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The Phantom of the Opera Graces Minneapolis

Updated: 02/18/2014 9:38 AM
Created: 12/19/2013 10:12 AM KSTP.com
By: Sarina Long

Cameron Macintosh unveiled the newest production of The Phantom of the Opera in March 2012 in Plymouth, England.

"With an exciting new design and staging, retaining Maria Björnson’s amazing costumes, I am confident American audiences will fall in love with the 'Phantom' in his new guise -- for the first time or all over again," Macintosh told critics earlier this year.

Macintosh came to the Twin Cities in 1999 when he launched "Martin Guerre" in North America. He is also well-known for other productions including, "Les Miserables," "Mary Poppins," "Cats," and "Miss Saigon."

Andrew Lloyd Webber said, “It’s wonderful to have a new production of 'Phantom' touring America in the same year that the show celebrates 25 years on Broadway. Director Laurence Connor has done an amazing job and this production has received huge critical acclaim in the UK.”

Minneapolis is lucky enough to be the second stop on the North American tour and last night we had a chance to see it for ourselves.

The prologue includes Anoka-native, Mark Emerson who plays the auctioneer.

Editors note: doors will be closed immediately at 7:30 pm and re-open after the prologue so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to find your seat.

Anyone who has seen this classic will immediately fall in love with the orchestra -- under musical direction of Richard Casey, and the power behind familiar favorites such as "Masquerade" and "Music of the Night."

Mark Campbell does a great job in his role as "The Phantom" and Julia Udine - amazing vocals - makes her touring debut as "Christine."

The audience is taken through the story in a whole new way with the addition of modern technology.

The set changes are incredible.

There's even an added flourish surrounding the show's first-act climax.  'Phantom' fans will know what I'm talking about.  You newcomers will just have to wait and see.

The plot still takes place in an opera house but the biggest changes are when the audience is taken down a dark corridor, curving around the set, down steep steps and onto a gondola ride on a foggy night.

As cast members move, the set moves, creating its own personality throughout the night.

Hats off to designer Paul Brown.

Just a few kinks need to be worked out -- the rounded doors which open up to the theatre owners' office gave cast members a hard time, not wanting to stay open and creating a distraction.

While touring, 'Phantom of the Opera' also continues its record-breaking runs in London and on Broadway. There are currently five productions around the world: the flagship production which premiered on October 6, 1986 at Her Majesty's Theatre in London, New York (25 years and counting), Budapest (Hungary), Kyoto (Japan), and Seoul (Korea).

Since its debut, the production has grossed over $890 million on Broadway. Even now, it is consistently among Broadway’s highest-grossing shows and remains a box office champ. Worldwide, it has grossed $5.6 billion, including $1.5 billion from three U.S. tours.

It is the single highest grossing entertaiment venture in history.

The show runs at The Orpheum through January 5. Tickets range from $39 to $130. For ticket information, click here or call 1-800-982-2787.


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