Deborah Howell Reviews 'Phantom of the Opera' at the Pantages Theatre

June 10, 2019

(Photo: Matthew Murphy)

The Phantom is Back! And the production is even more thrilling than I remembered, thanks to Cameron Mackintosh’s splendid vision of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classic, and the sure-handed direction by Laurence Connor.

It starts with the deep bass rumble of the organ that you feel in the bottom of your soul. Ah, I remember now.......the innocent, wide-eyed, crystalline-voiced Christine Daae’, sung beautifully by Eva Tavares; the aching and sensuous voice of the Phantom  (Derrick Davis); and Raoul, the voice of impassioned young love (Jordan Craig). The fight for possession of Christine and for immortality for the Phantom make this a love triangle for the ages.

The story hasn’t changed since appearing on stage in 1986. The brilliant costumes and lighting are as opulent and creative as ever but the staging and production design are brand new. Designed specifically for touring, the 3-dimensional wizardry employed can compete with the best musical productions of the day. The stage (which features a 10-ton cylindrical wall) keeps opening......and opening...... visually divulging the inner worlds of the Phantom. And when the chandelier drops—the audience still gasps as if it was the first time.

(Photo: Matthew Murphy)

This is an exceptional treat. The supporting cast is terrific and the ballads and the orchestrations that belong to the Phantom are timeless. 

Do yourself a favor. If you’ve seen The Phantom before, treat your senses to another opulent helping; one can never get too much. If you haven’t seen The Phantom before, you can thank me later. 

The Phantom of the Opera runs at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre through July 7th.  Tickets start at $42.00 and can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com/phantom-of-the-opera or at the Hollywood Pantages Box office.

(Photo: Alastair Muir)