Here’s another of those “crazy concepts” proposing to bring new life to a classic show. Such concepts are not necessarily ‘crazy’; they are merely unconventional: you can decide which this is and I’ve offered my opinion on the matter too. I stumbled across it on Musicals Dot Net, posted by a user known as “Brother Marvin Hinten, S.”, who read about it on BroadwayWorld in a production that was apparently seen by a user on that forum:
(A) really minimalist production of The Phantom of the Opera with the emphasis on the score and not on overblown production values (very basic costumes, not many special effects or set pieces, tiny cast).
What a wonderful way to expose the show for what it is: a feast of poor character development, inconsistently crafted lyrics and a book that aims for breadth rather than depth as the show rolls along to its mysterious open ending. If anything, it is Harold Prince’s production that makes the show as palatable as it is. It certainly isn’t the inherent quality of the material itself. I wonder where this production was seen. One assumes it was not produced legally – unless its been available for “unofficial” productions The Phantom of the Opera for longer than I know. I thought it had only recently been made available to colleges and schools for performance.