Review 2

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Where: Broadway

When: June 22nd, 2005



A rehersal for hannibal/ Think of Me: I love this scene, but I hate Anne Runolfsson in it. Her singing is lovely, but her comedic timing is sorely lacking and her acting is not would it could be. Jeff Keller is back as Firmin, much to my delight, for I truly love his portrayal. Gashen is a wonderful Piangi. Great voice, wonderful actor. Julie's Think of Me was lovely, but the cadenza wasn't as clear as it could have been.

Angel of Music/ The mirror. : Kara Klein as Meg looks the part, and can almost sing the part. Her voice is strong, but it lacks a certain prettiness that I would like to see in Meg. Julie was wonderful here, as was Tim as Raoul. His performance tonight was exceptional. Hugh's first entrace...absolutely fantastic. "Insolent boy" is sung so perfectly. He exudes power without overacting, as many Phantoms do. I get lost in his voice and the way that he is able to control it. It is a stunning talent.

Title Song: Recorded so....

Music of the Night. Wonderful wonderful wonderful. Hugh uses the lyrics to their full advantage, drawing out the meaning from them and making them come alive. His "soar" is so soft and yet so strong, absolutely incredible. "Turn your face away," is said with such a grace that the words almost float. Brilliant, brilliant performance.

I Remember/ Stranger than you Dreamt it: Julie sounded great here, her heavy vibrato is basically gone. She has a lovely, lovely voice. Hugh gets so *angry* in this scene, which I love. I hate when Phantoms simply whine out their anger. Hugh actually shows it. "Fear can turn to love" he sings while pointing to her, as if begging her to prove him right. "Burns in Hell" is said with a wonderful edhe in his voice. Again, one of Hugh's many talents it's his ability to understand and use lyrics.

Notes: I love Keller and Andrews. I know some don't, but I think that their chemistry is exceptional and their voice blend well together. In this scene, Runolfsson is just singing, and she hits her high E with absolute grace. Her vocal talent shines here.

Prima Donna: Great from all parties. Tim sounds great, the ensemble blends well, and Keller and Andrews are delightful. Both are wonderful actors.

Il Muto: For some reason, Runolfsson usue her lower register to belt, which sounds *very* strange in what is supposed to be an opera. I don't like it at all, where as her upper register shines. She would do much better to back off on trying to make her low notes funny.

All I Ask of You: One of the best I have ever seen. Julie's voice was beautiful, minus her "soar" which fell slightly under. No worries, her exceptional AIAOY made up for it. Tim was *incredible*. I couldn't believe that it was him. Plus, their chemistry was amazing.

AIAOY Reprise: Julie and I agreed here, this was the best reprise we have ever heard any phantom do. It started off the way that Hugh normally does it, "I gave you my music..." and he was upset and yelling "no," but then, "you will curse" was so clear and so strong and without a single second of vibrato. He kept this up all the way until the very end of "that the Phantom asked of youuuu." It was remarkable, an that truly is the word to describe it. We both had goosebumps.

I thought that the reprise was going to be the money shot of the show...

Au contraire my friends! Then came...

Act Two
Masquerade: From the mezz, this scene is beautiful. You get the full scope of it's beauty, from costumes to lighting. The company sounded excellent together.

Madame Giry's Tale: Caskey's acting is wonderful. She is amazing in this scene and shines in it. Not only is her voice beautiful, but the way she uses it. The audience could feel her emotional turmoil as we went into...

Notes II: Good show frome the ensemble, Hanson and Gleason are particularly noteworthy; Gleason for his acting, Hanson for her singing. It was just beautiful and clear, and you can feel how upset she is over what she knows she will have to do, even as she refuses.

Wishing Your Were Somehow Here Again: Brava, Julie, Brava. Absolutely stunning. Her voice was clear, her acting wonderful, and all around beautiful performance. She is able to seem so dark while still being so young and innocent. Her voice just sounded so natural, sometimes to the point where even the mic sounded as if it were her natural volume.

Wandering child: Excellent from both Hugh and Julie. Julie really held her own against Hugh, whereas some Christine's are drowned out by the Phantom. Hugh's voice is *so* powerful just shiver. His acting is amazing. When he was taunting Raoul, he does it so naturally and so effortlessly. His speaking voice, even angry, is beautiful to listen to

Point of No Return: Hoooooooooly Hell. That wasn't very eloquent at all I'm sorry but by far, one of the best PONR that I have ever scene. Julie was *on*. I mean, on. Her performance had to be one of the best that she has ever, ever given. Her voice, her movement, her timing...all exceptional. For as critical as I can be of Julie, I thought that this was as good as it gets. Hugh was..phenomenal. He accentuated every word perfectly. "What raging fire shall flood the soul..." It sounded so elemental and real, as if he were actually begging Christine to feel that way. I was actually ready to cry by the end of PONR, thats how charged it was. When Hugh sang, "Anywhere you go.." It was like a gorgeous, I wanted to sob...


Then came the best final Lair I have ever scene.

Final Lair
: "Down Once More" was so clear, so strong, almost no vibrato. Stunning. "Christine, Christine..." was spoken, as I prefer, because I think it just adds so much more emotion to his questioning. He loved her, how could she do this to him? That mentality is evdient througout the entire scene. When Tim enters, Hugh is adding even more insane laughter, which is perfect, a credit to his asking. When Roual says "I love her, he laughs as if it is the most rediculous thing in the world. People should never mistake Hugh's final lair, though angry and very powerful, with one like Karrie's. He keeps his voice steady and flowing in song throughout. Julie and Tim were great, but Hugh without a doubt owns this scene. Nothing can top him. He is so evil and sarcastic, and yet, his love for Christine breaks through once he realizes how he is hurting her. When she finally leaves, he whispers "I love you...I love you." Mind you I am crying by now. "You alone can make my song take flight... was...the money shot. Absolute power. The entire audience erupted right after. When Hugh took his bow, he not only had a standing ovation, but the entire theater was screaming. sounded like a concert at Madison Square Garden.