It's been awhile since I've seen a production at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis. I finally returned to that lovely theatre on Tuesday, December 17th and saw an absolutely stunning new production of "The Phantom of the Opera" by Andrew Lloyd Webber. I've seen this movie multiple times however never have I seen a live stage production of it. This new production by Cameron Mackintosh (following the sold-out tour in the U.K.) includes brilliant new scenic designs by Paul Brown including the show's legendary and iconic chandelier.
The set and costumes for this show were one of the best I've ever seen. Upon walking into the theatre, I was entranced by the stage. Unlike many other shows, there was a small set already constructed with the famous chandelier hanging above the pit, covered with a tarp. While the cast sang one of my favorite songs from the musical, Masquerade, the set transformed into an incredibly beautiful ballroom. There was multiple mirrors upstage of the set. These mirrors truly made this set come to life. It added depth to the scene in a sense of it made it look larger than it really was. It looked like there were a lot more actors on stage then there actually was.
One thing that performers are consistently trying to do is make the audience truly believe that what they see on stage is actually happening. We get the audience to believe they are no longer in modern time but actually in 19th century Paris. Very rarely do I see a performance where I'm so engulfed in the production that I actually forget where I am. This musical did that. I was so entranced by the actor's performances, I completely cut out everything else that was going on.
These actors did an unbelievable job with this music as well. I've never had the pleasure of performing Webber myself, however, I've heard it's fairly difficult. There were multiple songs where actors were singing different melodies and harmonies compared to what other actors were singing. The layering of these songs is incredible and very well executed. It was stunning.
The Phantom of the Opera will be playing at the Orpheum Theatre through January 5th, 2014. Student/Educator Rush tickets are available for all performances.