Review: The Phantom Of The Opera at Sands Theater, Singapore

Before I go into the review, remember this post?   OK, if you don't remember, it's fine.  How about this one?  OK, never mind.

I have been in love with the Phantom Of The Opera (POTO) since I was a little girl.  I was introduced to it by my late cousin sister (who was a year older than me).  I have no idea how she got to know about it.  At that age, my cousin although 1 year older, always played a dominant role in my life.  She insisted that I must love POTO too eventhough I knew nuts about it.  And in order for me to fall in love with it, she hand-written all the lyrics, recorded the songs in a tape cassette for me and made me sing all the songs in it.  On top of that, she was Grade 6 or 7 piano at that time and she bought the POTO piano book and was playing and playing and made me sang duet with her.  I was only Grade 1 piano and envied her a lot to be able to play so well.

Anyhow, she successfully brain-washed me.  I fell in love with POTO's songs (as I have no idea what was a musical and what was the story like).  I would re-play the tape cassette and sang all the songs in it and even tried recording myself singing them.  And the songs that my cousin had recorded was sang by the original West End cast, you know like Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman?  Yup, it was when they first started.  

Eventually, through the lyrics, I found out the plot and got to know the story better.  I was still in love with POTO and was hoping that one day, I will get to see the musical.  At that time, they were only playing in West End and Broadway.

In 2000, my cousin sister tragically passed away.  Although at that time, POTO was already a history for her as she was more into playing drums and pop music, POTO remained in my heart because of her.  And losing her reminded me of all the memories with her and POTO.  So, POTO was very close to my heart, because of my cousin sister.  Till today, I kept the hand-written lyrics that she wrote for me and also the tape cassette although I no longer have a player that can play it.

In 2004,  POTO the movie was created.  I went to watch with my friends and cried throughout the movie although there was nothing much to cry in the story.  I thought to myself that my late cousin would have love to watch this movie with me.  I cried thinking of all the memories we had and I was still grieving that time.  However, I wasn't satisfied with the movie.  It wasn't good enough for me.

In 2007, POTO finally made an appearance in Singapore.  That was like the nearest to me.  I was very tempted to go, but at that time, I have no company to go with, no place to stay and no money to go.  Reluctantly, I have to just let it go and vowed to myself that the next time they come back to Singapore, I will not miss a chance.  NEVER! 

In 2013, POTO returned to Singapore.  Again, I missed it as it was for a very short season and I couldn't go for some reason.  I have almost given up by then.

In 2014, my colleague went to the UK and she watched POTO and came back telling me that it was good.   I got my interest aroused again.  So I started watching YouTube to find out more about POTO.  And I found someone have uploaded the 25th Anniversary DVD and boy, it was so good.  My determination to watch it started again.

In 2015, POTO went to Guangzhou.  During the same time, my husband was going to Guangzhou.  I wanted to follow as well, just to watch the show.  But....I was 5 months pregnant.  So, decided against it and so my husband went alone to Guangzhou.  I kinda regretted not going, because I had a smooth pregnancy and nothing to worry at all.  

Finally, in 2019, my dream came true, after about 30 years since I was first introduced to it.  When I found out that they were coming to Singapore again, I immediately bought tickets.  Later only I found out that they were coming to Malaysia too, FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER!   The timing this time was perfect!  I got a place to stay FOC.  I got a good yogini sister to accompany me to watch the show and although the ticket price was expensive, but I could still afford it.

The Review

So how was it?  It was amazing!  I won't go into the plot and the music and the orchestra.  You should kinda know the story line before you go.

The costumes were so beautiful.  But what was more intrigued was the scenery and the background.  The change of scenery was one of the most magical thing in POTO.  

How about the singing and the acting?  Hmm...well, I shouldn't compare but I much preferred Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess and Hadley Fraser.  I think they are the best of POTO.  I only watched them on the 25th Anniversary show and then discovered more about them.  Their chemistry is the best.

As for Jonathan Roxmouth?  To be honest, I only searched about him after I have watched him live.  He is very good.  Pitched perfect and full of emotions.  And Meghan Picerno?  I still prefer Sierra.  Meghan can sing very well and hit the high notes perfectly.  But somehow, not the Christiane Daae I have in mind.  Anyway, who cares?  As long as they sang perfectly right?

My favourite was Masquerade.  It was so colourful and so delightful.  And not to mention another personal favourite was Prima Donna.  

And I also love how they inserted some local names in the jokes.

One word to sum up POTO 2019 at Singapore.  AWESOME!  Andrew Lloyd Webber is a sheer genius.  

Which seats were the best?  I got the A Reserve Stalls Centre seats.  It was near enough to have a good view and listen to the overall surrounding sounds.  I believe these were quite good seats and I don't regret them.

There were some moments where the beats were missed.  But not that obvious as the backdrop already mesmerized us from the beginning.  It was a full house and I love the Singapore crowd.  Not that I have tried the Malaysia crowd.  Singapore crowd respects the musicians and the singers and the actors.  Even when they want to cough, they tried to withhold it as much as possible as not to disturb the show.

POTO will be coming to Malaysia from 15 June to 7 July 2019.  The tickets are expensive, in fact more than what I paid in Singapore.  I was contemplating watching it again, since it is the first time ever in Malaysia.  But not sure how it will be at Istana Budaya.

But it was definitely worth the price.  At least for the $140 that I paid for the great seats.  I have nothing else to ask for.

I will definitely go again, perhaps in the future with my little girl (when she is a bit older).  All I can say, I have the best night ever listening to The Music Of The Night.

On a personal note:
When the music started, I thought I would cry because of the sheer emotions gathered throughout all these years.  But I didn't shed a single tear.  I was so happy that I finally get to watch it and savor it right from the start.  I don't remember blinking at all (which I am exaggerating).  

If your other half is also a musical fan, go and watch with him/her.  It's definitely worth going.