a young singer named Christine (Eva Tavares). While she appreciates the vocal lessons, she’s more interested in her old friend Raoul (Jordan Craig).
This latest production delivers all the flash, color, elaborate costuming and set design, and audacious singing that you’d expect from “Phantom.” The show has the same drawbacks it has always had — I still can’t understand people when they’re all singing different things at the same time. But I’ve seen the show enough now that I’ve learned to accept it.
The costumes, sets and music are all first-rate. The actors, dancers and musicians deliver strong performances — Lee is one of the best phantoms I’ve seen. Put it all together and it’s easy to see why “The Phantom of the Opera” is considered one of the best musicals out there.
“The Phantom of the Opera” runs through May 20 at the Fox Theatre. www.fabulousfox.com