Music and lyrics by Maury Yeston
Book by Arthur Kopit
August 22 – September 9
- CAST & CREATIVE
- PHANTOM FACTS
Gateway's most-requested show returns! Adapted by Maury Yeston and Arthur Kopit—creators of the Tony Award-winning Nine—this thrilling version of the Gaston Leroux novel tells the story of a disfigured musical genius whose love of music leads to an infatuation with his protégée, Christine, and her ethereal voice. Their romance quickly turns to tragedy as the townspeople angrily converge on the disfigured Phantom. The combination of fanciful sets, elaborate costumes, unexpected comedy and Yeston's ethereal music forms a show that will tempt the music lover in us all.
|NATHAN ANDERSON (Ensemble u/s: Cholet) is thrilled to be returning to the Gateway Playhouse where he feels that he has come back home! Previous Gateway productions include: My Fair Lady, A Christmas Carol, Sunset Blvd., & Sweeney Todd. Regional and tour credits as follows: The Mayor of Whoville, in Seussical the Musical, Marcelus Washburn, in The Music Man, and Mr. Fezziwig in the National Tour of Scrooge the Musical! with the New York Stage Originals. Nathan would like to dedicate this show to his siblings, Chad and Stacye. “I salute you both with Blessings & Gratitude! Love you!”|
|DEREK BASTHEMER (Ensemble u/s: LeDoux) Phantom marks Derek Basthemer’s third show at Gateway. Other Gateway shows include Sunset Boulevard and Sweeney Todd. Derek just finished an extended run production of Yeston’s Titanic in Rhode Island. A Manhattan School of Music graduate. Additional studies: The New England Conservatory and HB Studio.|
|KRISTINE BENNETT (Ensemble) is excited to be returning to The Gateway after appearing in last summer’s productions of Sunset Boulevard and Sweeney Todd! Other favorite credits include: Nat’l Tour Music Man; Hello Dolly (NSMT); Beauty and the Beast (Gateway); Oklahoma! (Ocean City Theatre Company and LaComedia), The Fantasticks and A Fireside Christmas (The Fireside Theatre), and Miracle on 34th Street (Jersey Shore Productions.) Kristine has a BFA in Dance from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. Thanks to the Gateway family and loved ones. Zeph. 3:17|
|JUSTIN CIMMINO (Young Erik) is thrilled to be back on Gateway’s main stage. Recent Credits include, Seussical (Jojo), Beauty and the Beast (Chip), Phantom (Young Eric), The Sound of Music (Kurt), A Christmas Carol the Musical (Children’s Ensemble), The Wizard of Oz (Toto), Les Miserables (Gavroche). Justin would like to thank his family for all their support. He would also like to thank Dom and Michael. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”|
|CALEB DAMSCHRODER (Count Philippe) returns to Gateway after playing Fred Anderson in the last two productions of A Christmas Carol. Past credits include the Off Broadway production of The Magdalene, Miss Saigon (Chris u/s), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Jimmy), La Cage aux Folles (Jean Michel), Forever Plaid (Sparky) and Cinderella (Prince). He recently starred in Burt and Me at the Mount Gretna Theater. Caleb is a lyricist in the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop, and is currently writing a musical based off of Brian Friel’s Molly Sweeney. Thanks to Dom and Gateway for having him back out. Love to Mom and Dad.|
|MICHAEL ENRIGHT (Ensemble) Michael is ecstatic is be joining everyone at the Gateway Playhouse! Theatre credits: A Christmas Carol, Les Miserables (Moss Hart Award), Urinetown, Summer of ’42 & Lincoln Center. Michael has recently performed at Carnegie Hall 3 times including Sondheim’s Birthday Concert. TV: 30 Rock, Royal Pains, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. This is for his mother, his sisters & m2. “Keep the passion you have alive & follow your heart.”|
|CAITLIN FISCHER (Ensemble u/s: Christine) is excited to be back at The Gateway, after appearing in last summer’s Sunset Boulevard and Sweeney Todd. She recently was Lily in the White Plains PAC’s production of The Secret Garden. Other regional credits include Fiona in Brigadoon, Magnolia in Show Boat, and Mrs. Crachit in A Christmas Carol. She received her Master of Music from the Peabody Conservatory and her Bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University.|
|BONNIE FRASER (Christine) is so happy to be returning to Gateway Playhouse after appearing last summer as Johanna in Sweeney Todd. Broadway/Concerts: Brigadoon (Jean), Camelot, Oliver. Las Vegas: Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular! (Christine u/s, performed) Off-Broadway: Meet Me In St. Louis (Esther), A Child’s Christmas in Wales (Irish Rep, respectively). Regional: A Christmas Carol (Belle/ Meg, NSMT), The Fantasticks (Louisa, Gallery Players), Evita (Mistress, Reagle Players), Pirates of Penzance (Mabel, Frederick Loewe). Bonnie is an NYU graduate and made her Carnegie Hall soloist debut at the age of 18. Much thanks to Dominick and everyone at Professional Artists. Proud member of Actor’s Equity! Bonnie-Fraser.com|
|JOHN GRIECO (Ensemble) is thrilled is be making his Gateway debut! Regional credits include Sound of Music at the Fulton Opera House, The Secret Garden at WPPAC, Carousel (Billy Bigelow), Meet Me in St. LouisWarren), Oklahoma! (Curly), Brigadoon (Tommy), and Sweeney Todd (Anthony). New York credits include Three Wishes for Jamie (Musicals Tonight!), a workshop of Finian’s Rainbow (Irish Rep), and Martha (Liederkranz Opera Theatre). Thanks to my family and friends for their support! www.johngrieco.com|
|KEVIN GUTCHES (Jean-Claude/Ensemble) is thrilled to be returning to Gateway for the summer! Some of Kevin’s favorite Gateway productions include, but not limited to: Happy Days, Spamalot, Sweeney Todd, and My Fair Lady. Other Credits: 30th Anniversary Tour of Annie (Rooster u/s), The Full Monty (Ethan Girard), Mystery of Edwin Drood (Deputy). Kevin holds a B.A. in Theatre from Wagner College. He would like to thank his family and friends for all the love and support!|
|SARAH INNES (Ensemble) is overjoyed to be returning to Gateway to perform in one of her favorite musicals. Past Gateway productions include Beauty and the Beast (The Wardrobe/Ensemble), A Christmas Carol, and Oliver (Charlotte). Other favorite credits include Olive in The Odd Couple: Female Edition and Kaye Hamilton in Stage Door. She wishes to extend indefinite gratitude to her beautiful family and friends whose support makes everything possible. Thank you to Dom for the opportunity.|
|ALICIA IRVING (Carlotta) At Gateway: Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd, Lucy in Jekyl & Hyde, Fraulein Kost in Cabaret. Broadway credits include original casts of: Sunset Boulevard starring Glenn Close (Katherine, The Analyst, u/s Norma Desmond); Les Miserables 10th Anniversary Co. (Factory Girl, Fantine u/s and performed) and SideShow (The Fortune Teller). She was also seen in The Scarlet Pimpernel (2.5 and 3.0!). Alicia was part of the 1st National Tour of The Drowsy Chaperone understudying and eventually taking over the title role. Regional Credits include The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Helena) St. Louis Rep; Man of La Mancha (Aldonza) Maltz Jupiter; Oliver (Nancy) Syracuse Stg. & West Virginia Public; What the World Needs Now (The Other Woman) Old Globe San Diego; Zorba starring John Raitt (The Leader) Fullerton Civic. As a recording artist Alicia has worked with Rod Stewart and producer Trevor Horn. She can also be heard on original cast recordings of Sunset and SideShow. For my Dad, who always loved a good diva.|
|JAMIE JACKSON (Erik/Phantom) is excited to be back with the Gateway family with whom he played Sweeney Todd last year, and Higgins in My Fair Lady this year. Theatre: The 39 Steps (off-Broadway), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (National tour, 4 perfs at Gateway), Michael Archangel (Fulton), The Brain that Wouldn’t Die! (NYMF), Annie (Fulton), Great Expectations (Goodspeed), King Lear, The Crucible (Sydney Theatre Company). TV: Flight of the Conchords (HBO). With his wife, composer, SoHee Youn, wrote musicals including I Spy a Spy! (upcoming reading) and Love: A Multiple Choice Question (NY Fringe, York Theatre, Australia). Performs standup for Laughing Liberally. Love and gratitude to SoHee, thanks to Gateway and Henderson Hogan Agency.|
|ROBERT ANTHONY JONES (Alain Cholet) is thrilled to be back at Gateway once again, his home away from home. He had the honor of playing the Beadle in last year’s production of Sweeney Todd, as well as Manfred/Hog Eye in Sunset Blvd. RAJ also played Mr. Fezziwig in A Christmas Carol both years, and two productions of A Century of Christmas. Other recent credits include: The 101 Dalmatians Musical (Broadway Across America-Madison Square Garden, directed by Jerry Zaks, originated the role of Jinx Baddun), Anything Goes (West Virginia Public Theatre, Moonface Martin), Guys and Dolls (Forestburgh Playhouse, Nathan Detroit). www.robertanthonyjones.com|
|RYAN KOERBER (Ensemble) is thrilled to be back at The Gateway with the wonderful Sweeney cast and crew from last season! Gateway- A
Century of Christmas (‘03, ‘05, ‘08), Carousel, Evita, Aida, Oliver!, A Christmas Carol (‘06, ‘10), The Will Rogers Follies (Freddy), Beauty and the Beast (Chip), Hello Dolly!, Sweeney Todd, and many Children’s Theater productions along the way. Ryan was in the original pilot production for Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr. at the MMAC Theater in New York. Ryan dances with Stage Door Dance Company, and directs the middle school productions at Our Lady Queen of Apostles. He has been a student at Gateway for 10 years. Many thanks to the dedicated cast and crew especially Team Wardrobe, Marianne, Jeff, James, and most of all, Dom.
|RICHARD KOONS (Oberon/Ensemble) is thrilled to be returning to Gateway and Phantom! Tour and Regional Credits include: Cats (Old Deuteronomy), Jerry Springer the Opera (Dwight/God), Seussical (Horton), Beauty and the Beast (Beast and Cogsworth), Titanic (Henry Etches), Man of La Mancha (Padre), The Secret Garden (Archibald). Richard holds a M.M. in Voice from University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. He would like to thank Rhys and Russell for all their love and support. www.richardkoons.net|
|KATE KRAMITZ (Ensemble) is thrilled to be back at Gateway after a successful run in the cast of My Fair Lady! She is a graduate from Kent State but native to South Jersey! Recent credits include regional productions of Chicago (June/Velma us), 42nd Street (Phyllis), Brigadoon (Maggie) and Grease (Cha Cha). She would like to thank Gateway for this wonderful opportunity as well as her family and friends (Tom and Eduardo included) for their endless love and support. This one’s for you Uncle P!|
|NOLAN LYONS (Young Erik) is thrilled to be a part of Gateway’s Phantom! He was last seen as Flounder in Gateway’s production of The Little Mermaid Junior. Nolan’s most recent Gateway roles were Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol and 4 year old Tommy in the student production of Tommy. Nolan enjoys taking acting classes at Gateway year round and participating in all the shows here. Over the 6 years he has been at Gateway he has made many friends and looks forward to meeting more. He would like to thank everyone at Gateway for this amazing opportunity!|
|MIA MULVEY (Ensemble) is honored to be a part of this beautiful production. She is an alumnus of the Gateway Acting School and has been a part of numerous mainstage and children’s theatre productions, most recently being Into The Woods and Sweeney Todd. She is currently a senior at Boston University and works with atrisk children in the Boston area. Infinite love and thanks to the Gateway family, and to my own. This one’s for my Ree!|
|JESSICA NORLAND (Opera Diva/Ensemble u/s: Carlotta) is so excited to be returning to her Gateway family after last year’s exciting production of Sweeney Todd. Additional credits include Louise in Gypsy, Anita in West Side Story & Narrator in Joseph... Jessica is a graduate of The Boston Conservatory. She can also be seen throughout the tri-state area as a singer in the Michael Hart Band with Hank Lane Orchestras. Much gratitude to Dom for this incredible opportunity. Love to MB, her family (Hi Mom!) and friends for their incredible support. For Dad.|
|MATTHEW NOWAK (Ensemble) is a Long Island native who is excited to be returning to the Gateway stage! Past shows include Sunset Boulevard, Sweeney Todd, Miss Saigon and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. He has worked on numerous readings, workshops and concerts including Rags in concert with Carolee Carmello and Eden Espinosa. Matthew holds a BFA in musical theatre from The Boston Conservatory. Many thanks to the Gateway family for this opportunity! And of course Matthew wouldn’t be here without the support and love from his mom.|
|KIMBERLY SHERBACH (Ensemble) Couldn’t be happier to be back at The Gateway Playhouse, where she was last seen in the ensemble of Sweeney Todd! Performance experience: REGIONAL: Signature Theatre: Showboat, The Visit, Anyone Can Whistle (in concert), Lost Songs of Broadway Cabaret, Revenge of the Understudies Cabaret; The Kennedy Center: The Sweetest Sounds: A Tribute to Richard Rodgers. LOCAL: Smithtown PAC: Oklahoma!; Broadhollow Theatre Co.: Private Lives, A Gentleman and a Scoundrel. EDUCATION/TRAINING: The Catholic University of America, London Dramatic Academy.|
|SAMANTHA SLOMIN (Ensemble) is thrilled to be part of another Gateway production after performing in A Christmas Carol a few years ago. She has been coming to see Gateway shows for over ten years and is thrilled to have the chance to be on the main stage. Samantha is currently attending Berklee College of Music in Boston and is studying music therapy. She is incredibly thankful for the unending support of her wonderful family and friends, and would like to thank the Gateway family for this wonderful opportunity.|
|IAN MICHAEL STUART (Inspector LeDoux) New York: ROCKY The Musical (Dir. Alex Timbers). Off-Broadway: Train to Chicago (York Theatre). Recent Regional: A Man of No Importance (Robbie), Sweeney Todd (Gateway Playhouse), tick, tick…BOOM! (Broadwayworld nomination), Beauty and the Beast (MTW), West Side Story (Diesel), The Last Five Years (Los Angeles). Readings: Amazing Grace and many more. Proud Graduate of the University of California, Irvine, School of the Arts. For Mom and Dad. www.IanMichaelStuart.com|
|BRIAN C VEITH (Ensemble u/s: Count Phillipe) is so grateful to be back at Gateway with this awesome group of actors, creative team, crew and management. Favorite shows have included Sunset Boulevard, Sweeney Todd, Follies, My Fair Lady and Little Women. For more check out BroadwayDemo.com/BrianCVeith. For Grandpa. “Love never fails.”|
|MEGAN WEAN (Ensemble/Dance Captain) An Ohio Native and a proud graduate from Wright State University with a B.F.A in Musical theatre/Dance, Megan is honored to be back with her family at Gateway. Previous Gateway productions include Sweeney Todd, Sunset Boulevard, A Christmas Carol, and Happy Days. Some credits: National Tour of A Chorus Line, North Shore Music Theatre, Ogunquit Playhouse, Maine State Music Theatre, Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre, Beef and Boards, The Palace Theatre, Prather and The Barn Theatre. Proud member of Actor’s Equity. Love to Dad, Kandis and Scott. It will always and forever be for you Mom!|
|MILES WHITTAKER (Ensemble) is very grateful to be in another great cast of collaborating artists! You may have seen him earlier this season on the Gateway stage as Jack in Into the Woods. Previous performances include Tommy (The Who’s Tommy), and last year’s production of Sweeney Todd (Tobias u/s). Many thanks to the Gateway family for giving me a place to craft my art.|
|BRUCE WINANT (Carriere) is thrilled to return to Gateway having previously appeared; as Judge Turpin in last summer’s Sweeney Todd, Tateh in Ragtime and Charlemagne in Pippin. Bruce just finished starring as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof at Music Theatre Wichita and recently co-starred opposite George Hamilton in the national tour of La Cage Aux Folles. On Broadway: La Cage…, Chicago, The Phantom of the Opera, Fiddler on the Roof, Ragtime, Miss Saigon and My Favorite Year. On TV: Blue Bloods, Boardwalk Empire, Law and Order: SVU, Mildred Pierce, The West Wing, Andersonville, Crossing Jordan, Star Trek: TNG, thirty something among others. Love to Kristin, Arden and Jayce!|
|JAMES DANFORD (Stage Manager) has stage managed for 35 years at many theatres across the country, including The Kenley Players, Kansas City’s Starlight Theatre, The St. Louis MUNY, Florida Stage, The Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Papermill Playhouse, & The Atlanta Fox, with stars like Billy Crystal, Tim Conway, Tom Poston, Phyllis Diller, Howard Keel, & Van Johnson. James has fostered for New Horizons Service Dogs and the Doberman Rescue Concern for many years and, aside from dogs, loves books, chocolate, 50’s Sci-Fi, architecture, and Pop Tarts. He is currently a resident PSM for Palm Beach Dramaworks in West Palm Beach, FL.|
|DOM RUGGIERO (Director u/s: Carriere) is known for his directorial work in the United States as well as in Great Britain, South America, Europe and Australia. His works include a run of the world-renowned version of the Yeston/Kopit Phantom throughout the U.S. , and La Traviata at New York City Opera. Audiences throughout Italy viewed his production of West Side Story. Most recently his work has been seen in the national tours of The Scarlet Pimpernel, Titanic, George M!, My One and Only and Mame. Dom directed Louisiana Purchase, sponsored by Louisiana State University for their Bicentennial program of celebrations. Dom made his Off-Broadway debut at Playhouse 91 with a production of The Secret Annex; a new musical based on the story of Anne Frank. Other Off- Broadway credits include The New York City debut of Stephen Sondheim’s The Frogs, and an original musical version of Sheridan’s “School for Scandal” entitled, SCANDAL! He has also directed the Australian, Asian, and South American tours of Ain’t Misbehavin’, the Asian tour of Anything Goes, a European tour of Phantom of the Opera in Copenhagen and Geneva. For the U.S., Dom has directed the national companies of Song & Dance, Shenandoah, Funny Girl, How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying and Titanic. Dom has been a Resident Director at The Gateway Playhouse for the past 20 years. Represented by over 35 musical and comedy productions, Rumors, Lend Me A Tenor, Into the Woods, Once On This Island, The Secret Garden, Beehive, Cabaret, The Drowsy Chaperone, Big River, Carousel, Tommy and last season’s Sweeney Todd are among his favorites. Regional credits include productions of Romance, Romance, I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It Out on the Road, Pump Boys & Dinettes, Little Shop of Horrors, Working, Company, South Pacific and Grease. Dom received The Connecticut Critics Circle Award for this production of Phantom in 1993 and the Best Director and Best Musical awards for his production of Tommy. He has also been the recipient of Best Director awards for his direction of Into the Woods, Big River and Little Shop of Horrors. Dom is the co-creator with Jeffrey Buchsbaum and director of their original review, The Magic of Musicals, which played an extended run in Athens and Thessaloniki Greece.|
|JEFFREY BUCHSBAUM (Musical Director) Jeffrey is thrilled to revisit a favorite show at The Gateway he first did with director Dom Ruggiero a short 19 years ago. Other shows here include Sunset Boulevard, Secret Garden, Miss Saigon and Cats earlier this season. Jeffrey recently returned from Musical Directing and Directing Phantom of The Opera in Jakarta, Indonesia, and last season he spent as dramaturg and assistant director for the new independent musical film, Welcome To Harlem, which had its theatrical release last Thanksgiving at the Apollo Theaterin NYC. Other recent work includes Man of La Mancha on Hilton Head Island, Off-Broadway productions of On Second Avenue (2 Drama Desk nominations) and Tallulah’s Party with Tovah Feldshuh. Tours include A Chorus Line (Europe/National), Titanic, My One And Only, Damn Yankees starring Jerry Lewis and Phantom of the Opera (Europe/South America). Jeffrey also directed the National tours of Camelot and Mame, and is the composer of the new musical, Tupperwise! which is presently in development. Jeffrey has taught at NYU and LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts and is a voice teacher in Manhattan.|
|KORRIE PALIOTTO (Assistant Musical Director) is a music director, composer/lyricist, and vocal coach from San Diego, California, and has music directed at the San Diego Repertory Theatre, San Diego Lyric Opera, and San Diego State University. She is a dedicated educator and has led outreach programs at the San Diego Opera and San Diego Junior Theatre and is the co-founder of the Pacific Children’s Theatre for which she wrote the score and lyrics for two original children’s musicals. She holds her MFA in Musical Theatre from San Diego State University. Korrie is thrilled to be making her Gateway debut as assistant musical director for Phantom.|
|JOSE M. RIVERA (Costume Designer) is thrilled to continue his long association with The Gateway, which first began in 1992! A 3-time South Florida Carbonell award winner for Best Costume Design (Joseph... Dreamcoat; La Cage Aux Folles and The Boyfriend, all at The Maltz Jupiter Theatre); Broadway World Best Costume Design Winner (Crazy For You - Maltz Jupiter Theatre); 2003 Emmy Award for Groucho: A Life in Review; 2011 ITL Best Costume Design Award for The Will Rogers Follies (Los Angeles) and a 1995 Barrymore Award for My One and Only. He’s designed, assisted and coordinated over 300 productions for Film-Theater-Television. Recent credits include: The International Tour of Phantom of the Opera, the first theatrical musical to play Jakarta, Indonesia; Joseph...Dreamcoat for The Maltz Jupiter Theatre; Footloose for The Cape Playhouse and The North Shore Music Theatre and A Little Night Music for The Gretna Theatre. Film Credits include: Collar starring Rebecca DeMornay, Tom Sizemore and Richard Roundtree; The Storyteller starring Sean Patrick Flannery, Dina Meyer, Michael Berryman and Kim Darby; Evil Alien Conquerors starring Deidrich Bader, Chris Parnell and Tori Spelling and over a dozen movies for The Lifetime Network, USA Network and SoapNet. He dedicates his work to his parents, whose spirit and energy are always within him, and to his mentors Theoni V. Aldredge and Ray Aghayan. Upcoming: I Love a Piano for The Sierra Repertory Theatre; The New National tour of A Chorus Line and The Music Man for The Maltz Jupiter Theatre. Mr. Rivera is represented by Pipeline Entertainment in New York and Los Angeles. www.jmrcostumedesigns.com|
|CHRISTOPHER J. LANDY (Lighting Design) came out to Gateway 24 years ago. 16 years ago he designed Phantom. Since then he’s been pretty busy. He went on to receive his MFA in lighting and scenic design from NYU, marry the love of his life Ellen, have two amazing children, Max and Samantha, and bought a house in the country. Professionally he enjoyed a successful career in theatre, opera and dance, designing nearly 30 productions for Gateway alone, before shifting his efforts into television and starting his own design and production firm, Vibrant Design. Clients include NBC, CBS, MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, TLC, AMC, Style Network, Oxygen , NBA, CMT, ION, Food Network, BET, FX, CNN, MSNBC and MSNBC. He has been fortunate to works with the likes of Jimmy Fallon, Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Alec Baldwin, Colin Quinn, and even President Barack Obama. Some of his favorite music he’s lit include U2, REM, The Roots, Coldplay, the Dead Weather, Jay Z, LL Cool J, Justin Timberlake, Dave Matthews, Vampire Weekend and Katy Perry. He’s been nominated twice for an Emmy and actually won one. Chris is always thrilled to return to Gateway where he likes to call home.|
August 31, 2012
The Other Phantom Haunting the Opera
“Phantom,” now playing at the Gateway Playhouse in Bellport, is not “The Phantom of the Opera,” Andrew Lloyd Webber’s version of the same story set in the Paris opera house. Both are based on a French novel by Gaston Leroux that started life in 1909 as a newspaper serialization.
It is no pale imitation. ...(Read complete review here)
“Phantom” Will Thrill You at Gateway Playhouse
September 4, 2012
Phantom is by far the most hauntingly thrilling production I’ve had the pleasure of seeing at Gateway. The story stays with you long after the curtain closes, and the music – intense, chilling and heartwarming all at the same time. This is the fifth production of the popular Phantom that Gateway has produced in its 63-year history and I can tell you it’s one you do not want to miss. Phantom is the story of a hideously disfigured musical prodigy that haunts the bowels of the Paris Opera House. He becomes madly obsessed with young Christine, whose voice he compares with that of an angel. He approaches her and offers to be her mentor under one condition – that she never know his identity or see his face.
The Phantom – whose real name we learn is Erik – will let no one see his face, and hides behind masks that are nothing if not intriguing. As the scenes change, so do the masks. They go from simple – a white mask with blood under the eyes – to complex and beautiful – a dark mask with mirror-like pieces covering the face and black feathers protruding from the top. For me the masks symbolized the emotions Erik/Phantom was feeling during his scenes. We see him embody different personas – sometimes gentle and caring when with Christine, then dark and menacing as he portrays the Phantom of the Paris Opera.
At the heart of Erik/Phantom is a scared, hurt and unbelievably passionate and talented man who has been abandoned by the outside world and those who should love him despite his appearance. His love for Christine is an obsession, and the talent of Jamie Jackson, who portrays the mysterious Phantom, is extraordinary. His voice alone would be enough to give me goose bumps, but combined with the raw emotion emanating from him, his performance was nothing short of electrifying. I found myself on the edge of my seat with bated breath as I watched this tragedy of love unfold before me.
As the lovely Christine, Bonnie Fraser is the personification of ethereal innocence, and she falls under the spell of the Phantom as he secretly helps hone her singing talent. In her own way, Christine does fall in love with the man behind the mask, whose gentle eyes have captured her in their spell. I am always astounded when such powerhouse vocals come from the smallest of people, and Fraser’s voice was pure, strong and held the audience around me captive in her own spell.
Act two is where we discover the horrific and tragic truth about how the Phantom came to be, endearing us further to the tortured soul of Erik/Phantom. When he at last reveals himself to Christine, we bear witness to the final blow to his battered soul as she runs from him in terror. With tears in my eyes, I watched the final scene unfold, raw emotion emanating from the characters in front of me. A spectacular cast and company makes Phantom yet another resounding success for Gateway. Under the direction of Dom Ruggiero, with colleagues Jeffrey Buchsbaum as musical director, costume designer Jose Rivera and lighting genius Christopher Landy, Gateway’s Phantom is a spectacle for all your senses. Thanks to Gateway for another season full of awe-inspiring theatrical productions.
August 27, 2012
'Phantom' works its magic in Bellport
It never fails.
This is the fourth time in 19 years I've reviewed "Phantom," the Maury Yeston-Arthur Kopit musical based on Gaston Leroux's novel, "Le Fantôme de l'Opéra." Typical intermission remark overheard: "It's very good, but what happened to that song? You know...." Most likely, he or she means "The Music of the Night," originally sung by Michael Crawford.
That's from "The Phantom of the Opera," which marks its 25th year on Broadway in January. No matter that Gateway's program doesn't mention Andrew Lloyd Webber, who earned knighthood and a fortune from that title, folks still confuse the "Phantoms."
But none are cheated. Kopit's book and Yeston's music and lyrics create a richer portrait of the "phantom" we come to know as Erik. While Sir Andrew concentrates on the romance between the Phantom and the young soprano he's discovered, Kopit and Yeston dig deeper. Their musical is as much about Erik's relationship with his father, Gerard, director of the Paris Opera and protector of its "phantom."
Disfigured in utero and orphaned when his single mom died, little Erik donned a mask when he first saw his reflection. Without telling the boy he's his father, Gerard offered refuge in the bowels of the opera house. Years later, it's sold to a fool seeking to promote his wife Carlotta's career. Gerard is fired. The Phantom is on his own. But the voice of a lovely novice lifts his spirits. He offers Christine lessons, insisting that the mask protects his anonymity. Of course, he falls for her. So does playboy opera patron, Phillipe.
Jamie Jackson in the title role pairs with Bonnie Fraser's Christine. Together, they triumphed in Gateway's "Sweeney Todd" last summer. Each is up to the operatic challenges of Yeston's score. Alicia Irving conveys Carlotta's shortcomings without hurting our ears. But her scenes with stage hubby Robert Anthony Jones are too broad to support their villainy. Caleb Damschroder displays a voice that matches his good looks. As Gerard, it's up to Bruce Winant to deliver the emotional punch of "You Are My Own." He succeeds. So does Gateway's "Phantom" creative team: director Dom Ruggiero, music director Jeffrey Buchsbaum, costume designer Jose Rivera and lighting designer Christopher Landy. It's their third "Phantom" at Gateway.
Gateway’s last of the season is riveting entertainment
August 30, 2012
The Gateway Playhouse in Bellport finishes its 2012 summer season with Arthur Kopit and Maury Yeston’s “Phantom,” the fifth time the musical has run in the theatre’s 63-year history.
Kopit and Yeston’s “Phantom” is not to be confused with “The Phantom of the Opera,” Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, still on Broadway, both interpretations of Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel, “Le Fantôme de l’Opéra.” Kopit and Yeston collaborated on “Phantom” in the 80s, but it wasn’t until 1990 that it was developed into a four-hour miniseries for NBC, and subsequently gained the attention of theatre houses across the country.
“Phantom” chronicles the story of Erik (the Phantom), played by Jamie Jackson, who appeared brilliantly as Prof. Henry Higgins in this season’s “My Fair Lady,” and has made appearances on “Flight of the Conchords” and “Smash.” Early on, the audience learns that Erik has a knack for music, and has no patience for anyone singing without talent in “his” opera house. Especially new owner Carlotta, played by Alicia Irving. (Broadway credits include: original productions of “The Scarlett Pimpernel,” “Side Show,” “Sunset Boulevard,” and the 10th anniversary company of “Les Miserables.”)
In an attempt to purify the sound of the opera house, Erik takes Christine Daaé, played by Bonnie Fraser, under his wing to couple his training with her immense singing talent. When their mentor-mentee relationship takes a romantic turn, Erik battles two fronts: the fate of the opera house, and whether he can show his face to the woman he loves.
While Jackson and Fraser (who played Christine in the Andrew Lloyd Webber version in Las Vegas) share the show’s sweeter and more suspenseful scenes, it’s often the surprising comedy that elicits the most reaction from the audience.
The humor is dominated by Irving’s Carlotta, along with Carlotta’s partner in crime, Alaine Cholet, played by Robert Anthony Jones. Carlotta’s outrageous greed, pride and jealousy are enough to make you laugh and smile, but also root against her at the same time. Alaine is a man that refuses to believe in any kind of supernatural phantom, and Jones does an excellent job ridiculously giving into Carlotta’s demands. The chemistry between the two creates a darkly humorous Lord and Lady Macbeth.
While their scenes pull the audience in, some of the more dramatically enthralling spots are from the opera house’s former manager, George Carriere, played by Bruce Winant (who has made too many Broadway and television appearances to mention). The show takes a huge turn in the story when Carriere makes a very personal confession to Christine in the second act, one that drives her to desperately see what’s under Erik’s mask. All of the drama leads to Carriere’s final, touching revelation to Erik.
Gateway again illuminates the power of local theatre with its detailed scenery, special effects, costumes and, of course, the talent. Almost every main character gets their own place in the spotlight, performing solos that display their operatic chops. “Phantom” itself is equal parts spectacle, tragedy, romance and comedy. Combined with Gateway’s resources, this is a very entertaining show.
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|Count Phillipe de Chandon||Caleb Damschroder*|
|Joseph Buquet||Nathan Anderson|
|Gerard Carriere||Bruce Winant*|
|Alain Cholet||Robert Anthony Jones*|
|Minister of Culture||John Grieco|
|Inspector LeDoux||Ian Michael Stuart*|
|Opera Diva||Jessica Norland|
|Young Carriere||Brian C. Veith|
|Young Erik||Nolan Lyons, Justin Cimmino|
|Ensemble||Nathan Anderson, Derek Basthemer, Kristine Bennett, Justin Cimmino, Michael Enright, Caitlin Fischer, John Grieco, Kevin Gutches, Sarah Innes, Ryan Koerber, Richard Koons*, Kate Kramitz, Nolan Lyons, Mia Mulvey, Jessica Norland, Matthew Nowak, Kimberly Sherbach, Samantha Slomin, Brian C. Veith, Megan Wean*, Miles Whittaker|
|Dance Captain||Megan Wean*|
|Fight Director||Bruce Winant*|
|Count Phillipe de Chandon||Brian C. Veith|
|Erik/Phantom||Michael Edward Baker*|
|Gerard Carriere||Dom Ruggiero*|
|Alain Cholet||Nathan Anderson|
|Inspector LeDoux||Derek Basthemer|
*Actors employed in this production are members of Actors’ Equity Association, the union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.
|Reed 1||Mike Kendrot|
|Reed 2||Mitch Kamen|
Board of Directors
|Executive Producer||Ruth Allan|
|Associate Producer||Jeff Bellante|
|General Manager||Dom Ruggiero|
|Company Manager||Michael Baker|
|Assistant Company Manager||Jasmin Jakobsen|
|Director of Development/ Assistant to the Producer||Scot Patrick Allan|
|Administrative Assistant||Jessica Norland|
|Development Assistants||Don Rebar, Emily Denison|
|Musical Director||Jeffrey Buchsbaum|
|Lighting Designer||Christopher J. Landy|
|Assistant Lighting Designer||Abigail Wells|
|Costume Designer||Jose M. Rivera|
|Wig Designer||Trent Pcenicni|
|Sound Designer||Adam Schbert|
|Assistant Musical Director||Korrie Paliotto|
|Production Photographer||Jeff Bellante|
|Assistant Costume Designer||Megan Moore|
|Musical Contractor||Jeff Hoffman|
|Fight Director||Bruce Winant*|
|Assistant Director||Jessica Norland|
|Additional Staging||Megan Wean*|
|Acting School Director||Robin Joy Allan|
|Teaching Staff||Brian Gligor, Jessica Kerner, Andrew Pandaleon|
|Accompanists||Jeff Hoffman, Peter Pece|
|Box Office Manager||Laurie Hunter|
|House Manager||Joanne Famiglietti|
|Box Office Staff||Don Rebar, Beth Harrison, Nadine Hazard,
Ryan Hudak, Diane Rodino-Koerber, Francesca Welhous
|Production Manager||Brian Loesch|
|Associate Production Manager||Justin Hoffman|
|Production Stage Manager||James Danford|
|Resident Technical Director||Dennis R. Berfield|
|Assistant Technical Director||AJ Lebenns|
|Wardrobe Supervisor||Marianne Dominy|
|Resident Master Electrician||Rev. Jose Santiago|
|Production Master Electrician||Colin Chauche|
|Sound Engineer||Adam Shubert|
|Wig and Make-up Supervisor||Trent Pcenicni|
|Crew Chief and Rigger||AJ Lebens|
|Props Master||Brendan Conroy|
|Scenic Artist||Cassie Lentz|
|Assistant Master Electricians||Justin Michel and Colin Chauche|
|Assistant Stage Manager||Maegan Passafume and Bethany Sortman|
|Shop Foreman||Greg Marullo|
|Technicians||Maxx Henry, Preston Sullivan, Rob Brey, Jack Murphy, Brendan Smith, Rebecca Armstrong|
|Wardrobe Assistant||Dave Burrington|
|Sound Assistant||Zach Ireson|
|Spotlight Operator||Janine Loesch|
|Company Management||Rachel Colson|
|Stage Management||Alex Wood|
|Electrics||Elizabeth Marquis, Dusty Rader|
|Sound||Michael Vultaggio, Brodie Krafka|
|Wardrobe||Grace Czerniawski, Kaitlyn McDonald|
|General Technician Interns||Emily Baldasarra, Tashiana Caulfield, Eddie Massari, Brody Woods|
|Musician Interns||Julia Bellante (Reed 3), Christa Sarasino (Flute, Reed 4), Alexandria Cermac (Violin)|
|Facilities Manager||Mark Frederick L.M.H.|
|Concessions and Hospitality Manager||Blake Armitstead|
|Cleaning Contractor||Joe Martinez and Jasper Bailey|
|Grounds Maintenance||HTM Landscaping Company|
|House Staff||Chuck Banting, Ethan Bellante, Ryan Hudak,
Kevin Spellman, Ryan Koerber, Kaitlyn LaGrega, Dominic Mondi, Ajay Persaud, Anthony Santana, Jon Smaldone
|General Counsel||Ann L. Nowak|
• In 1983, Director and Choreographer, Geoffrey Holder, approached Kopit and Yeston to propose a musical adaptation of the novel, Phantom of the Opera. They struggled to find funding for a production and put it on hold to work on other projects. In 1990, Kopit wrote a miniseries for NBC entitled Phantom. Inspired by the miniseries, the Theatre Under the Stars contacted Kopit and Yeston about producing the musical version on their stage.
• Phantom was first produced in 1991 at the Theatre Under the Stars in Houston, Texas.
• Arthur L. Kopit, who wrote the book for Phantom, is a two-time Pulitzer Prize and three-time Tony Award nominee.
• Composer/Lyricist, Maury Yeston, has won a number of Tony and Drama Desk Awards for his work on Titanic and Nine.
• Kopit and Yeston are best known for their work on Nine, winner of five Tony Awards.
• Phantom is based on the novel, The Phantom of the Opera (Le Fantôme de l’opéra), the best-known work of French writer, Gaston Leroux.
• The Phantom of the Opera was first published in 1910 as a serial in a French daily newspaper, Le Gaulois. Portions of the story appeared in installments in each day’s newspaper, a sort of low-tech turn of the century equivalent to the T.V. miniseries.
• After it was published in book form, the novel was translated into English by Alexander Teixeira. It was at this time, when it was published in British and American newspapers, that the novel’s popularity exploded.
• The dark tale of the disfigured Phantom, Eric, who falls in love with beautiful opera singer, Christine, backstage at the Paris Opera House has long captivated artists’ imaginations, inspiring a number of adaptations.
• The first major adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera was a film version released in 1925, starring Lon Chaney and Mary Philbin. Further film adaptations occurred in 1930, 1943, 1962, and 1974.
• Other novelists have also adapted Leroux’s text. These include Terry Prachett’s Maskerade and Susan Kay’s Phantom.
• Perhaps the most famous adaptation is Andrew Lloyd Webber’s version, The Phantom of the Opera (1986).
• In 2004, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s version was adapted to film by Joel Schumacher. His movie starred Emmy Rossum and Gerard Butler.