In my first blog post of this series, I wrote about the impressions I had of the film, the Vegas production, and general plot points. This will be somewhat disjointed – but that could just be my morphine speaking.
Recently I bought the DVD of the 25th anniversary performance at the Royal Albert Hall. Be prepared for this review not to be all a-twitter with adoration.
I do not like the Raoul of the 25th anniversary – he always seems to be angry about something, and is completely dismissive of Christine’s fears, more so than I heard in Patrick Wilson or Steve Barton.
For vocals, I like Barton’s Raoul the most. Sierra Boggess during “The Point of No Return” and “Think of Me” displayed exceptional emotions and vocals, but I got the distinct impression that she has only a single, default facial expression.
The lack of the chandelier rising and falling in the Royal Albert Hall was incredibly disappointing, but the building doesn’t have the architecture necessary to employ the necessary rigging. The Phantom’s disfigurement makeup seemed a little toned-down.
To borrow a phrase from a different reviewer:
“Ramin [Karimloo] might make a good Phantom…when he grows up.”
I could have done without the mutual stroke-fest at the end, when Andrew Lloyd Webber came onstage. “Five Phantoms” was decent, except for the presence of Sarah Brightman. Twenty-five years ago, in 1986, when she played Christine, she was very good – the most perfect Christine of that era, to my ears. She’s now past her prime, trying to play a character she’s too old for, and doesn’t seem to understand that waving her arms about as she sings distracts from her vocal performance.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. One of those stars is awarded simply for finally putting the original stage show into an affordable format.