When: June 29th, 2005
wasn't planning on going today, I wanted to hit my 20th performance of phantom on Julie Hanson's last day on July 9th. But a friend of mine had never seen Phantom of Broadway
before, and she wanted to see Julie before she left so...
I'm not going to go into exhaustive detail, because find
myself unable to do so.
But the general gist of it was...Hugh and Julie are *the* Phantom duo. Their chemistry is just
something..out of this world. And since Julie was approaching her final few performances she was making the most of every
minute onstage. She was in her element: youthful, clear, and generally justifying her position as one of my favorite Christines ever.
always impresses me to see a Christine who can act young and naive so effortlessly, and yet have the vocal pipes to do the
"haunted" sounding bits as well. So a very very good Wishing.
Her voice has also gotten so much more mature over the
past year...nearly all of her excess vibrato is gone now, leaving her with an unbeatable voice.
Hugh...oh Hugh Hugh.
Act One was fine and good like usual...Hugh was great, but nothing *too* terribly incredible, he was his usual great self...MOTN,
Stranger...Il Muto (his laughter gets creepier each time).
There was a funny flub where the light didn't shine on the
mirror in time, so Hugh's face appeared after its proper cue had already passed.
he acted like such a spoiled brat! Until he started sobbing of course...
Good, all good...one of the
fireballs that Hugh fired very nearly set Julie's wig on fire.
PONR, hot as hell, especially from Julie's part. Hugh
can hardly get sexier, but Julie has improved by leaps and bounds since the last few times that I saw her.
I have *never* seen anything like it.
First, Hugh dragged Julie onto the set cackling and laughing
at the top of his lungs before flinging her nearly across half of the stage.
When he sang "This face...has also denied
me the joys of the flesh..."...see usually his voice gets quiet and despairing at that point as he turns away, not this time.
He *Growled* that entire set of lines out while walking towards her as she cowered on the ground. And then suddenly, he seemed
to realize what he was doing and swayed a little on his feet before launching into his "mother's fear and loathing" soliloquy.
Tim appeared on the scene, he just went *nuts*, laughing with glee from the throne. And Tim...to my surprise, very good! He
was struggling like mad with the lasso and nearly spitting his lines during the Final Trio when Hugh was laughing in his face.
then "You try my patience..." Hugh did something he had never done before (I know, because I asked him afterwards if he had,
lol). He jumped down into Julie's face and hissed "You try my patience." And then he...had a little spastic attack, waving
his arms in Julie's face. Almost like a little boy who was having a fit over his toy that just broke. And he growled "*YOU*...make
I have never seen anything like it.
The Kiss was beautiful.
When Hugh was screaming at
Julie and Tim to go, he degenerated even more and was nearly stamping his foot and pouting and yelling before he realized
that they were really gone and it was then that he just collapsed.
After Julie returned the ring...his "I love you’s" are different every single night. Tonight, instead of yelling out "I
love you" the words came out in a strangled gasp/cry, I nearly cried myself.
And his "You alone can make..." final
line...only Gary Mauer's could ever compare and still...it would be a rough contest. It was unbelievable: powerful, clear,
The funny part...as his echoes were dying away, I started applauding with my all my might. And
for about two seconds, it was just my friend and I applauding in the whole theater...and then the entire mezzanine and orchestra
simply erupted into screams and cheers.
It was amazing, simply a one-of-a-kind experience.
AFTER THE SHOW...
pushed past the Avenue Q barricades and all the people crowded around Barrett Foa and waltzed right backstage, where we bumped
into Julie Hanson, who was about to give some of her friends a backstage tour. So we...tagged along, lol.
We went into
the wings, under the stage and through the wig rooms and costume workshop.
And just to show how well I've become known at the Majestic, Janet Saia, who
was a swing, was tagging along and at one point she said, "Do I know you from somewhere? You look familiar."
this is my ninth show on Broadway." (11 times on tour)
As we were about to head out of the door...who should walk down the stairs but Hugh himself? My friend and
I surrounded him at once, complimenting him all about his great performance and taking pictures and reminding him that we
were both coming on the 9th for Julie's last, lol.
Hugh remembered me from last week, lol. He was wearing an olive-green
T-shirt and green checkered shorts.
And also, something funny…I was turning to go and before I could, Hugh grins
my way and says, "Bye Julie, you sexy thing!"
I nearly do a double take...before realizing that Julie Hanson was standing
right behind me.