Friday, August 10, 2012

Why I Hate Phantom, or More Musical Iconoclasm

Short answer: It's tacky and I hate it.

Long answer:

I'm currently watching the PBS Great Performances version of The Phantom of the Opera and blogging along live. Let's talk about how tacky and ridiculous the opening is. The chandelier is "Lot 666." Ooo, subtle. I see what you did there.

Next up, I understand that this was a product of the 80s, but that overture needs a facelift. Mainly, we need to get rid of that drum kit. *up chromatic scale* ==DZOO DZOO== *down chromatic scale* ==DZOO DZOO==

Okay, I like "Think of Me." One point for Andy. BUT, at least in this production Christine's coloratura skills were wanting. To be fair, it may have been my speakers.

Ugh. And now we hear the Phantom with his breathy "Brava, brava, bravissima!" It's hammy. Hammy, hammy, hammy. And quickly we launch into Christine's creepy Elektra complex and daddy worship. Well, to be fair, I guess at this point it's just foreshadowing of the upcoming creepiness.

That's one of the big problems with this musical—no one is even remotely likable. The Phantom and Christine are both creeps and Raul is a worthless nancy boy.

Also, the whole referring to the Phantom as just "the angel of music" gets old fast.

"I'm your angel of music. Come to me, angel of music." Great lyric, but can we repeat that eight times?

YES! Return of that 80s drum kit. That's when you know you're listening to real art music.

I'd also like to point out that up to this point, the only thing like counterpoint that has shown up in any of the singing has been parallel thirds and sixths. Don't work too hard, Andy.

Okay, even though I hate the song, the staging of the actual song "Phantom of the Opera" is pretty rad. Especially in this production. One more point to Andy.

Oh. Oh. But do you hear that majestic guitar solo? Sorry, you just lost that point. Oh man, I can't stand this.

I'd love to see someone do a drinking game with this musical: take a shot every time someone says, "angel of music."

And now we're at Christine's famous AAAH-UH-AHHH-UH-AH-AHHH. Watch out guys! Andy's figured out key changes. His gain; our loss.

"Music of the Night." Not a bad tune. I'm going to turn down my sass for the present. BUT the song's still gross. Also, Andy once again shows that he's recently discovered the chromatic scale. (Sass is back on, btws.) Phantom just sang, "let your soul take you where you long to BEEEEEEEEEEEEEE." And he did that thing that is my most hated mannerism in all of broadway-style singing. He threw in a high-pitched hiccup at the end of his note. Sometimes people do it right before a note or right after. Either way, it gets on my nerves every. single. time.

Okay, we're at the "Damn You" Phantom solo. Not Andy's greatest exhibition in melody.

I have friends over, so this writing may be more sporadic, or it may just end in a second.