By Karen Isaacs
Don’t worry – the touring production of Phantom of the Opera now at Waterbury’s Palace Theater through November 26 still has the iconic chandelier. It also has enough special effects to entrance any pyromaniac.
I must admit that while Phantom is the longest running musical in history, I’m not a big fan. I find it overly melodramatic in all its aspects.
That said, this is a very good production. Any fan of the show should be delighted.
Since the chandelier is so much a part of everyone’s memory of the show, let’s start there. It is truly magnificent. It lowers from the ceiling and then later lowers again when it crashes, sending out a terrific lighting effect. The set by Paul Brown also does an excellent job of setting the many scenes. If the boat isn’t quite awe-inspiring, it serves its purpose well.
The same can be said for the costumes coordinated by Christine Rowland, for the original designer, the later Maria Björnson. From a distance they look lush and expensive.
Paule Constable has created a lighting design that varies the mood effectively. Special praise to sound designer Mick Potter. It is never too loud, the orchestra never drowns out the singers and those soprano high notes never sound shrill. Quite an accomplishment in a large theater.
I’m not sure who was responsible for the various special effects – usually involving fire – but they will startle you.
This show does not necessarily require subtle acting; broad strokes for this melodramatic story are not only acceptable but necessary. But it does require excellent voices.
In that respect, the cast delivers big time. Kaitlyn Davis as Christine has an operatic soprano voice that makes you truly believe she could be a diva. Even Carlotta (played by Trista Moldovan) has a lovely voice. Remember, she is supposedly the diva whom the Phantom thinks can’t sing or act.
Derrick Davis has the perfect voice for the title role. His rendition of “The Music of the Night” is glorious. He also creates sympathy for the character. As for Raoul, Jordan Craig also has a terrific voice which blends beautifully with Kaitlyn Davis’. Their two big numbers at the end of act one are excellent.
In fact, the cast is overall top-notch.
So if you love this show, you should plan on seeing it at The Palace Theatre, 100 East Main St., Waterbury. For tickets visit Palace Theater or call 203-346-2000.