I have never attended a performance of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, “Phantom Of The Opera”.
I have listened to the two-disc cast album a few times, and I find the score uninteresting and of low quality. My assumption is that the show has been a gargantuan hit not because of the score but because of the spectacular staging by Harold Prince, recreated all over the world since 1986.
Last year producer Cameron Mackintosh unveiled a simplified staging for the U.K. provinces, recreations of the original staging having become cost-prohibitive in recent years. (In the English-speaking world, the original staging may now be seen only in London and New York—and nowhere else.)
At the end of last year, the new, simplified staging was previewed in the U.S. in Providence, Rhode Island, after which it officially opened here in Minneapolis. Word-of-mouth has been very, very positive; ticket sales have been exceptionally robust.
We talked about going—until, as a refresher, we listened to forty minutes of the cast album, which bored us no end and put “paid” to the notion of attending a live performance. The score of “Phantom Of The Opera” is, simply put, cheap swill. I do not understand how anyone can manage to sit through the thing without screaming.