When: July 9th, 2005. Julie's Final Performance.
a time (and yes, I'm being dead serious) when I think we all have to evaluate why we love this show so damn much. Sure there
are the easy answers. "Oh Hugh is sooooooo hot," "Oh Julie is sooooo talented" "Oh the music is sooooooo pretty."
answers, quite frankly, are crap.
Yes, the show today was beyond brilliant. And coming from me, who started out not
liking Julie Hanson, well...I'm stubborn dutch, so for me to admit how wrong i was about her is a lot. There is a vibrancy
about her performance, something that makes it so real and so believable. Her "Think of Me" was beautiful, clear and bell
Yes, I think Passionate is the exact word I would use to describe Julie today. Her acting in Point
of No Return wasn't even acting. It was an art, it was incredible to watch and wonderful to experience.
Hugh Panaro...I feel like a broken record with him. Everything is always better
than the last. His MOTN was so well acted...
Today's show was about a part of Broadway that is sometimes ignored...the
art of acting in front of a live audience. The art of being able to make a room full of people believe that they aren't in
a theater. I really have no idea where I was during MOTN, all I know is that I thought, "This is what they must have felt
like in front of Crawford in 88' ."
This isn't my typical style review, because this show doesn't call for that type
of review. This isn't me giving you my list of who was great and who was sub par...this is my writing because these people deserve to have something written. How else can you describe a final lair when I forgot that
it is all make believe? When I can see the pain on Hugh's face and for that one, perfect moment he had transported me out
of that theater and to a place where Hugh Panaro doesn't even exist anymore...all there is, is a man dying to be loved.
when the curtain fell and then rose once more, and Julie Hanson took her final bow...I don't know. Maybe it's because to me,
music is one of the most beautiful things in the world, but it's like being able to touch a dream. To watch a woman, younger
than most of her peers, take a bow to a standing audience in one of the most well known roles in the world...
And then to hear Mr. Panaro say his goodbye, well, that was when I cried. Dumb...I know, but it only re affirmed
that at that moment, Julie was on top of the world, and I was lucky enough to be a part of it.
So...I believe I started
this review off with a question. Why do we like this show so much anyway? Well...I think it's because I can safely say that
of all the times I have seen Phantom, I have never seen the same show twice. The word I used was passion...there is such a
passion and vibrancy to this show, and in these people. It's like watching a painting being created. Artistry at it's finest.
And hell...we'll get to say we were there when Panaro and Hanson made Broadway beautiful.
Good luck Julie.