Below are the references for my dissection of Lawrence Connor’s re-staged and redesigned production/s of Phantom in episode 15, so you can all see where I’m getting what I said about it/them from. Though, of course, I also have to hugely thank my Mom (Ysabeault of WAG Productions.org) for going with me to see the U.S. tour when it came to Ottawa in 2017, and for doing such a great job describing the sets and staging!
Excellent pictures and descriptions of the original production, plus, of course, the full libretto, can be found in:
Perry, George (1987). The Complete Phantom of the Opera. Pavilion Books Ltd.
Pictures of and information about the restaged and redesigned U.S. tour can be found at:
“Professional” critics whose reviews I read for episode 15:
Broadway World: https://www.broadwayworld.com/national-tours/article/BWW-Review-THE-PHANTOM-OF-THE-OPERA-at-Paramount-Theatre-20180811
The San Diego Union Tribune: https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/entertainment/theater/sd-me-review-phantom-20180825-story.html
The above article contains reference to the multi-compartmental drum which contains the sets being a visual analogue to the Phantom’s mind.
DC Metro Theatre Arts: https://dcmetrotheaterarts.com/2016/07/23/review-phantom-opera-kennedy-center-opera-house/
Beacon Journal: https://www.beaconjournal.com/news/20190410/review-reimagined-phantom-of-opera-is-haunting-wondrous
JHP Entertainment: http://jhpentertainment.com/review-phantom-of-the-opera-tpac-2018/
More reviews and info from TheatreGold: http://www.theatregold.com/phantom-of-the-opera-usa-national-tour-reviews-and-dates/
Triangle Arts and Entertainment: http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/2014/10/reimagined-version-of-andrew-lloyd-webbers-the-phantom-of-the-opera-will-haunt-dpac-on-oct-8-19/
Greenville News: https://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/entertainment/arts/paul-hyde/2014/05/10/director-gives-phantom-opera-grittier-deeper-feel/8907041/
The above article mentions Connor’s desire to work from the text of the libretto and “ignore the music”.
LA Times: https://www.latimes.com/entertainment/la-et-cm-new-improved-phantom-20150708-story.html
The above article discusses in greater depth Connor’s desire to give the show a “grittier”, “darker”, more “realistic” look and feel, including the comparison of the Phantom to a “magpie”.
Phan reviews I read for this episode.
Note the stark contrast to the first set of reviews, particularly in light of the “professional” critics’ assumption (regardless of whether they themselves esteem Phantom or not) that Phans would love the new production!
Lowe, Kayla (2018). “The Phantom of the Opera US Tour: Reimagined or Ruined?”. Author Kayla Lowe. https://authorkaylalowe.wordpress.com/2018/11/05/the-phantom-of-the-opera-us-tour-reimagined-or-ruined/?fbclid=IwAR2GlUMwCc1xH0Ep89StcBI5MeWcrkcrFDCJmjQ-W60BQaM3-IUYByZl9q0
The rest of the Phan reviews came from the Deserted Phans message-board forum.
Review by Scorp of the 2012 U.K tour, also directed by Lawrence Connor and with the same re-staging and redesign: https://desertedphans.forumotion.net/t445-2012-uk-tour-new-production-dir-laurence-connor-starring-joj-olivia-brereton-alt-simon-bailey
A review of the U.S. tour by ToDaaeFor: https://desertedphans.forumotion.net/t607-us-tour-4-1-15-wharton-center-east-lansing-mi-mann-travis-lineberger
A review of a different stop and performance of the U.S. tour by Phantour: https://desertedphans.forumotion.net/t635-us-tour-washington-d-c-august-9-2016
A review of yet another performance by Phantom10906: https://desertedphans.forumotion.net/t613-poto-us-tour-8-30-15-orpheum-theater-san-francisco-ca-ruizu-s-travis-lineberger
Another review of the U.S. tour with discussion from page 19 of the “Broadway Production + US Tour” thread. Scroll down to the post by RobHawkins on Thursday Dec 05, 2013 4:37 am to find the beginning of the discussion, which includes reference (as mentioned in the episode) to people actually walking out of US tour performances.
Page 20 of the “Broadway Production + US Tour” thread on Deserted Phans, with more reviews and discussion. Though, does include a number of Phans who did enjoy the new production.
Note that many of the above reviews make reference, both to Connor’s practice of blocking Christine and the Phantom/Christine and Raoul far apart even during romantic scenes (Act I scenes 5 and 10, Act II scene 5 in particular), and to his putting the Phantom down on the same level as the other characters (Act I scene 10, Act II scenes 1 and 5). They also make frequent reference to the changes Connor has made to the blocking of the Title Song and Music of the Night (Act I scenes 4 and 5), the first unmasking (Act I scene 6) and the Final Lair (Act II scene 9), particularly flagging the latter two for the effects those changes have on the story-telling.