Thursday, December 31, 2009

Broward Center: The Phantom of the Opera (reviews)

The national tour of The Phantom of the Opera returns to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. The show and the center share a unique history: the show opened the Center, and the Center was the first time that the show had moved from one theatre to another, as it started its tour.

The Miami Herald has declined to review this production.*

Michael Martin reviewed for
...Tim Martin Gleason effectively portrays the multiple levels of a character wrought with confusion, self loathing, and troubled compassion. Gleason effortlessly achieves the soaring score’s multi-octave range with a tenor that reverberates loudly as easily as it soothes in its softer tones.
Trista Moldovan proves herself an equally strong actress and vocalist in the role of Christine...
Also impressive, Kim Stengel (Carlotta Giudicelli), Michael Scott Harris (Ubaldo Piangi), D.C. Anderson (Monsieur André), and Bruce Winant (Monsieur Firmin) all have fun with their sometimes over the top characters.
Collectively... the production remains sharply intact and continues to delight scores of audiences nationwide.
It's a damned shame that neither of the region's two major daily newspapers could be bothered to send out a proper theatre critic to tell us how the show has stood up against the test of time. Instead, the Sun-Sentinel once again insults South Florida with a poorly written "review" by its fashion editor. The Herald adds insult to injury by regurgitating it. I won't link to either version of the article; I won't send them the traffic.

So here's what Rod Stafford Hagwood had to say:
With all the heaving bosoms and longing looks, the pulpy romance could easily end up in Cheesytown. As is, Phantom has always danced right up to the "theme park" line. And if the billion-dollar franchise does occasionally step over, it does so in the direction of somewhat soulless earnestness. That's when all those special effects that seemed so nifty back in the '80s look a little quaint. is a huge help that playing the O.G. (Opera Ghost) with nary a whisper of kitsch or camp is Tim Martin Gleason, who previously played Raoul for 2,600 performances. What Gleason gets exactly right is the rabid little ticks and twitches of an obsessed madman; genius turned sour in a dark, dank lair underneath the opera house.
Just as vocally adept, but not as convincing, is Trista Moldovan as the heroine.... You half expect the nascent diva to grab the O.G. by the collar of his cape and sing sotto voce, "No means no ... pal."
Sean MacLaughlin makes a zesty Raoul and Kim Stengel is a confident Carlotta, Christine's foil (and she ought to be with 4,800 performances under her corset).
The Phantom of the Opera lurks at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts through January 17.

1 comment:

  1. After visiting her Majesty’s Theatre in London's West End a 7th time, the show never gets old... I heard the recent movie production’s cast performed a one off show on Broadway.. Could anyone shed any light on this? I’m a huge fan of the film also, and would adore to watch them play the characters on the stage.