Three things to say before I launch into this post:
1. If you don’t like Broadway musicals or the Phantom of the Opera, bloop bloop bloop.
2. I don’t cry easily. For serious.
3. Being as hard of hearing as I am is a very frustrating existence. It moves me to tears how frustrating an existence it can be. It’s why I avoid extraneous human interaction more often than not; like, you’ll never see me chatting up a cashier or making casual conversation with a person in an elevator. It’s why I am NEVER the one to call and order Chinese. Too stressful. It’s why I don’t go to the movies. It is the exact same thing as seeing a foreign language film without subtitles when you don’t speak a word of the language and also, someone shoved cotton in your ears. Frustrating to tears.
The same held true when I saw a Musical Christmas Carol this winter at the Byham. Remember? I heard the word “chicken” and that was it. I left at intermission.
When I saw Bryan Adams at the Byham from nine rows back, I obviously understood every word he sang, but I understood maybe five words he spoke. Grr.
I did much better when I saw Young Frankenstein a few months ago, because I was only five or seven rows back or so and I was able to read the lips a bit. I caught probably 30% of that show. Still frustrating.
All of this to say to you that last night I saw the Phantom of the Opera from the front row and I CAUGHT ALMOST EVERYTHING.
I went with my mother, Pens Fan and Princess Aurora and it was one of my favorite nights ever.
First, the thing about the Phantom of the Opera as he is written in this musical is that Andrew Lloyd Webber somehow makes what is essentially a deformed nutjob sexual predator into a pretty hot sexy guy who I’d let have his way with me. And this is the point where I realize I can probably no longer make fun of Twilight. But whatever.
Sitting in the front row, we were obviously treated to some very nice close-ups with the actor playing Raoul. You guys, he is hot. I’m not just saying that. He stood on the edge of the stage, so close I could have spit in his eye if I had good aim — certainly, I could have hit him with my bra even with bad aim — and my sisters and I exchanged looks and then Princess Aurora began fanning herself and batting her eyelashes like Scarlett putting the moves on Rhett.
I do declare.
The first time I heard the voice of the Phantom, I got chills. The first time I caught a glimpse of him in the mirror, it was a bit breathtaking. That’s the kind of spell the music puts me in. Wherein I’m clamoring to lay my eyes on a deranged acid-washed kidnapper just so I can squee and swoon when he starts singing.
Even when the Phantom sang Music of the Night, by far my most favorite Phantom song, I found myself on Raoul’s side. That’s your girl. That’s yours. Who is this penguin-suited, mask-wearing, Opera-house squatting criminal WITH THE VOICE OF THE ARCHANGEL GABRIEL, to steal what’s yours?! EFF THE PHANTOM, RAOUL.
My sisters agreed. We were all on Team Raoul.
But then, near the end, there was the Phantom, desperate, no mask, scarred, a few random hairs poking out of his bald head, grotesque, singing his heart out, surrounding me with music, and I fell back in love with the psycho murderous freak of nature and switched teams. EFF RAOUL. RAOUL DOESN’T SURROUND ME WITH MUSIC.
Coming, my love.
As we left the theater, I told my sisters I was now Team Phantom and they were all, “No way. We are Team Raoul. Our guy is a handsome man who saved the day and your guy is a deformed penguin.” They then MIMED A DEFORMED PENGUIN.
So, the points of this post:
1. EFF RAOUL.
2. EFF TWILIGHT.
3. EFF MY EARS.
4. EFF ANY SEAT IN ROWS B AND BACK.
I’m a front-row girl now. Wish me luck affording this lifestyle.
Oh, and for good measure … EFF TWILIGHT.