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Theatre / Phantom

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An adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera overshadowed by Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical in much of the Western musical theatre world, Phantom was written by Maury Yeston (music) and Arthur Kopit (book). Initially, it premiered as a 1990 television miniseries starring Charles Dance as the Phantom, before finally gracing the stage as a musical in 1991 starring Richard White. The first cast recording of Phantom was done by the Houston cast of Theatre Under the Stars.

Yeston and Kopit's Phantom is more operetta-like in style than Lloyd Webber's, seeking to reflect the 1890s period, with a French atmosphere to reflect its Parisian setting. Its story hews more closely to the Leroux novel and offers a deeper exploration of the phantom's past and his relationship with Gérard Carrière, the head of the Opera House. The portrayal of the titular character is also more sympathetic than the Lloyd Webber version.

Even though it had never made it to Broadway or the West End, Phantom has been performed in the U.S., U.K., Japan, Korea, Finland, Germany, Australia, and translated for non-English speaking audiences. The Takarazuka Revue reworked the show, and it has become one of Zuka's beloved properties. As of 2020, it has been staged four times, the last in 2018-2019 with Nozomi Fuuto in the title role.

This musical contains these tropes:

  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Christine is blonde in the novel, but Sakurano Ayane wears a brunette wig. All other Takarazuka Christines are blonde.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The original English version ends at Erik's death. The Takarazuka production adds Erik's funeral, Christine mourning Erik in a reprise of Hear My Tragic Tale, her going down to Erik's home to play their melody one last time, and him reappearing as an apparition to declare his eternal love for her.
  • Adapted Out: Raoul, vicomte de Chagny. Christine's other romantic interest is Philippe, count of Chandon, the "Champagne King". In the novel, Philippe is Raoul's older brother (and therefore the comte de Chagny), and "on terms" with La Sorelli (whose musical counterpart seems to be Philippe's partner initially). That being said, the main romantic relationship in Phantom is between Erik and Christine. Philippe's romantic overtures aren't as obvious or central to the plot as Raoul's.
  • Angry Mob Song: The police and crowd pursues the Phantom in a reprise of "Dressing For the Night".
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Nozomi Fuuto was in all Phantom productions staged during her time with the Takarazuka Revue. She played one of the Phantom's followers in 2006, Richard in 2011, and the title role in 2018-2019. Given her love of the show (amusingly, she wore a Lloyd Webber Phantom t-shirt during the filmed rehearsal of 2018-2019 Phantom and specifically pointed to it when the camera focused on her) and her reaction when complimented on her acting by Maury Yeston, she is also an Ascended Fangirl.
    • Within the story, Christine rises from a girl selling songs, to a costume girl for the Opera, to playing the lead role of Titania.
  • Asshole Victim: While it doesn't wholly justify her murder, Carlotta probably won't be mourned by anyone but her husband. She takes pride in being The Prima Donna (despite not having any actual musical talent to speak of) and The Bully, and specifically sabotages Christine. Erik did give her a choice of "leave the Opera or die" before he stabs her, though.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Well, to be taken alive. Erik orders Gérard to shoot him and spare him from capture.
  • Dark Reprise:
    • "Mélodie de Paris" is reprised after the death of Buquet for Erik to bemoan his fate, as well as how dark and wretched he believes Paris is.
    • "You Are Music" starts out as a lovely, joyful duet between Erik and Christine, and is reprised as the last thing they sing to each other before Erik dies.
    • "Dressing For The Night" starts with the company of the Opera preparing to go to the Bistro for a night out, and is reprised as an Angry Mob Song for the hunt for the Phantom.
  • Diegetic Music:
  • Distant Duet: "Home". Christine sings from within the Opera, the Phantom continues the song beneath the building.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Erik did kill two people. He still loves his mother Belladova, and sees her in Christine.
  • Funny Background Event: When Carlotta sings, people in the background can be seen cringing and plugging their ears.
  • Leitmotif: Christine and Erik's melody. Do re mi fa so fa re fa mi, do re mi fa so fa re mi do...
  • Hotter and Sexier: All of the actresses playing the allegedly hideous Phantom - even unmasked - have looked quite handsome/beautiful.
  • Like Parent, Like Spouse: Erik is attracted to Christine because she reminds him of/resembles his mother Belladova, who is the only one in the world to openly love him before Christine came along.
  • Location Song: "Mélodie de Paris" introduces the setting and paints the city in a romantic, Gay Paree light.
  • Love at First Note: Erik falls in love with Christine as soon as he hears her sing.
  • Manly Tears: Erik breaks down, howling with grief, after a frightened Takarazuka Christine flees from his unmasked face.
  • Mood Whiplash: Erik and Gérard's tender father-son moment is immediately followed by the Phantom being discovered and Carrière having to kill his son.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Takarazuka Christine does this twice, once because she cannot stand the sight of Erik's face (after asking him to unmask) and runs away, once because she realized by screaming and fleeing she had hurt him. Erik also does this in a Heroic BSoD because he regretted agreeing to unmask himself and driving Christine away by the sight of his face.
  • Offing the Offspring: Carrière is forced to do this for Erik, who refuses to be captured.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Because Erik makes Carrière promise to kill him if need be.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Erik shows up onstage to mess up the opera's Carmen, while wearing his mask and a costume identical to one of the company member's.
  • Pointy-Haired Boss: Alain and Carlotta Cholet. The latter is a primadonna bully, the former is equally as obnoxious and intent on pleasing his wife.
  • Sadistic Choice: Carrière has to either let the police capture Erik alive and save his life, or kill him on the spot to end his suffering. He chooses the latter.
  • Say My Name: Erik's last word is Christine's name. His last line in the Takarazuka production is also "My Christine!"
  • Triumphant Reprise: Takarazuka "My Mother Bore Me" starts as a heartwrenching song for Erik to mourn the fact that he had accidentally driven Christine away, and reappears as the very last song of the show in which Erik's spirit promises to watch over and love Christine from the afterlife.
  • Villain Song: Carlotta has "This Place is Mine", in which she gloats over how she runs the opera house and bullies everyone.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: What became of the Phantom's followers after Erik's death? He told Gérard that they would die if he wasn't there to find them food.
  • White Mask of Doom: Takarazuka Erik has a few masks (including a white one), but he's most often seen with a blue mask.