Fireworks on stage? Yep, the Las Vegas production of the beloved “Phantom of the Opera” has it all: gorgeous sets, beautiful costumes, stunning music, a wonderful Phantom who mysteriously appears and disappears throughout the theater, and fireworks so bright you can feel their heat from your seat. The Venetian Hotel brags “You’ve never seen Phantom like this before” and they’re right.
While the Vegas version of the show is an edited, shorter production, it is still most worthy of a standing ovation, which last Friday night’s audience eagerly awarded the performers at the curtain call. Some might argue that a few scenes seemed rushed, while others are grateful to see the storyline move along more quickly, but either way, the 95 minute version still contains everyone’s favorite songs.
The haunting melodies carry your imagination away, which is a very good thing since it is often difficult to actually understand what words are being sung. The cast is solid and the Phantom’s dramatic stage presence easily earns the largest applause from the audience.
I recommend NOT sitting too close to the stage, as the theater itself is part of the show. In fact, this theater was designed specifically for the show. I loved when the stage was magically transformed into a river bed with lighted candelabras rising from the fog. My only complaint was that most scenes were a bit too dark, but then again, so is the plot. The famous chandelier in the Paris Opera House holds everyone’s attention several times during the show and you can almost hear the mannequins in the balcony boxes cheer with delight.
People have loved the Phantom of the Opera production for so many years that it doesn’t surprise me that Andrew Lloyd Webber has finally come up with a sequel: “Love Never Dies”, which opened recently in London. The heart wrenching love story continues, but this time in America, ten years later. I won’t tell you what happens, but it features Coney Island acrobatic sets, ensuring the Cirque-style production will end up in Las Vegas eventually.
Top off the Phantom with dinner at Café Lux in the Venetian and you’ve just spent a Phun night out on the Vegas Strip.
Tickets start at $59 for rear mezzanine seating and can be purchased by calling The Phantom Box Office at or (702) 414-9000, online at www.tickets.venetian.com Reservations for groups of 15 or more are available by calling (866) 633-0195. The Phantom VIP Experience runs $250 per person and includes the following:
• A backstage tour of the custom-built Phantom Theatre
• A private meet and greet with cast members
• Premium seating in the VIP Golden Circle Section of the Orchestra.