A follow up to ALW changing his tune: he mentioned in the Canadian “Behind the Mask” that POTO is the only show he’s never re-tooled (which I guess means Macintosh is to blame for these effing tours). Also though, the BBC Behind the Mask doc *did* talk about all the bad reviews the original show got, at least in previews. IS that not true?


“Phantom of the Opera” got one really scratchy review on Broadway, from Frank Rich in New York Times. He based his review on one of the preview performances on Broadway, and not the actual premiere. Andrew Lloyd Webber felt this was really unfair, and THIS REVIEW ALONE has made ALW think POTO got bad reviews when it opened (as I said previously, selective memory).

But as mentioned previously, POTO got good reviews when it opened, some mildly positive, some raving reviews. Headlines such as “God’s gift to musical theatre”, “It’s fantastic, fabulous and phantasmagorical” and “Grand ‘Opera’” doesn’t exactly indicate butchering, does it? Original reviews can be read here: 


What the documentary refers to, I think, is the many articles and the general press coverage focusing on the relationship between Andrew Lloyd Webber and Sarah Brightman, on backstage “scandals” and on things going wrong. This press coverage was negative and catty, at least it felt that way for the people involved, and the BBC documentary comments on this. Ironically they’re doing the exact same thing themselves when mentioning ALW/Brightman and the road leading up to the premiere… 

Back in my uni days when I had access to old journals I did in fact photocopy every single review including reviews for the soundtrack. There were quite a few negative or neutral reviews. I have in the last three days unearthed them all (very lucky I have been on the throwing away spree and even things I love got binned!) so I should be able to track down the online versions or start a scannin’ and a tumblin’ because I really did have access to an incredible number of theatre and trade journals. In fact I have some great but really badly corroded images of the first photoshoot where Michael still had the white lens and you can clearly see the hooks up the front of Sarah’s wedding gown.

Crap, those storage containers are heavy and I am bruised but I do have a big resurgence of interest in the old Phantom days now that my Hannibal gown of ridiculous bling is nearing completion (it is my Christmas day craft project because it is like a disco ball crashed into a CHristmas tree). So I will get scanning. I think that stash may now be mixed in with my Uni notes (I found my immunology course marks and I did ace the final in course test so [galinda]yessss[/galinda] I was right about us going from fails to passes due to the course getting a bit of a tweak in the middle. Ask me about IgA and IgG now and I may get a bit confused though….

Anyway, point is I know where the stuff is it is a matter of aligning heavy boxes with my health and scanners and my netbook. Or maybe just get good photos. Hmmm…

It has been a while since I read all these articles and reviews but I have them from the West End and B’way openings. And I referenced them all in my 1997 NASDA project. I are nerd. But I got top marks even in a school that looked down on commercial theatre. [galinda]yesss[/galinda]

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