Early in my college career Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical play The Phantom of the Opera came into focus for me. It had been camped on Broadway for months and had expanded to a theater in LA. Both locations were selling out regularly. I became interested in the play because of a roommate who’d seen it and loved it. I listened to her soundtrack, bought the soundtrack, read the original book, bought the original book, looked through books about the creation of the play, and finally convinced my family to go and see it while we were in LA for a trip to Disneyland. I loved it, but became convinced that my family members were phlistines because they didn’t properly appreciate it. (I’ve revised this opinion since). Then my life moved on and I haven’t spent much of the intervening 11 years thinking about phantoms or operas.
Then the other day I was browsing a movie trailer site and saw a trailer labeled Phantom of the Opera. I clicked and discovered to my surprise that the artistic wrangling over the creation of a movie based on Webbers’ play had been worked through, and the film will come out in theaters this December. I’m going to be there. I looked at who they picked for the major parts and the faces look right to me. The images in the trailer looked beautiful. I figure the probability that they failed to capture the glory of the play is pretty high, but the nostalgia alone is worth $4.50 (I do matinees).
This morning I pulled out my dusty copy of the Phantom Soundtrack and listened to it while I cleaned the kitchen. By “listened” I mean “sang along at the top of my voice.” I love being able to match the high notes in beautiful songs although a few of the highest notes were only reachable by screeching. I screeched away joyfully. No one who can tell on me is within hearing range. Gleek and Patches seemed to take the performance in stride and just went on with their day.
Now I’m wanting to get the highlights soundtrack for Les Miserables which was really popular at the same time, but which I never acquired the soundtrack for. I used to be able to sing those songs by heart, but I’ve forgotten most of the words now. While I’m at it I might pick up the soundtrack for Chicago, that movie was absolutely fantastic and I want to learn those songs. Unfortunately I just tightened up the budget so no splurging for me today. I’ll just have to stick them on my Amazon.com wish list and look forward to Christmas. Perhaps my local library has them. For now I’m going to go pop in the second disc of Phantom and go fold some laundry.