Saturday, December 04, 2004

O, happy day! O, Frabjuos, wondrous fervolity!

As many of you know, I have had a thoroughly unhealthy obsession with Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Phantom of the Opera" since I was a teenager. Within weeks of hearing it for the first time, I had bought and memorized the original score. I sang every male role in it at my house and at the movie theater I managed. My best friend from those days, Jonathan Fernandez, shared my love of the musical, and we would sing it over and over again, sometimes recording ourselves, just to hear how bad we were. He couldn't hit the low notes back then, and I couldn't hit the high ones. I've listened to it beginning to end several thousand times, I imagine.

Fast forward to a couple of years ago, when the effort to make the movie took off again. First was the dread because it looked like Antonio Banderas would get the role of the Phantom. Although he turned in a masterful performance as Che in the movie version of "Evita," his voice could hardly be more wrong for the role of the Phantom.

Then I heard Joel Schumacher would direct. Now I'll admit, I loved "Lost Boys." But I've hated pretty much everything he's directed since then, and several of my top five worst movies of all time were directed by him (#2 being "Batman Forever"). So I was thinking that my favorite musical of all time was going to become total shit.

The momentary sigh of relief from hearing that Antonio was not getting the role was overshadowed by hearing that it would go to Gerard Butler, who had never sung before. Why? Because he was, and I quote Schumacher here, "Young and sexy, which is what the role needed." Which just goes to show how little he understands the story. The curse of the Phantom in this story is that he's old and ugly.

The pictures I saw of the production looked like I had always imagined it, though. So I figured that visually, it would be a masterpiece. Just not musically.

But I just got in the soundtrack to the movie, and you know what? It's not bad. I mean, Butler is no Michael Crawford, but he gives a very passionate performance, if not as trained and smooth as the Phantom is supposed to be. I have not had time to thoroughly examine every song, but so far, I'm pleasantly suprised.

I still think if they were going for someone young and incredibly sexy, they should have picked me. I can sing the hell out of that role, now. But maybe they just figured I was above such things.

Anyway, now I can't wait to see the movie. I am once again excited about it.

How do you feel? Or do you even care about it? Let me know!

Talk to you later,

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