Last night, my parents got to enjoy a real treat: a theatre production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s
Feline Phantom of the Opera with live orchestra.
In case you are unfamiliar with the Phantom, here is the story: two guys fight over the same girl, causing a lot of problems. The end.
Side note: in stories where two girls fight over the same guy, the guy is always a real bastard and gets a severe punishment in the end. Meanwhile, in stories where two guys fight over the same girl, the girl is always extraordinarily pretty (yeah right, as if such girls exist) and the richest dude wins her heart. What’s up with that? Where is Shakespeare when you need him? Granted, Moulin Rouge was a pleasant exception where the pretty girl dies, but she had it coming. What a bitch!
Anywhooties, back to the Phantom. The summary above is, of course, a bit simplified with a corner cut here and there, but in essence yes, that’s all there is to it. And that’s all what’s needed. One simple rule that writers master and wannabe-writers don’t: matter the story does not, for the way it is told does. Which is why a story such as Hearts in Atlantis is pure genius as a book, but sucks big hairy balls as a movie. Seriously: if even Antony Hopkins can’t save a movie, the movie is bad. Very, very bad.
Anywhooties, back to the Phantom. Last night’s performance was a production from a local theatre group called Musical Theatre Dunedin. How local is local? Well, the Phantom was played by James Adams, who works for the Regional Council. And then Christine…oooh honey-voiced Christine, materialised by Hayley Carrick – a kindergarten teacher down the road.
Anywhooties, back to the Phantom. Being a local production meant there was not a multi-million dollar budget to spend. It’s still Dunedin after all. But the spectacular spectacular did not seem to miss that. Sure, at some stage one of the background dancers might have had a play with her ponytail whilst she was supposed to be sitting still. Sure, at some stage one singer’s cape might have fallen off, which I’m pretty sure wasn’t in the script. Sure, unless my ears were playing tricks with me, at some stage both the percussionist and a violinist might have missed a note or two.
However, these three items are not negative feedback nor criticism. They’re observations at best. And if that is really the worst I can come up with, then you know that the audience’s standing ovation was more than deserved for a fantastic performance with a great orchestra and extraordinary AV/effects support. Kudos, Musical Theatre Dunedin, kudos! Andrew would have been proud.
And thus endeth the purring of the night?
No. Firstly, because that would be a cliché.
And secondly, that would mean you would miss my callout to watch the Phantom of the Opera if you haven’t seen it yet. And if you have, watch it again. Undoubtedly you can find it on Vimeo somewhere. Or on the Pirate Bay. Or rent it on DVD from your video store. Or watch it in a theatre near you should it happen to be playing.
Or catch one of the performances in the Regent Theatre, Dunedin, 17-26 September 2015. Info and bookings.
Or just go to your library and read the novel that started it all: Le Fantôme de l’Opera by Gaston Leroux.
And thus endeth the purring of the night.
Darnit, did it anyway…