Westchester Broadway Theatre PHANTOMPublished: Monday, October 8, 2018 By: Camille Kaiser Source: THE CUE
This production, under the expert direction of Tom Polum, was pure perfection beginning with technical direction by Steve Loftus, scenic artist Carl Talent (original set design by George Puello) and lighting design by Andrew Gmoser, which set the perfect mood for this intense romantic mystery and enabled the talented, skilled cast to shine. Unlike ”Phantom of the Opera”, this production never played on Broadway. It was produced in Houston, Seattle, Washington, and Chicago and enjoyed much success.
The original WBT production opened in 1992 and ran for nine months bringing in record audiences and the production returned to WBT in 1996 and 2007, again successful. This latest production is still magical and an audience pleaser. From the opening number “Melodies de Paris” with Christine (Kayleen Seidl) and company, the audience was captivated.
The mysterious, but uniquely charming, Phantom (Matthew Billman) who lives under the opera house agrees to help Christine develop her beautiful but untrained singing voice with the condition that she will never see his face. He succeeds in training her and she is cast to play a principal part in an opera. The two fall in love but the relationship is not destined to be successful and leads to an unhappy conclusion.
Mathew and Kayleen are physically appropriate for their roles and have exceptional musical talent. Among my favorite musical numbers is Phantom’s “Where in the World”, “You Are Music” and Christine and Phantom’s “Home.” Sandy Rosenberg as Carlotta portrays a perfect spoiled, but lovable, prima donna (“This Place is Mine). Kudos to James van Treuren (Gerard Carriere), Larry Luck (Count Philippe de Chandon), Kilty Reidy (Alaine Cholet), Stuart Marland (Inspector Ledoux, Ryan Alexander Jacobs (Joseph Buquet) and Roger Preston Smith (Jean Claude) who played their roles to perfection. The ensemble was energetic and precise and a joy to watch.
This production was as close as flawless as you can get and almost brought me to tears, which is not an easy task. This was the best production of “Phantom” that I have seen.
Don’t miss it. The show runs through November 25 and then takes a short hiatus for WBT’s Holiday show, A CHRISTMAS CAROL which runs November 28 through December 23. PHANTOM will then return to the stage running December 27 through January 27.