Today, the crew in NYC are celebrating the 29th anniversary of the longest running show on Broadway, The Phantom of the Opera. This is not an advertisement, but I really do like POTO that I think it is worth it to talk about it in my second post.
I watched the 2004 movie version of POTO for the first time when I was 13, and by then the movie has came out several years already (oops) and the musical is overwhelmingly popular. My parents, who have spent some years in England in the early 1990s, asked me if the songs sounded familiar to me. Having no prior knowledge of the musical, I said no. However, somehow the melodies and the plot refused to leave my mind for months and for a long time, I was crazily obsessed with POTO.
After a year or two, as my English skills improved, I started watching American and British TV shows, and after opening the doors to this mesmerising whole new world, I forgot about my beloved POTO.
One day, when I was 17 years old, I was browsing through my music library and suddenly caught glimpse of a song that i haven’t listened to for too long, ‘Music of the Night’. MOTN is a signature solo song of the Phantom, thus almost instantly an urge formed in my head: I should go watch that movie again. So I did.
I felt like I was this 13 year old fangirl again. I was totally and utterly captivated and hooked. Though this time, I also searched for the original book (okay I admit I never really finished reading it), fan-fiction, fan-art, and most importantly, the videoed musical versions of POTO. That day, was the day I became a musical fan.
I have heard people saying that the musical versions are much better than the movie version since all the musical actors actually know how to sing, whilst the movie actors focus more on the acting. They were absolutely right. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that I despise the movie version now, I still love it, but I also have to admit that the singing performances are indeed better in musicals.
I looked all over the internet for videos of and/or about POTO and learnt all the lyrics and memorised all the songs sang by Christine — I was fangirling so hard. So, as my 18th birthday was approaching, I told my mum, ‘I want to go watch POTO on Broadway in New York!’. And so I did! We stopped by in NYC a few days before the start of college, and about a month after my birthday. We went, we watched, and I almost cried.
Watching the live performance was so much better than browsing the video clips on a laptop screen. They are utterly different experiences! The music, the acting, the props, everything was perfect and magical in the live shows. On that day, I fell even deeper into the POTO world.
I watched POTO on Broadway in 2016, which was the 30th anniversary of the show (debut was in 1986 in West End, London), and I made a promise to myself that, I am going to watch the musical again on the 35th anniversary, but I am going to purchase the ticket with the money I have earned by myself. I am looking forward to it. And I will study hard to keep the promise. The Phantom Of The Opera, I will see you again when I am 23.
And last but not least, Happy Birthday, The Phantom Of The Opera!