“Phantom of the Opera” 30th Anniversary Finale Performance

After hours of anticipation, “The Phantom of the Opera’s” 30th anniversary finale performance was live streamed on FaceBook on October 10, 2016. The event was live streamed so that  people from all around the world with access to the popular social media account could watch the video live on the show’s page.

The special event took place in London at Her Majesty’s Theatre after the show ended for the night. It featured current and former “Phantom” actors, as well as the creator and composer, Andrew Lloyd Webber with producer, Cameron Mackintosh.

The event started with a video of some history and former interviews. Then, two of the cast members literally unveiled Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Mackintosh. The two gentlemen went on to talk about the original cast, the music and failed attempts with live animals and robotic rats. It was very easy to tell the two are close and have been friends for a long time.

After the two finished speaking, Webber went to his piano and out came Sierra cuczpkbueaarknw-jpg-smallBoggess, an actress who has played Christine several times in various productions, including the 25th Anniversary, which was filmed and released on DVD. Boggess is a current cast member of the Paris production, which has unfortunately been delayed.

Boggess gave a beautiful French rendition of “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again” and switched to English for the last verse. I do not speak French so I could not tell if her pronunciation was correct or not, but she sang beautifully. Her voice has definitely improved since the “Phantom” 25th anniversary release.

Just when you think it cannot get any better, former London Raoul,  Michael Ball, stepped out to sing “All I Ask of You” along with current cast members Celinde Schoenmaker (Christine) and Nadim Naaman (Raoul). Not only was the trio incredibly talented, but they were also hilarious.

Ball came in with his big, beautiful voice, all the while having fun with the song by havingcufjszyueaijeju-jpg-small a “bromance” moment with Webber, who was at the piano. Schoenmaker came in for the next verse, then Naaman and the two Raouls started playfully fighting over Christine. It ended with Ball and Naaman pushing Schoenmaker aside and fishing the last chorus while embracing. Can you say Raoul-mance?

After the most hilarious version of “All I Ask of You” I have ever seen, the title song began to play and current cast members, Celinde Schoenmaker and Ben Forster (Phantom) entered, then the members of the Paris production, Sierra Boggess (Christine) and Gardar Thor Cortes (Phantom). Joining the two duos was former Phantom, John Owen-Jones and current standby for the title role, Scott Davis.

The two Christines and four Phantoms were absolutely amazing. Cortes and Boggess were fantastic. It was nice to hear the Paris cast sing a couple of the lines in French. Schoenmaker and Forster were mesmerizing and had the best chemistry. John Owen-Jones was perfect and Davis was great. I cannot imagine a better sextet (group of six people).

The final number was a short version of “Masquerade” with the cast. Once it was over, the special guests and original cast and crew, including Michael Crawford, came out to sing “Happy Birthday” to the show.

Overall, the finale was amazing. My only complaint is that the four Phantoms did not sing the hit song, “Music of the Night,” which would have been lovely to hear in French by Cortes and we would have been able to hear the actors’ individual voices.

I loved watching the cast members perform and it was great to get a little taste of the Paris production. I feel extremely thankful to have been one of many to watch the finale live stream on FaceBook alongside many other fans. Here’s to 30 more years “Phantom.”

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Sunset Boulevard- Dream Cast

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There has been talk that a film based off the musical version of “Sunset Boulevard” is in the works. However, creator of the show, Andrew Lloyd Webber has been trying to make it happen for years, but has had complications with the movie company Paramount, since they own the rights to the original 1950’s version of the movie.

I have not seen the musical and my parents gave it negative reviews when they saw it years ago. I have heard the title song and have become very picky about the way it is sung. I have come to enjoy only two versions of the song, the voices belonging to John Barrowman and Michael Ball.

Norma

Norma is the main role of this musical. She is a former silent film star who did not continue working when sound movies were invented. During the course of the show she is trying to send her movie script to Paramount Studios.

Patti LuPone

LuPone originated the role on West End (London) and has been a fan

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Patti LuPone as Nora

favorite since then. She still does concerts and is a Tony winning actress. I cannot think of anyone better to portray Norma on screen.

Glenn Close

Close was the original actress to play Norma in Los Angeles  and on Broadway (New York). She is set to revise the role in the 2016 West End revival. It is well known in the theatre community she is the top choice if the musical is made into a movie. 

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Glenn Close as Nora

This is a role Close is well-known for in the theatre community and there are some fans who would love to see her play Norma on screen. She has experience in “Sunset Boulevard,” is a big name and she can sing. She would be great.

Joe

Joe is one of few main characters in the musical. He is a script writer who works for Paramount Studios and happens to stumble among Nora one night. She has him go over her script, which he cannot save, it is so awful, but he attempts to and ends up staying with the older woman while living a life of luxury.

Joe is the one who sings the title song and as I have stated previously, I only enjoy John Barrowman and Michael Ball‘s versions of it. Both men portrayed the role in London and Barrowman has recorded the song on several of his albums.

Personally, I like singers who go outside the box when they sing “Sunset Boulevard,” which is why I prefer Barrowman and Ball compared to Hugh Jackman and even Ramin Karimloo.

Aaron Tveit

Tveit is a popular actor in the television and musical theatre industry. While he has never played the role, he could probably nail the title song. He has a great voice and is a fantastic actor.

Betty

Betty is Joe’s love interest in the musical, who is engaged to a man named Artie. She works at Paramount Studios and is a writer as well.

Kaley Ann Voorhees

There are quite a few actress I feel could play this part, but in the end my top choice would be Voorhess. She was an alternate for the role of Christine in “Phantom of the Opera” on Broadway and recently co-stared with many others in “The Prince of Broadway” in Japan. She has a phenomenal voice and would be perfect for the role.