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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
OohOohOoh! More Phantom of the Opera on YouTube. 
4th-Oct-2006 12:09 am
Holy f*ck. I've never seen a video of Michael Crawford, Sarah Brightman, and Steve Barton actually doing Phantom on stage before. Too bad the video and audio quality sucks so bad... (No LJ cut 'cause you should be watching all of them, dammit!)

"Think of Me" (If you were wondering why Brightman's arms were going up and down strangely in that last video, you've never seen this song performed onstage.)

"Angel of Music"/"The Phantom of the Opera" (*urk* Let your imagination fill in the blanks.)

"Rooftop"/"All I Ask of You"

"Point of No Return" (One of my favorites.)

Final sequence Part I

Final sequence Part II

Okay, okay, Brightman can't act, but check out the choreography of this version of "Point of No Return" with Hugh Panaro and Sandra Joseph...and see just one more reason why the film sucked so bad.

And while I'm on a Hugh Panaro kick, here's the final sequence. Panaro's voice may be pretty Broadway generic (if still excellent), but his ACTING is out of this world. I saw him live in the Phantom role, and it was simply unmatched.
4th-Oct-2006 04:50 am (UTC)
*is amused*

I actually have a full video of the original Broadway cast, as well as Hugh's final performance and a German version with Thomas Borchert. It's amusing to watch the little differences between the copycat shows, especially now that I've seen the small-stage version in Warsaw which merges the Raoul and Meg roles, among other things.
4th-Oct-2006 04:53 am (UTC)
I take these are clips from the versions you have?
4th-Oct-2006 05:06 am (UTC)
I'm not sure about the Hugh Panaro one, since there are a few video boots with him floating around. The OBC one looks like the one I have, and it's probable because there are very few unofficial videos from that age.
4th-Oct-2006 05:09 am (UTC)
The OBC one looks like the one I have, and it's probable because there are very few unofficial videos from that age.

Would've been DAMN hard to hide a video camera back then, too, given out big they were.

Check out the Original Cast Point of No Return I posted, though. That was an official videotaping, complete with different angles. ^__^
4th-Oct-2006 05:13 am (UTC)
Oh man, until he got fired, one of my co-workers and I would tear it up with Phantom every time we went out to karaoke. He had the Michael Crawford thing spot-on. Sarah Brightman sings circles around me, of course, but I can get a bit of an opera warble going, especially after the right amount of booze. :-)
4th-Oct-2006 10:38 am (UTC)
Thanks for posting the videos. "Point of No Return" is my absolute favorite.
4th-Oct-2006 01:22 pm (UTC)
*le sigh*

I have been in love with PotO since I was four. Seriously. I knew the entire musical by heart throughout my childhood. And these videos make me want to cry with joy.

The movie was horrible, it was a disgrace. And by the way, Gerard Butler (movie Phantom) actually is an extremely talanted actor, just see him in Dear Frankie, but the man cannot sing that role to save his soul. And I don't care what people say about Emmy Rossum and that she was only sixteen and that's the same age as her character, Christine is suposse to be a prodigy singer, and all Emmy Rossum was was a hot body.

I loved the choreography for the Panaro/Joseph "Past the Point of No Return" (my favorite song for the musical) especially when Christine is caressing Phantom and I loved her reaction when she realized it was the Phantom--though in my opinion, I think Christine should know it is Phantom from the very start of his first note.

I am impressed by Panaro's acting, when he is hovering over Joseph during the final scene, but his singing irks me as he tends to cut his notes short, speak-sing, and his pacing gets way off, but still, anything is better than the disgraceful movie version ^__^

Thank you so much for posting this, it made me day!!

(Did I ever mention that it is a long standing dream of mine to be Christine, come as a shock, I know ^_~)
4th-Oct-2006 01:35 pm (UTC)
Two more thoughts on Panaro...

Although I thought he was a very good actor, I felt that he was a bit too comical in the final scene, I would rather see him more bitter and cynical.

What I did like was the way he moved, it was spider-like and it just seemed to fit really, really well.

I don't know, no one throws me into raptures like Michael Crawford singing Music of the Night.

By and by, check out this Dutch version of "Phantom of the Opera" its pretty fun (http://youtube.com/watch?v=uyhmFaD4aC4), great singers, too.
4th-Oct-2006 02:36 pm (UTC)
I felt that he was a bit too comical in the final scene, I would rather see him more bitter and cynical.

Interesting. I saw it more as a pathetic and childishly selfish interpretation...and when you really think about it, the Phantom IS very emotionally immature. Heck, he's even got a Christine doll to play with! ^_^;

Not a knowing social predator so much as a metaphor for the closet. Like a plant shut away in the dark that becomes twisted and sickly because it doesn't have light to grow, to use a cheesy analogy.

And, quite frankly, of all of the Phantom performances I've seen, Panaro had the most coherent characterization going. Though none of the actors I've seen were, AFAIK, exactly top-billing stars. ^^;
4th-Oct-2006 02:43 pm (UTC)
Heck, he's even got a Christine doll to play with! ^_^;

*dies laughing*

Yeah, once I watched it again the portrayal is childish, like a temper-tantrum, but I think for me, the way that I saw the scene in my mind for five years (heard it when I was four, saw it when I was nine) I saw him not as being childish, but angry, cynical, consumed by loneliness and betrayal and seeing his one last chance for love (Christine) slip away.
4th-Oct-2006 02:29 pm (UTC)
I knew the entire musical by heart throughout my childhood. And these videos make me want to cry with joy.

Ditto. And ditto. XD I was practically dying of delight as I found more and more of these.

though in my opinion, I think Christine should know it is Phantom from the very start of his first note.

*nodnod* If you notice in the Brightman/Crawford version, that's how it was done. I've seen it done both ways on Broadway--I think the sudden realization thingie is a relatively new addition.

I remember a few years ago I saw a Christine (I don't remember the actress's name T_T ) who did an almost feminist interpretation, believe it or not! She played it as if the Phantom=career and Raoul=meek domesticity. She did "Point of No Return" as if Christine new from the second the Phantom starts singing...and with this "I am in absolute control of the situation" power expression. Like she was seducing him in order to get him to let his guard down so that she could unmask him. It was so cool. ^___^

Did I ever mention that it is a long standing dream of mine to be Christine, come as a shock, I know ^_~

You and an entire generation of aspiring female singers, I'll bet. Heh.
4th-Oct-2006 02:50 pm (UTC)
I sort of saw that in the Brightman/Crawford vesion, but the quality was poor and Brightman really overacts. Pssssh. cRaZy LaDy.

That is an interesting interpretation of Christine, though I have trouble believing it. Christine is sixteen, her head is always lost in the clouds, she's winsome, romantic, and horribly naive--for the majorty of the musical she believes that the Phantom is the "angel of music" a spirit sent by her father to watch over her.

I have always seen "Past the Point of No Return" as a seduction scene though. I think it happened both times that I saw Phantom--the first time I was so young I don't think I would have taken it in--but there was a lot of sensuality and caressing during the scene.

You know, the first time I saw Phantom I was in the fourth row center, in the exact place where the chandalier crashes down. Talk about a nine-year-old's dream come true!!
4th-Oct-2006 02:58 pm (UTC)
That is an interesting interpretation of Christine, though I have trouble believing it.

Actually, I think a lot of American actresses are more inclined, when given the freedom, to make the characters in the show stronger/more sympathetic than they were intended. I've seen Carlotta done a couple of times as if she's the only sensible "I don't take no bullshit" person in the entire show! After the movie came out, I think they cracked down on the alternative interpretations on Broadway 'cause the two most recent times I've seen it Christine is a total one-note ditz and Carlotta a total one-note bitch.

*grins* I first saw the show when I was seven; we were in a right hand box seat, and me and my cousin were practically dangling over the ledge the entire show.
4th-Oct-2006 03:39 pm (UTC)
You know, actually I never saw either Christine or Carlotta as being one-note. The only person I find to be a one note is Raoul. He's a fop. Steve Barton has a great voice, but Raoul for the most part is rather boring.

And you know what, about Past the Point of No Return, I actually think during Christine's part she's rather angry and crying. When she sings "One final question..." she's almost provoking the Phantom, because at this point she's become totally disillusioned (in the book she's suicidal).

I also think that the Phantom's reprise of "All I Ask of You" is almost mocking, because the Phantom is repeating Raoul's words to her. Its like he's saying, "You are now mine. Your lover's words are now mine."

I don't know, I think that people underuse the Don Juan scene, because it is the climatic confronation between Phantom and Christine. I think the Phantom is at the point (key word) were he has decided that he'll have Christine whether she likes it or not and he will never let her leave his side and Christien, as I have stated before, is disillusioned by all that she believed.
4th-Oct-2006 03:52 pm (UTC)
You realize I'm not disputing the intended reading of the "text" of the musical, right? I'm just saying that I've seen American performers give the musical what's called an oppositional reading--looking at the events from a perspective that was not intended by the creators and illustrating different conclusions.

I don't know if this happens in London as well, but I wonder if Americans are more inclined to do it because the archetypes (Carlotta=career woman=bitch, for example) are less deeply ingrained in the cultural mindset here. For example, as intended, Carlotta is a talented, unmarried, financially-independent career woman; therefore, she must be an unsufferable bitch and a nag. I've seen performers tone down the bitchiness and overplay the confident, independent woman in Carlotta.

Christine is at a crossroads in her life (sort of like nowdays having graduated from high school or college) in that she must choose between star-studded, independent career (read: Carlotta-like life) or domestic servitude with Raoul. Naturally, like the good, virtuous little girl that she is, she chooses the latter in the end...but I'm betting a lot of women, including the career women playing Christine, don't exactly find the ending kosher and choose to play up the ending oppositionally as a defeat for her.
4th-Oct-2006 04:03 pm (UTC)
Oh I know you're not disputing it, actually I'm enjoying your percpetives. And I agree that Christine chooses to be the 'little wife' instead of the famed singer that she can be.

Though I found in some versions that Carlotta is actually married to Umbaldo--the guy who Phantom knocks off just before PtPoNR.
4th-Oct-2006 06:20 pm (UTC)
Though I found in some versions that Carlotta is actually married to Umbaldo

I thought they were just dating or something. ^^;;;

More idle thoughts (entertaining myself, even if I'm not entertaining you): I remember hearding Crawford say once that he saw the Phantom as "the older man" of the love triangle. Which would fit in with your reading of a cynical, knowing, embittered Phantom. Panaro goes in the exact opposite direction with a petulant man-child Phantom. The more I think about it, no matter which way I turn it about in my head, I think both interpretations work equally well. ^_^
4th-Oct-2006 07:28 pm (UTC)
As do I. Think Panaro gives a perfect interpretation of a 'petulant man-child' and I can't see Crawford as anything but 'the older man.' I always will prefer Crawford, because I grew up with his version of Phantom--and I prefer the older man--but I do love to see different interpretations.

And you are not entertaining just yourself. I adore Phantom and if you had AIM I am sure we could strike up a conversation about it that will go into the wee hours of tomorrow! ^_^
4th-Oct-2006 08:36 pm (UTC)
It's funny...even though Crawford was, of course, inmy first experience with the musical, nowadays, of all of the Phantoms I've heard, from a purely musical standpoint I like Colm Wilkinson the best. He has so much tormented emotion to his voice, and when I mentally splice him into duets with Sarah Brightman, I can see why he would've been Webber's first choice for the role. Their voices would've meshed exquisitely.

(I do have an AIM. The other LJ name. ^^; But it's kinda by appointment only since I haven't logged on in, like, a year or more. ^^;;;; )
4th-Oct-2006 08:59 pm (UTC)
I have heard of Wilkinson sing 'Music of the Night' and I agree with you, though I tend to see him as Valjean, naturally.

By and by, Panaro's 'Music' was fabulous.

And you know, even though the musical is gothic, the original Phantom with Lon Chaney is still one of the scariest films in history. That make-up job and Chaney's expression when he is unmasked is unforgettable.

I also like the Claude Raines version, but that is more of a notalgia love since it was the first Phantom I saw on video.

And that's cool about AIM, I know a lot of people who do that. ^_^
5th-Oct-2006 09:04 am (UTC) - What a coincidence!
So my friend last minute asks me to drive her after work (11PM) to LA. The trip would take about 3 hours one way, and being Filipino still living with parents, that is such a ridiculous request to ask of me! Can you just imagine?!

I guess I need to assert some independence (*pathetic snort*), so I agree.

I tell my dad; he's upset, but essentially says, "Just take a couple hours to nap before you drive back." My mom says, "NO!" then hangs up on me (since I was calling her from work).

Speed demon that I am, and because it is late, I get to LA in 2 hours. I sit on the couch and am restless. 1 hour later I leave (no nap taken, either). So off I go, and arrive home 1 hour and 40 minutes later.

What kept me awake? Well, as the drive was last minute, I didn't have my car charger to my iPod, and it wasn't going to last that leg of the trip. So I had to rely on whatever random CDs my father left in the car 1 YEAR ago.

What do I find? What keeps me up the last hour of my trip home? Phantom of the Opera. I'm getting angsty hearing the drums and the spooky, "I am the mask you wear / It's me they hear". I kept that song on repeat the whole way through.

Sorry I can't add any other illuminating perspective on tPotO; just thought it was awesome to see these links and then reimagine myself 3-4AM howling in my car to the tracks. *le sigh*
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