The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall on Blu-ray, in Celebration of its 25th Anniversary

Review and Giveaway

25 years ago in the fall of 1986 I entered my last year of high school, being from Ontario that was the now defunct Grade 13. That same fall Rick Hansen traveled through Ontario on the Canadian stretch of his Man in Motion World Tour (he arrived back in Vancouver in May 1987 after 2 years wheeling around the world). And The Phantom of the Opera, composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, opened in London. Clearly 1986 was a good year.

Phantom debuted at the newly renovated Pantages theatre in Toronto in1989, where it ran for a record setting 10 years. I moved to Toronto in early 1992, and although I am a big lover of musical theatre, I never had an opportunity to see the show before it ended (likely because I was just starting out in my career and really couldn't afford it). It was unfortunate that I moved to Vancouver just as Paul Stanley, from KISS, took the stage as The Phantom for some of the final performances of the show.

So the first time I saw the complete show, the Hollywood movie doesn’t count in my mind, was when the travelling show came to Vancouver in 2006. I already knew most of the music by heart and was thrilled to see it acted out on stage. But unless I plan a trip to New York (it is the longest running show on Broadway) or Las Vegas, it isn't likely that I will get to see another stage performance soon.

But if I was so lucky to see it on stage... what would I wear? Somehow a gorgeous black and white dress seems appropriate.  Hmmm long or short?  And how do I add a touch or red? A rose? Red shoes? 

Phantom of the Opera Inspired

 

For the 25th Anniversary of the opening in London they staged an extravagant performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London - and filmed it for Blu-Ray. It is a huge production with a cast and orchestra of 200. So when I was asked if I would be willing to review The Phantom of the Opera at Royal Albert Hall, I jumped at the chance. We have a great home theater set-up and my husband is a HUGE fan. So much so that I had to ask him to stop singing along so I could hear the actual talent singing.

The DVD is like having better than front row tickets where you watch all the action close up and see every little emotion on the actors faces.  All this without the inevitable annoying old guy snoring behind you, line ups for drinks or uncomfortable theatre seats.  Now I do sort of miss the getting dressed up for a night out at the theatre. But since I don't see an opportunity to see this show live anytime soon, watching in this quality in my own home is a fantastic option.  Maybe I'll host a Fans of Phantom night and have some friends over to watch.

I'm a sucker for romance, and this is one of my favourite songs.


 

You also don't have to worry about leaving early to beat the traffic out of the parking garage, so you won't miss the spectacular final curtain call of Phantoms past.

I have to admit I was a bit disappointed in the bonus materials. There is a teaser of the Love Never Dies DVD and a behind the scenes piece. The behind the scenes is a fantastic look behind the cast, make-up and costumes for the 25th Anniversary performance. It was interesting to know they borrowed costumes from productions around the world to fit the cast which had grown by 3.5 times its normal size. But I would have liked some clips from the original show and interviews with original cast members, like Sarah Brightman who came back for the final curtain call.  More history!! More stories!!

The Blu-ray and DVD come out February 7th, perfect timing for a Valentine’s Day gift. Or perhaps a girls night-in celebration.

5 Epics Songs and The Giveaway

On the topic of musicals songs, which is your favourite EPIC musical song?  Five of the most popular are:

  1. "Seasons of Love" from RENT
  2. "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" from EVITA
  3. "If I were a Rich Man" from FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
  4. "Defying Gravity" from WICKED
  5. "Aquarius" from HAIR

How Phantom of the Opera or Les Miserables didn't make this list baffles me. What is your favourite musical song?

I'm trying out a Rafflecopter for entry into this giveaway.  It will ask you for some basic info and then track your entries.  The required action for entry is to comment below with your favourite song from a musical.   See the small print in Rafflecopter for more info on this contest.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure - I was given a copy of The Phantom of the Opera at Royal Albert Hall Blu-Ray/DVD to review, and another copy to giveaway to a reader.  I received no other compensation. And all opinions are my own.