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Touring Company
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics by Charles Hart
Additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe
Book by Richard Stilgoe and Andrew Lloyd Webber
Orchestrations by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber
Production overseen by Matthew Bourne and Cameron Mackintosh
Based on the novel “Le Fantôme de l’Opera” by Gaston Leroux

Bass Hall, Fort Worth

Directed by Laurence Connor
Choreography -Scott Ambler
Set Design – Paul Brown
Costume Design – Maria Björnson
Costume Coordinator for the late Maria Björnson – Christine Rowland
Video & Projection Design – Nina Dunn for Knifedge
Lighting Design – Paule Constable
Sound Design – Mick Potter
Musical Supervision – John Rigby

The Phantom of the Opera – Derrick Davis
Christine Daaé – Emma Grimsley
Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny – Jordan Craig
Carlotta Giudicelli – Trista Moldovan
Monsieur Firmin – David Benoit
Monsieur André – Rob Lindley
Madame Giry – Susan Moniz
Ubaldo Piangi – Phumzile Sojola
Meg Giry – Tara Sweeney
Auctioneer – Mark Emerson
Porter – Michael Maliakel
Monsieur LeFévre/Firechief – Stephen Tewksbury
Monsieur Reyer – David Foley, Jr.
Joseph Buquet – Victor Wallace
Wardrobe Mistress – Siri Howard
Princess (Hannibal) – Jenna Burns
Princess (Hannibal) – Kaitlyn Davis
Wild woman (Hannibal) – Kathryn McCreary
Slave Master (Hannibal) – Nicholas Ranauro
Madam Firmin/Confidante (Il Muto) – Carmen Vass
Jeweler (Il Muto) – Stephen Mitchell Brown
Hairdresser (Il Muto) – Edward Juvier
Don Attilio (Il Muto) – Quinto Ott
Policeman in Pit – Herb Porter
The Ballet Chorus of the Opera Populaire – McKenna Birmingham, Daniela Filippone, Charlotte Hovey, Jordan Lombardi, Austin Sora, Tara Sweeney.
Dance Captain – Lily Rose Peck
Assistant Dance Captain – Shane Ohmer

Reviewed Performance: 9/26/2019

Reviewed by Chris Hauge, Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN

I must admit, at the risk of having my credentials as a critic and a lover of the theatre taken away from me, last night was my first time to see Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera.” The touring company production at Bass Hall, part of Performing Arts Fort Worth’s Broadway at the Bass series, was a loud and lavish introduction to it. With elaborate sets, gorgeous costumes, and exciting special effects, I understand why audiences continue to flock to this musical. After thirty plus years of being performed, it is like a favorite amusement park ride, especially for those who have seen the show multiple times. You know where the scary/fun parts of the ride are but experience the same joy and thrill each time you reach them.

It is a beautiful ride to take. The set, designed by Paul Brown, takes us to glittering halls of the Opera Populaire to bask in the glory of song and then, in spectacular fashion, we descend to the hidden tunnels and chambers under the opera house to confront the fog enshrouded terrors that await us there. The costumes designed by the late Maria Björnson are sumptuous and lovely, carrying us into the artistic world of 19th Century Paris with style and grace. Accentuating all of this is the lighting of Paule Constable and the video and projection effects of Nina Dunn which bring all the elements together to plunge us into the world of fantasy and romantic tragedy that is “The Phantom of the Opera”.

For those of you not familiar with the story, at the Opera Populaire, a place rumored to be haunted by a ghost, a young ballerina, Christine Daaé (Emma Grimsley), is called upon at the last moment to fill in for the lead diva, Carlotta Giudicelli (Trista Moldovan), during a performance of the Opera “Hannibal.” After a brilliant debut where she is seen by her childhood friend and sweetheart Raoul (Jordan Craig), Christine confides that she is being coached in singing by the voice of a mysterious “Angel of Music” (Derrick Davis as The Phantom of the Opera), whom she has never seen. When the “Angel of Music” does appear, mysteriously wearing a mask which covers much of his face, he takes Christine to his underground lair and professes his love for her. What follows is a musical tale of tragedy, terror, and, ultimately, the redeeming and healing power of love.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Music, though somewhat repetitive, is catchy and instantly recognizable. Even if you are not familiar with the show, songs such as “The Music of the Night” and “All I Ask of You” will probably ring a bell in your memory. Under the direction of Jamie Johns, the orchestra makes the most out of the power and lushness in the score. And it doesn’t hurt that top-notch singers/actors have been hired as well.

As the phantom, Derrick Davis makes a powerful impact. His velvet voice fully embraces all the love, pain, and rage that surge out of the character with operatic force. Each time Mr. Davis is on stage he is an unforgettable presence. Mr. Davis’ skill is on full display near the end of the show, his mask removed, and his emotions poured out for all the world to see, his portrayal of the phantom, even though he has murdered several people, wins our hearts.

Emma Grimsley plays the part of the singer Christine Daaé with spirit, endowing her with a vulnerability that is winning. Her character is not a damsel in distress. She is a seeker of love and when she finds it, is willing to sacrifice anything to keep it. Ms. Grimsley voice soars and, most of the time, gave me goosebumps. She is a wonderful Christine.

Jordan Craig is a winning Raoul. As Christine’s childhood friend and lover, and her protector from the phantom, Mr. Craig proves himself a strong and capable actor. His singing, many times in duets or ensemble pieces, was distinct and commanding.

I must also acknowledge Trista Moldovan as the wonderfully egotistical diva Carlotta. She was a joy to watch as she performed her opera numbers with outrageous gusto. Thanks also to Phumzile Sojola as Ubaldo Piangi, Carlotta’s partner in operatic over-indulgence. He seemed to be having great fun with his character. And I must point out the ensemble who performed tirelessly and skillfully throughout the show.

Directed by Laurence Connor, the sprawling nature of this production is kept under control and emphasizes the grandeur the show requires. According to the advertisements, this touring production has been redesigned and is bigger and grander than before. Since I have no reference point from previous productions, I can only attest that it is big and grand, and I enjoyed the spectacle. I will say that I had trouble understanding some of the lyrics and dialogue, especially when the actors were in recitative or simply talking to one another. I put that down to sound mixing issues. It was a minor irritant, though, and did not interfere with my overall enjoyment of the show.

So, make your way to Bass Hall in Fort Worth, and strap yourself in for “The Phantom of the Opera”. Enjoy it’s twists and turns. Gasps at the moments of drama and horror. And have a great time at the spectacle and glory this wonderful touring company has given us. It’s a great ride.

Bass Performance Hall
September 24 – October 5, 2019
Monday – Saturday – 7:30PM
Saturday & Sunday – 1:30PM
Sunday, September 29, 2019 – 6:30PM
Friday, October 4, 2019 – 1:30PM
525 Commerce St, Fort Worth, TX 76102
For tickets and more information call 817-212-4280/877-212-4280 toll free
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