Phantom - The Las Vegas Spetacular
Expectations. It´s easy to walk in with them when attending a show called Phantom - The Las Vegas Spetacular. If you´re one of the 80 million people who have already seen Phantom of the Opera - the longest-running show in Broadway history - you´ll expect marvelous sets, surprising stage effects and, of course, the music. If you´re intrigued by the "Las Vegas Spetacular" portion of the title, and wish for entertainment at a quality venue in the hours between dinner and late-night gaming, you might expect a watered-down, Vegas-review, highlights from Phantom of the Opera type production.
Phantom - The Las Vegas Spetacular
The short-and-sweet Vegas version of a Broadway Classic
Click here to buy tickets for Phantom - The Las Vegas Spetacular
This show is neither and exceeds expectations. "Spetacular" only begins to describe the newest incarnation of Andrew Lloyd Webber´s Phantom of the Opera.
Phantom - The Las Vegas Spetacular opened at the Venetian Hotel and Casino on June 24 2006 in the $40 million dollar theater built just for the show by David Rockwell. Phantom of the Opera´s original director, Harold Prince, returned to the production which boasts the largest cast (40 total) ever in an American Phantom production. Working closely with Andrew Lloyd Webber, the show is shortended by nearly an hour to a 95 minute running time. Cut from the original full scale production where the intermission, the entr´acte and some interstitial dance and musical recaps that connected the plot points. The most glaring cut is nearly one-half of the alluring song "Past the Point of No Return" that some die-hard Phantom fans may find difficult to swallow.
However, added to the production were exploding pyrotechnics, modern illusions, thrilling stunts, a monstrous chandelier experience (which caused the audience to gast "AWWWWW!") and an enormous set which literally expands right into the audience. The bright and festive fireworks display over Paris (yes, I said fireworks) is a Las Vegas sized marvel in itself which flawlessly complements the powerful score and never fails to draw a raucous applause.
The vocally-demanding roles of the Phantom, Christine and Carlotta are double cast for the 10 weekly performances in order to preserve the voices of the actors for the rigorous performance schedule. In fact, Webber himself stipulated that the role of Christine should not be performed more than six times per week by any one actress due its vocal challanges. Brent barret and Anthony Crivello share the role of the Phantom, Sierra Boggess and Elizabeth Loyacano play Christine and Elena Jeanne Batman and Green Jeffries Mattox rotate the role of carlotta. The only leading role is that is performed solely by one actor is Tim Martin Gleason (who joins the cast from the Broadway production), as Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny.
With all of the songs intact, this condensed version is arguably stronger piece than the beloved original. As the play opens, muslin sheets covering the sides of the theater are whisked away by stagehands lurking high above to reveal balconies of lifelike mannequins which surround the audience - a visual which is both stunning and a bit imposing.
As the love triangle plot progress, the action happens in front of, aside of, on top of and ever right next to the viewer, approaching at times, true sensory overload. The audience audibly gasps, cheers and cries during the stimulating show. How the enormous sets change from the roof of the Paris Opera House to the Phantom´s watery underground lair - seemingly in a blink of en eye - is anybody´s guess.
Phantom - The Las Vegas Spetacular is a must-see for those seeking a superior production. Scheduled to run indefinitely at the Venetian, you can check for show times and purchase your tickets online.
Click here to purchase tickets for Phantom - The Las Vegas Spetacular
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