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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


College students can enjoy Broadway shows for cheap

A high school performs a rendition of "The Phantom of the Opera" (MCT Campus)
A high school performs a rendition of “The Phantom of the Opera” (MCT Campus)

What Broadway play could possibly top “The Phantom of the Opera,” a play already set in an opera house? The longest-running Broadway show “The Phantom of the Opera” incorporates the entire Majestic Theatre as part of its stage.

For those who wish to revel in the voice of this performance, people can take advantage of Broadway Week NYC, which offers two-for-one tickets from now until Feb. 7. At a mere $27, it is affordable to college students. A Broadway show cannot be properly experienced through words alone.

With surrounding Venetian golden pillars and the ascent of a chandelier, “The Phantom of the Opera” tells the story of a ghost who once haunted the Paris Opera Populaire. His omnipotent voice can be heard throughout the show from an unknown location. While this is not the first story centered around disfigured love, “Phantom” is a powerful masterpiece that has touched countless hearts for more than a quarter of century.

A disfigured genius, the Phantom provides guidance to the innocent diva Christine, who believed him to be sent by her late father. A childhood friend, Raoul, who is now the young patron of the Opera house provides the third member of the classic love triangle. The characters were developed extensively, and the tension depicted in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, which was based on the original story by Gaston Leroux, was matched by Charles Hart’s lyrics.

Gaston Leroux was a French court reporter and drama critic. This background lent him the lens to imagine a successful play that is both mysterious and grippingly tragic. He captured the spirit early 20th century Paris, where people held supernatural beliefs and the complex power struggle inside the Populaire reflected between Christine and la Prima Donna. Indeed, the original 1911 novel began as an investigation of a strange masked skeleton at the cellar under the opera house.

Despite the time constraints, the production crew pulled together seamless transformations for each scene, often doing so under the cloak of shadows on stage. The most impressive of these feats include rising torches from the floor and a boat on stage. The experience was dazzling.

The music scores were at a fast tempo, but maintained emotional depth with recitative singing, which allowed the singers to maintain what sounded like ordinary speech patterns. The organ sounds instantly create a gothic eeriness which helped to keep audience members on the edges of their seats for the show’s duration. The actors also catered to a large two-story audience, and an emphasis on body language replaced the smaller, more subtle expressions employed during cinema shoots.

The play speaks to the need to be accepted for imperfections. In the final scene, Christine explains, “It’s in your soul, where the true distortion lies,” kissing the phantom out of compassion.

“It’s over now the music of the night,” cried the Phantom as the curtain fell, but the magic it left in every member of audience will remain. Noted by the official site critique, “What a wry smile that would surely have given the former journalist and theatre lover after all these years!”

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