Riverside Dinner Theater PhantomBy Rodrigo Pool • Aug 29th, 2012 • Category: Reviews
Riverside Dinner Theater
Riverside Dinner Theater, Fredericksburg, VA
Through October 14th
$55-$60/$50-$55 Seniors/$40 Child/$40-$45 Show Only
Reviewed August 25th, 2012
Patti D’Beck’s masterful interpretation of this timeless musical classic (Phantom based on the novel The Phantom of The Opera by Guston Leroux) will leave you breathless. As I sit back contemplating the phenomenal performances by the leading man and delightful gentleman Patrick A’Hearn as well as astonishing Quinn Vogt-Welch, I see myself emerged once again into the world of this dark love story.
The play is set in Paris at the turn of the 20th century. The story begins with the introduction of Christine Daee, played by the captivating Quinn Vogt-Welch, as seller of songs in a late afternoon on the Avene de l’Opera in Paris. Amongst the people walking nearby her voice is heard by the Count de Chandon, played by Nathaniel Austin Mason. He tells her that her voice is fantastic but for opera it may need some training, so he sends her to Gerar Carrie, who is played by the notable Robert Beard. So once at the Opera House she discovers that maybe she’s not the first to have ever been forwarded to the theater and that maybe her dreams have not come through just yet.
The costumes designed by Gaye Law are nothing short of Broadway, much like the leading roles in this amazing production. The sets, designed by Aaron P. Mastin and dressed by Barbara Cochran and Stefannie Smith, will make you feel the tone and emotion in every scene. With quick, impressive and sometimes very creative scene changes the show flows masterfully. Senior Audio Technician Joshua Watson has done an extraordinary job with sound playback and distribution. I highly doubt there was a single spot in the Riverside Theater that audio didn’t travel perfectly and without any type of feedback.
The Riverside Center Dinner Theater is a lovely place and with one fantastic group of the most attentive and courteous staff I’ve had ever had the pleasure to meet. From the minute you walk into the Riverside Center, you can almost feel that majestic feeling that only wonderful productions have. The staff, the ensemble, the leading actor and production team at the Riverside Center Dinner will guarantee you have not only a wonderful experience dining, but a living memory of absolute brilliance.
The story of the phantom of the opera has been a fascination for millions of people since it first appeared in print. The original novel was written by Gaston Leroux and published in 1911, followed by a silent film with Lon Chaney released in 1925 and later re-release with a “talkie” soundtrack in 1929. As the character of Phantom has continued to enthrall the public, a list of new versions keeps appearing. These include films in 1943, rock-and roll variation called Phantom of the Paradise. 1984, Ken Hill’s stage spoof toured England. Then Andrew Lloyd Webber’s version debuted in London in 1986 and on Broadway in January 1988. The Webber film version followed in 2004.
Riverside Center is presenting the Arthur Kopit and Maury Yeston version. A Kopit TV miniseries (non-musical) aired in 1990, and the Kopit-Yeston musical debuted in Houston in 1992. In 1983 composer lyricist Maury Yeston and librettist Kopt, after winning several Tony Awards for Nine, decided to collaborate with director Geoffrey Holder. At that time Mr. Holder held the rights to Gaston Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera. Yeston and Kopit decided to place the emphasis on characters’ relationships instead of spectacle. They wanted the audience to learn more about the Phantom’s origins and thus help to clarify his motivations. While they continued to work, the copyright lapsed in Europe and became in the “public domain.” And once Andrew Lloyd Webber’s version became such a hit, Kopit, Yeston and Holder abandoned their project.
However, Kopit did sell his treatment as four-hour, non-musical miniseries, telecast in 1990 and actually filmed in the Paris Opera House itself, starring Charles Dance, Teri Polom and Burt Lacaster. Due to the enthusiastic response, the Kopit-Yeston musical version Phantom was mounted in 1991, resulting in well over 170 productions worldwide, including a multi-year in Germany. This musical has become one of the most successful in history without having first played Broadway. We are delighted to present you this version – Phantom.
Photos provided by Riverside Dinner Theater
- The Phantom: Patrick A’Hearn
- Christine Daee: Quinn Vogt-Welch
- The Count De Chandon: Nathaniel Austin Mason
- Gerard Carriere: Robert Beard
- Cholet: Jason J. Michael
- Carlotta: Andrea Kahane
- Jean-Claude: Steven L. Thompson
- Inspector Ledux: Michael R. Colby
- Belladova (ballet): Christin Barksdale Pristas
- Belladova (Vocals): Mary Anne Furey
- Young Erik: Max Nicholson
- Ensemble: Sydni Bornschein, Zach Bullock, Melynda Burdette, Catherine Cata, Thomas Cleary, Lee Cooper, Autumn East, Mary Anne Furey, Temple Hammen, Carol Hagy, Richard Halenda, Meg Kenny, Jeffrey Kyer, Jonathan Litalien, Kendall Mostafavi, Max Nicholson, Josh Otten, Christin Pristas, Andrew Prowant, Rachel Simpson, Analisa Wall, Tyler Wilson.
- Ensemble Swings: Nancy Collie-Beard, Rebecca Law, Rachel Shrader, Samuel Elton , Ian Stearns
- Producer/Artistic Director: Rollin E. Wehman
- Associate Artistic Director: Patrick A’Hearn
- Production Director: Patti D’Beck
- Associate Director: Valerie Accetta
- Music Director: Jason J. Michael
- Scenic Design: Aaron P. Mastin
- Costume Designer/Coordination: Gayle Law
- Lighting Design: Phil Carlucci
- Properties Coordination: Kylie Clark
- Set Dressing: Barbara Escamilla Cochran
- Set Dressing: Stefannie Smith
- Production Manager: Carole Shrader
Disclaimer: Riverside Dinner Theater provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review.
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/8478.
Rodrigo Pool is a Graphic Artist during the day and Jedi Master all the time. He also fights deadites FOR FUN. Don't ask. His previous works include; Harmony in Daddy's Dyin', Who's Got The Will?, Chief Bromdem in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, Tom Hanks in Angels and Demons featuring Tom Hanks, Il commendatore in Proffesional Curtesy, Reynaldo in No Match, Mysterious Man in a Suit (Captain Jack Sparrow, Joker, Bob Dylan) in Jack vs. Jill, Christian in The Other Room, Jack in The Plan (indie film 2011), Dr. Adventure Time in Adventure Time Redux (The Jupiter Jetson Project), Solid Snake in Closing Time (Radio-Play).