Phantom’s first New York Premiere at the Westchester Broadway Theater (WBT) was in 1992 and enjoyed a record breaking nine-month run: over 120,000 people attended. Night after night, audiences rose to their feet for the stunning musical thriller PHANTOM, which returned in 1996 and in 2007, directed and choreographed by Tom Polum, who had been in the original production. This extraordinary piece has already been brought back to WBT, and once again with Tom Polum at the helm.
PHANTOM was written by Arthur Kopit, with music and lyrics by Maury Yeston who were the Tony Award winning collaborators for the Broadway Musical “Nine.” PHANTOM is not to be confused with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera, although both shows are based on the same Gaston LeRoux novel, with the Webber extravaganza being more like an opera, completely sung. The Yeston/Kopit PHANTOM is more of a traditional Broadway Musical with dialogue and songs throughout.
The story revolves around the central character of a man named Erik (also known as the Phantom), who was born and raised in the catacombs under the Paris Opera House. Through a series of circumstances, he takes on as a pupil a young woman named Christine, who has been a street singer. She has a natural talent and a beautiful voice, but she lacks the special training to perform in an Opera company. He agrees to take her on as a student with certain conditions, the main one being that she will never see his face. After a lot of hard work she eventually auditions for the company and is not only accepted but is given the opportunity to play a principal part in an Opera. Without realizing it, they fall in love with each other. The relationship becomes obsessive and impossible, leading to a stunning conclusion which can only be experienced by attending a performance.
The music and the drama of this piece are extraordinary and should not be missed!
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