The Phantom of the Opera – A Comparison of the Play and the Movie

The Broadway production of The Phantom of the Opera has always been one of my favorites. I have had the opportunity to see the play twice while on vacation in New York, and I have also seen the production that came to my hometown. All performances were excellent.

Due to my love for the play, I was a bit hesitant about releasing the film version of The Phantom of the Opera. I consider myself a great Phantom Phan, and my daughter is an absolute Phantom Phanatic. So when the movie version was shown in limited release in December 2004, she and I were among the first in line to see it. We’d both read the reviews and were prepared to completely dislike the movie version. However, we both walk away captivated by the Phantom again. The film is very close to the original production, and the few differences enhance rather than detract from the overall story.

Throughout the film, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical genius just shines. There are standout performances from Gerald Butler as the Phantom and Emmy Rossum as Christine. I think it would have been wonderful if Michael Crawford had played the Phantom, after all he IS the Phantom, but that’s a discussion for another day. My favorite scene has always been the masquerade ball, and the movie did not disappoint. Actually, this scene was more convincing in the movie than in the play, but of course you can’t do much on stage.

If you didn’t get a chance to see the movie when it was released for a limited time, or if you’re like me and need to add it to your Phantom collection, the movie’s release date is Tuesday, May 3. I will also be buying the soundtrack to the movie, although I already have the original cast recording from the Broadway production. If you’re a true Phantom Phan, you’ll want to add both of these items to your Phantom collection. Feel free to contact me if you need help finding these items.

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