This spring break, I had the opportunity to cross off two of my bucket list items: going to New York City and watching a live Broadway Musical. On a rainy thursday in NYC my friends and I grabbed a quick meal of NY style pizza from a restaurant near Time Square. We made our way to the gorgeous Majestic Theatre for our Matinee showing of The Phantom of the Opera, a Broadway classic that has, without fail, captivated audiences since it debuted in 1988. Phantom is the longest running Broadway musical and for good reason, as I was soon to find out.
The Majestic Theatre was packed and there was an excited energy in the audience as we all waited for the lights to dim and the orchestra to begin. With the first notes of “The Phantom of the Opera”, the theme song for the musical of the same name, I had goosebumps all over that did not stop from beginning to end. If anyone has seen the movie version of this musical ( and was blessed by Gerard Butler’s performance as the Phantom), they know that the music is incredible and Andrew Lloyd Webber, the composer, was a genius. However, hearing it live with a full orchestra and the beautiful, full voices of the cast was a completely different experience.
A little rundown of the plot of this musical is that there is a lovely opera house that comes under new ownership, this exposes the secret of the Phantom of the Opera, a ghost-like individual who wreaks havoc on the Opera if things do not go according to his plan. The story is driven by his obsession over Christine Daae, a beautiful, fatherless, and talented Soprano who has yet to be recognized. Ted Kennedy played our Phantom alongside Kaley Ann Voorhees as Christine, both had incredible vocal and range and stage presence along with a chemistry that made you feel for both characters.
The set design was breathtaking, with many moving parts including candelabras that rise out of the ground, multiple changing backgrounds, and the infamous chandelier. Not to mention the costume design, which was rich and sparkling with costume changes that were all but seamless. In the background of almost every scene there was something else going on, we found ourselves searching for the Phantom or watching secondary characters drive the plot forward while the main characters sang and interacted. There was no part of this musical in which I was not captivated. It takes special kind of show to make mezzanine seats and a $16 cocktail at intermission feel worth it.