It had been almost 20 years since I last saw The Phantom of the Opera on stage. Let’s just say that after a few long weeks with kiddos, I really needed a night on the town. So, with my BFF in tow, we headed to Seattle’s Paramount Theatre for one of the most successful musicals of all time.
We parked just one block south of the Paramount at the Washington State Convention Center, which is ony $7 after 5PM! If you are in the mood for dining before showtime, I highly recommend Tango, a tapas restaurant, also within walking distance of the theatre. Or, continue east to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery where you can enjoy a hip atmosphere and a latte unparalled at your corner Starbucks.
As for attire, BFF and I wore spring dresses. Some folks were dressed to the nines, including one couple who were in full Renaissance wear. #ikidyounot In true Seattle fashion where anything goes, we also saw folks in jeans, sweats, and cocktail dresses. The Paramount is a pretty swanky place, so dressing for the occasion is recommended to enhance your experience.
Upon entering the lobby, you’ll find Brotherton Cadillac sponsored this fun Photo Booth. Look for the Cadillac and this sweet girl to snap your pic three times.
If you’ve never seen Phantom before or are unfamiliar with the storyline, I suggest Googling a plot synopsis beforehand. If you are very ambitious, you can even read the classic novel La Fantome de L’Opera by Gaston Leroux upon which the musical is based. The plot gets a little complicated and because it moves rather quickly, it’s easy to get lost. This is especially dfficult when all lines are sung, sometimes by three cast members at once. It’s kinda like trying to read a book while three children are talking to you at the same time.
Sitting at row M, merely 13 rows from the first row, we were offered up close viewing of the incredible set design and costumes. Even before the show started we oohed and ahhed over the Auction House scene with cobweb curtain, and the grand chandelier hanging from above which did indeed come falling down! Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, BOOM, pyrotechnics. Flames, sparks, and gunshots all added to the amazing show. My favorite part of the set was the floating staircase which magically ejected from within the Phantom’s lair.
Even if you’ve never seen Phantom, you are likely familiar with many of the unforgettable songs including “All I Ask of You”, “Think of Me”, and my favorite, “Masquerade”, which played directly after intermission. The glittery costumes and harmonies of the large cast made me grin just taking in all of the inspirational beauty. The humor of the show also put a big smile on my face. Frank Viveros, who plays Ubaldo Piangi, had the whole house roaring at each of his lines and dramatic facial expressions.
While a musical at the theatre may seem like an acceptable entertainment choice for children, this show is not for the faint at heart. I mean, this sign right here reminds me of the warnings for a roller coater at Disneyland:
In all seriousness, the show has dark themes and imagery and I would not recommend bringing anyone under the age of 16. The opening act includes a severed head. Need I say more? Also, it lasts 2 hours and 45 minutes, including a 20 minute intermission.
While Phantom has been in production for over 25 years, the new production by Cameron Mackintosh includes theatrical advances while remaining true to the original production that we all know and love. This same production was previously sold out in London, but you can see it now in Seattle. Shows will be running now through Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 10. Tickets start at only $30 and are available at STGpresents.org or tickets.com, or in person at The Paramount Theatre box office (Monday-Friday, 10am-6pm).
If my review hasn’t convinced you, take a peak at this trailer for Phantom:
I am SUPER excited for the 2015-2016 season which includes NEWSIES!!! I’ve been waiting since last century for this one!
Are you planning to see Phantom?
What musicals or shows have you seen at The Paramount?