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marvel - phoenix love me and despair

Phantom - #48 & 49 - in which the magic is back...kind of

Phantom of the Opera
August 21, 2010 (matinee)
Cleveland, OH

Cast
Phantom - Tim Martin Gleason
Christine - Kelly Jeanne Grant (alt)
Raoul - Sean MacLaughlin
Andre - DC Anderson
Firmin - Michael McCoy
Carlotta - Kim Stengel
Mme Giry - Nancy Hess
Piangi - Luke Grooms
Meg - Paloma Garcia-Lee

AUCTION
Dude, Carrington Vilmont is the Auctioneer on the tour now? So weird! He's also Passarino. Sean's Raoul looks like he's having some sort of seizure while sitting in the chair...

OVERTURE
We lost the organ part for half of it. :( It was cool to hear the orchestra, but argh, the organ is what makes the overture the overture.

HANNIBAL
Kim seemed good as Carlotta, but honestly, I have seen her so many freaking times that I just tune out when she's on the stage. David Gaschen was Lefevre and very cute in the role! And Thomas Schumacher is still a cute little Reyer and very snippy with Christine. Don Bellamy, the slave master, was very pervy and really shook those hips! Haha. Also, Elizabeth Welch (Princess, Christine u/s) is adorable.

THINK OF ME
My first thought was - is this REALLY Kelly? Did I make a boo-boo again with a name? But no, it was really Kelly, and she sounded so much better than the last time I had seen her! I don't know what in the heck happened, but I was impressed. Her voice can be a little harsh, but she packs a lot of punch for being such a tiny little thing. I really liked her. Speaking of what in the heck happened, what happened to Sean's Raoul? I didn't like his interpretation much this time. :( He seems like a very smarmy rich dude.

AFTER THE GALA
Ahh, Thomas kissed Kelly's hand. :D I love when Reyer does that after the performance. Paloma, the new Meg, is as cute as a button and doesn't have the "mousy" look that so many Megs do. Her voice isn't particularly strong, but whatever. Her acting is really good.

LITTLE LOTTE
Mehhhhh. I'm just not feeling any chemistry between Kelly and Sean. But Kelly was cute and earnest, and I really liked how she said "things have changed Raoul" - not in the normal "I'm scared" way, but in a "things have changed" firm way.

ANGEL OF MUSIC
Oh hello there Tim. ;) He was very forceful and didn't have any trouble with coming in at the right moment this time around. I like. I don't like, however, that he's sliding into some of his notes, reminding me of Jason Mills. NO. DO NOT WANT.

PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
Ooooooh. I loved this. First off, the second fake Phantom (the one leading the second fake Christine along the travelator) gave this little nod to Christine, trying to coax her to follow him. Hot. XD And then Tim and Kelly came out, and you could just tell that it was Tim. He has developed quite the stage presence. Kelly plays up the "I'm scared and yet curious at the same time" feelings; she kept looking around in the boat, which was cool. Once again, Tim leaves no doubt that the pole is a metaphor for something else. ;D And when he helped Kelly out of the boat and told her to sing for him, it was HOT. He really tosses the hat (and it didn't bounce off the organ or candles this time, haha). There's not much of a cape swish, but he does the full hair slick, which I love. And then he's all up ons! He was like this giant looming figure over tiny Kelly, which I adore, and he got really close up behind her, almost like he was going to whisper "sing" into her ear. Yummy. And he really straddled that stool at the end. XD

MUSIC OF THE NIGHT
Tim has apparently been working on his high notes, and it shows. There was no cracking this time, and his high notes were supported well. He's a very controlling Phantom and a heavy breather, both of which wins points in my book. His MotN is a little subdued; there's not a lot of outright perv, but it was good anyway. A couple of times it looked like he was leaning in for a smooch, but he always backed away just in time. Kelly overacted a little here, but whatever. I still enjoyed them together.

I REMEMBER/STRANGER THAN YOU DREAMT IT
Kelly looked like a very determined girl as she snuck up to unmask him! Tim's Phantom was very much lost in thought and scribbling at his music. Kelly screamed a lot while Tim was chasing her around the lair; it looked very realistic. And I loved how powerful Tim's voice was - after his "Damn you, curse you!" the auditorium was completely silent, but you could still hear his words ringing for a couple of seconds. He was very broken as he crawled towards her, and Kelly didn't just lie there - there were all sorts of emotions crossing her face. I LOVE how he reacted to her turning away from him - he seemed very wounded and hurt. And then when he put the mask back on, you could just see him becoming the Phantom again instead of broken Erik. He smoothed his hair back and arched his spine a bit.

MAGICAL LASSO
Buquet was meh.

NOTES I/PRIMA DONNA
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. It was a total snoozefest. Even DC Anderson couldn't save this one. I don't like Michael McCoy's Firmin; he isn't very funny and is very dry. Sean seemed like he was just going through the emotions. Nancy Hess' acting as Giry is good, but I could barely hear her. Luke Grooms was okay as Piangi, but there wasn't much stage presence. The real standout: Paloma's Meg, who was so adorable that I wanted to pinch her. She hid one of the notes behind her back and was pawing through the managers' desk to find the others. Very cute.

IL MUTO
Kelly was so smiley here; she looked really cute. I like Tim's laughter - he sounded like a psychopath! The solo dancer, Harlan Bengel, was really good too.

ALL I ASK OF YOU
Another snoozefest, unfortunately. :\ Kelly and Sean just don't have much chemistry together, and their kisses looked totally unrealistic. It was cute how Sean twirled her around, but that was about it. I got the feeling that Kelly's Christine is only after the protection that Raoul can offer her.

ALL I ASK OF YOU REPRISE
Tim was very soft here, which was surprising. He didn't have a good transition from "I am sad" to "I am pissed" - he kind of just went from one to the other. I can't get over how much better his high notes sound!

MASQUERADE
Haha, David Gaschen was the wild man! It was rather hilarious watching him in a hula-type skirt prancing around the stage. XD And no matter where he was, you could hear his voice. Kelly was cute with the dancing and sending a few coy looks towards Sean. I really liked Tim's appearance; he totally ignored Kelly and Sean in the corner until the last possible moment, and then he got all up in Kelly's face and ripped off her chain. I love how much taller he is than her, and his shoulders look really broad since Kelly's a little bird.

NOTES II
Ehhh. Nothing really of note here. The ensemble is just not doing it for me at this point.

REHEARSAL
I love Thomas Schumacher's Reyer. :D

WISHING YOU WERE SOMEHOW HERE AGAIN
Kelly sounded loads better here than the last time I had seen her. She really put a lot of animation - and, presumably, thought - into this scene. She acted as if she were angry at her father, and although that was a little different, the more I thought about it, the more I liked that interpretation. She's angry that she's in this situation at all.

WANDERING CHILD
Tim's sliding into his notes again. :P This scene was okay, but not very remarkable.

DON JUAN
Luke Grooms' Piangi isn't doing much for me. Passarino was cute, as was Paloma's Meg, who was flirtatious with him. I watched David Gaschen through much of this scene, haha. I want to be the cup he's holding in this scene.

POINT OF NO RETURN
Okay. I have seen 49 of these scenes live. I have seen some hot scenes. But this was, without a doubt, the HOTTEST PoNR scene I have seen live. Ever. Ever ever ever. Oh my god. *fans self* Tim really pulled the curtains shut forcefully, which I always appreciate. When he was guiding the goblet to her lips, he started touching at the shoulder and ran his hand all the way down her arm before she drank, which was when I sat up and started taking notice. ;) When they sat down on the bench, Tim took Kelly by her shoulders and pulled her back, and she totally arched back into him and scooted closer. When he "guided" her hands, she was really into it, haha. Then there was some great awkward fumbling on the bench, which I LOVED. When Kelly got up from the bench, she turned and stared at Tim pretty much the whole time during her solo part, while Tim kind of rocked back and forth a little. Then Kelly sashayed over to him, whipped her hip to one side, and put her leg up on the bench. Then she started lifting her skirt up to her knee, and Tim reached over to touch her leg with a trembling hand, but didn't quite make it before she pulled away and stood behind him. HELLO THIS IS HOT. Then there was some lovely groping before Kelly's Christine discovered his mask beneath the cloak. Tim really yanked her across the stage. I loved how when they were separated, they both started turning towards each other at the same time and seemed to be drawn to one another. Love love love.

FINAL LAIR
The final lair was pretty good; Tim and Kelly were both in top form, although Sean just seemed...there. He didn't really do much of anything. Sigh. So, I'll mostly focus on Tim and Kelly. ;) Kelly seemed both angry and afraid, begging him "please, don't" when he dragged her into the lair. She was quite the little spitfire, but Tim seemed more sad and melancholy than anything at first. I love how he taunted her with the bouquet - he went over to the mannequin, picked up the flowers, and kind of waved them in the air like "haha, this is just what we need to complete the get-up!" Tim did a sort of "Grinch fingers" move when Raoul showed up, steepling his fingers and then rubbing his hands together like he's plotting something dastardly. Kelly's Christine really stood up to Tim's Phantom without bulldozing him over, and the chemistry was almost palpable. Tim really crumpled up the veil and kept twisting it around his fingers, like he needed something to do to keep himself sane. I liked Kelly's "you deceived me" - she was pissed! Haha. And then their kiss was HOT. They were all into it, and during the second kiss, Tim clutched her shoulders and pulled her even closer, and when he pulled away, he kind of stroked her hair for a few seconds before breaking the kiss completely. After he chased them out of the lair, Tim was very sad...kneeled before the monkey and clapped his hands along with it, which I always love. I liked Kelly's ring return; she looked sad about it, and kind of shook her head a little when he said "Christine I love you" before running off. It suited her interpretation of the character; I wouldn't have gone for that with some Christines. Then Tim did this weird "I'm going to put the ring back on...no wait, extend the hand with ring out towards Christine again...no, put it on...wait, no, extend it...oh okay, I'll put it on." That was rather meh. But then he hugged himself and rocked a bit as he knelt down to pick up the veil. And then it was time for him to disappear in the chair, although I don't think he's mastered that quite yet (or he was having some difficulties), because you could see the chair rocking a little bit and you could catch a glimpse of his hand holding out the black cover thing both times. Haha. Oh well. And Paloma's Meg was seriously adorable again, as always.

VERDICT
The magic is back. Sort of. I wish I'd seen a stronger trio (or, rather, one-third of the trio), but Tim and Kelly had great chemistry together. I'd probably put this in the top half of shows I've seen, even though I didn't care much for Sean's Raoul or most of the ensemble, simply because of those two. You can tell that Kelly has put a lot of thought into her interpretation of the character, which I always appreciate. Plus she's sweet as hell in person.

Phantom of the Opera
August 21, 2010 (evening)
Cleveland, OH

Cast
Phantom - Tim Martin Gleason
Christine - Trista Moldovan
Raoul - Sean MacLaughlin
Andre - DC Anderson
Firmin - Michael McCoy
Carlotta - Kim Stengel
Mme Giry - Nancy Hess
Piangi - Luke Grooms
Meg - Paloma Garcia-Lee

Okay, I'm not going to write a full-fledged review for this show, mainly because the entire cast was the same except for Trista as Christine. I may have liked this performance if I hadn't just seen an amazing performance from Tim and Kelly earlier in the day...maybe. Probably not.

Tim - He added a few new things. He gave a better performance during the AIAOY reprise and transitioned from the "I am so sad" to "I am so angry" much better. And he gave a nice little moan in the final lair when Trista hugged him.

Trista - Umm. Well. Her high notes were lovely, and her kisses seemed more realistic. Other than that, I didn't care for her at all. Her voice was really breathy, and Sean's voice was totally overpowering hers in AIAOY. And she played Christine as if the character was about to have a nervous breakdown at any given point. Seriously, I've never seen someone portray Christine as being on the verge of tears for nearly the entire second act, and for about half of the first act. There was no chemistry with Sean, and very little with Tim. Meh.

Sean - He was the same, except a little more lethargic. He got a little lazy with the dancing in Masquerade.

I still want to be that cup.
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Comments

*laughs at Tim Martin Gleason's existence for ten minutes*
His Phantom may very well be a serial killer. ;)
His Raoul and his Christine and his Jesus, too.
Hahahahahaha. I'm getting a horrible mental image of him in the Wishing dress now. :O ONE MOAR REASON FOR ME TO HATE YOU.
Kim will never leave. Except, you know, when the tour closes. ;)

I LOVE SURPRISE DAVID GASCHEN. :D And it was so weird, because you could pretty much hear his voice in every scene. I kept remembering how awesome his Phantom was. :D
I didn't like TMG's Phantom. Mainly because I had saw Andrew Valera the week before and he just was too... too amazing. I just felt a lot of R/C-ness from it.

But, question, IS THE LOVE BACK BEE?! Do you feel like you enjoy Phantom again? If you don't, I still luff you.

Oh, did TMG look like he was chewing something throughout the entire performance? That and he was a whiny little bitch in mine made me totally not connect with it.
I wish that I had seen Andrew Valera. :( You are very lucky! He's either on vacation or has completely left; he wasn't mentioned at all in the playbill.

The love is somewhat back! It's not as bright as it used to be, but I really enjoyed myself. Especially after the matinee. Especially as I watched the bench scene.

Hahaha, now that you mention it, he did look like he was chewing something during parts of the show. XD But I really liked him; he's in my top half of Phantoms seen.
Really?! Oh my god, that is so upsetting. :( Seriously, I felt damned that I was going to get an understudy, but I was totally into it after it. Also, at the stage door, he looked NOTHING like how I thought he would look.

I'm glad you enjoyed yourself! (And I will admit, both Andrew and TMG had interesting moments during the bench scene.)

BUT THANK GOD! Seriously, tried telling my friend that during MotN and AIAoY(R) he looked like he was chewing something. It was so distracting! It was like he was chewing gum or tobacco.

Well, I will say that I liked his Phantom a lot more than his Raoul - for sure. But I didn't feel he met my standards for Phantom.

But I am so glad you enjoyed yourself! :D
I really liked Trista when I saw her (the first thought I had was that she is really pretty). And Sean as well, I liked him (and he's pretty). I liked his voice and the confidence he put into Raoul.

When I went, Tim's high notes in MOTN were just so slightly below the actual note that it killed me. He was so close!

Yes, hot PONR. He doesn't quite reach John Cudia and Jennifer Hope Wills in my mind, but still freakin' hot. The first thing my cousin said after the show (I'm the one that got her hooked to begin with) was that Tim is an Act II Phantom. I couldn't have agreed more. PONR and the Final Lair alone were enough to put him in my top 5. Which is saying something considering I absolutely hated his Raoul.