Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Travel Reads: The Phantom of the Opera at Majestic Theatre

It was an early evening in December.The tourists were out on the streets despite the occasional spell of the icy showers.The noise on the streets was deafening. New York felt like a melting pot or a salad bowl more than ever. The sea of humanity converged there and the city pulsated as if it were alive. I walked from Hotel 41 near Times Square to the Majestic Theatre at 245 West 44th Street, New York. Built in 1927, it was designed by Herbert Krapp, American theatre architect and designer,and built by the Chanin Brothers. Today it is owned by The Schubert Organization. This theatre has hosted several musical shows down the decades such as Rufus LeMaire’s Affairs, Pardon My English, The Act, Carousel, Stars in Your Eyes, Allegro, South Pacific, By the Beautiful Sea, Me and Juliet and Golden Boy among others.

I was out to watch The Phantom of the Opera, a Broadway musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber at the Majestic Theatre. Written by French writer, Gaston Leroux in 1911, The Phantom of the Opera is a gothic novel. A tale of unrequited love, Erik, the phantom of the opera falls in love with Christine from the chorus of the Paris Opera House. Erik is a lonely gifted genius with distorted looks. He abducts her and he reveals his identity saying that he is the legendary ‘Angel of Music’. She is drawn
towards him; however on unmasking his face, she recoils. This is what I would like to write as the gist of the plot. There is a lot more.

Watching The Phantom of the Opera was an overwhelming experience. The sheer grandeur of the stage setting was amazing. That evening I met people who were there to watch this musical staged in English and who could barely speak or understand the language. Despite all the barriers, the audience sat mesmerized.

(Article by Kabita Sonowal) 

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