Today I saw the latest Australian production of The Phantom of the Opera. I believe I sat there with a smile on my face for the entire show. The music is so commanding that it engulfs you completely, and the staging is magnificent.
I first saw phantom about 15 years ago. Then, as now, the star attraction was Anthony Warlow. If it's possible, he was even better today than last time -- although this perception may be due to the fact that we had seats up close and could see all the facial expressions. He was so passionate, so brilliant. His voice was so instantly recognisable and wonderful that it sent chills down my spine.
A few years ago they made a movie of The Phantom of the Opera, which I also loved. I saw it a couple of times in the cinema and bought the DVD. The movie is 'staged' really close to the theatre production, which made it feel as though you were witnessing a live production. But of course there's nothing quite like seeing it at the theatre, almost close enough that the singers could spit on you.