The Phantom of the Opera (Musical) ~ Lost in Adaptation

The Phantom of the Opera (Musical) ~ Lost in Adaptation

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Lost in Adaptation and the second of three episodes I’m making to discuss the changes
that occured to the plot of The Phantom of the Opera as it progressed through three different
mediums of entertainment. This episode is about how much the West End
musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber has in common with the original book by Gaston Leroux. To avoid rampant repetition I’m going to assume
that everyone has watched the first episode in this little trilogy of mine in which I
synopsised the novel. If you haven’t and you’ve not read the book,
you might find yourself lacking some of the required context to fully appreciate the significance
of the changes I’m about to describe so there’s the thing. The musical theatre production of The Phantom
of the Opera wasn’t the first adaptation of Leroux’s novel buts it is currently the
most famous and successful. It’s lead creator Andrew Lloyd Webber is
a British composer of somewhat great renown. He was one of the creative minds behind: Jesus
Crist Superstar, Evita, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, a personal
favorite of mine. In light of his services to the arts the Queen
of England bestowed upon him a knighthood and a position in the House of Lords. A power
that I personally feel he has abused most unforgivably leading to me not caring for
him as a person, even if I begrudgingly can’t deny the genius of his work. In 2011 to celebrate 25 years of uninterrupted
Phantoming a special three night show was organized by Lloyd Webber and producer Cameron
Mackintosh to be performed at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The lead roles were performed by Ramin Karimloo,
Sierra Boggess and Hadley Fraser, all popular veterans of the play and several cast members
from the original run made appearances and cameos. Due to the tickets immediately selling out
for all three nights the performance was live streamed to cinemas around the country and
a film was edited together from the best parts of each night to be released later that year. The Royal Albert Hall proved to be a good
venue for filming, but less than ideal for hosting The Phantom of the Opera as the stage
was far too small to allow for the sheer scale of the production forcing them to use LED
screens to simulate some of the larger sets. The most notable sacrifice was the iconic
chandelier which is usually risen up over the audience at the start of the production
then dropped down at the appropriate moment. Lacking the facilities for this they settled
for using a rising curtain for the big reveal and pyrotechnics to represent its destruction. Now I think I’m going to have to be a tad
more lenient with a stage production than I would be a film regarding changes to the
plot due to the limitations of what you can do with a live performance with mostly physical
sets and a bunch of other obvious factors but I still think it’s going to be interesting
to compare this to the book. Once again I can only promise to do my best
with the French pronunciations. I might even do slightly better than last time but let’s
face it, I’m not going to do… Good. Lastly before we jump into this I do want
to acknowledge that I was super beaten to the punch here by several years by Lindsay
Ellis who not only did an insightful breakdown of the differences between the book, musical
and Schumacher film but also discussed the many different film interpretations of The
Phantom over the last hundred years or so. I mention this because one thing in particular
she brings up is the fact that some of the changes in the musical might be due to some
serious self insertion from Andrew Loydd Webber who perhaps related a little too hard to the
physically unattractive genius who’s true beauty could only be appreciated through his
music. As I don’t want to simply regurgitate her
observations in a British accent might I highly recommend watching her videos on the subject
if you haven’t already. Ok, let’s talk adaptation. Despite what my attempts to make excuses for
the musical by mentioning the limitations of a liveshow format might imply, there’s
not an insubstantial amount of plot beats from the book copy pasted into the script.
For example: The opera house changing management after
being bought out by Richard and Moncharmin. The honorable gentleman being informed that
the building they just bought is haunted by an Opera Ghost who quickly starts sending
them letters, usually through Madame Giry, a long time employee of the Opera. The quote unquote Ghost being under the impression
that true ownership of the opera house belongs to him and demanding certain things from the
new duel managers in exchange for being allowed to run it for him, namely complete creative
control over the cast, a 20,000 francs a month salary and exclusive use of box five during
every performance. Christine Daaé, a relative nobody in the
musical world taking over the lead role in a performance at the last minute and giving
a stunning performance. A feat she attributes to singing lessons she received from a mysterious
anonymous source. The Viscount Raoul de Chagny seeing her from
the audience and recognising her as his childhood sweetheart for whom he once waded into the
sea to save her scarf after it blew away. Christine being unusually willing to believe
that the mysterious voice giving her singing lessons is an angel of music sent to her from
heaven to teach her how to be the ultimate soprano because her late father had promised
her he would arrange exactly that as he was departing his mortal coil. Her teacher eventually arriving in her room
person and leading her through the wall mirror into a passageway that led to his underground
lair on the far side of a hidden lake. The play didn’t go full casket with the
Phantom’s bed but there is the suggestion of it in the shape of it so I’ll give it
that one. The Opera Ghost working on his masterpiece
opera, the Don Juan Triumphant. Christine getting a bad case of the curiosities
and looking to see what’s under his mask to rather explosively hostile results. Oohhh you’re a prying Pandora aren’t you,
a lying little Delilah and no mistake goodness me. R to the M getting more correspondents from
the OG and scoffing at his continuous demands. Carlotta, the usual star of the show, taking
an extreme dislike to Christine because of all the ghost related attention she’s been
getting then losing her voice onstage when she refuses to surrender the lead role to
her like the Phantom demanded. Christine taking Raoul to the roof of the
opera house to tell him how frightened of the Phantom she is and the two of them making
plans to get secretly engaged. The Phantom in question overhearing this conversation
from his vantage point above them. The opera house chandelier getting so callously
destroyed. A masquerade party being thrown at the opera
house that the phantom gatecrashes dressed as Edgar Allen Poe’s Red Death stalking
abroad. The OG confusing the crap out of people by
throwing his voice around and kidnapping Christine during a performance. Attempting to strong arm the poor girl into
marrying him by threatening Raoul’s life. The kiss that melted the Phantom’s icy heart
and compelled him to show mercy to a victim and prioritize someone above himself for the
first time in his miserable life. Christine and Raoul cheesing it to live their
lives together while the Phantom… Disappears I guess? This seems to me like it could be
interpreted as him leaving the opera OR dying so I’m really not sure which category to
put this in. Hmm? Oh…ok apparently there’s a awful sequel that confirms that he lives
never fucking mind. They definitely captured the original Opera
Ghost’s motivations in this musical and I don’t just mean his fixation on Christine
as his potential BAE. They also worked in his complete lack of empathy
for others stemming from a lifetime of no one ever showing him one ounce of human kindness. The ring that in the book the Phantom forced
on Christine and she returned to him posthumously is…. I’ll go as far as to say that it’s
referenced because the circumstances of its exchange and symbolism are kind of different
in the musical. Umm, excuse me? Yes, this Apollo’s lyre
is occupied. The musical introduces a prologue, set many
years after the events of the main plot. Raoul is elderly now, Christine has evidently passed
away, and at some point and the opera house has fallen into disrepair. Random props and posters are being auctioned
off and Raoul recognises a clockwork monkey music box as something that Christine had
described to him. The prolog itself is a relatively harmless
addition but I gotta say the monkey in particular seems random as hell. Yes it’s part of the
set a few times throughout the performance but I swear not once does Christine even LOOK
at it so I really don’t get how Raoul is supposed to even know about it, let alone
get all misty eyed over it. Anyway, with the big reveal of the chandelier
the story jumps back in time to when everyone was young and virile. In fact, adaptation
wise it jumps a little TOO far back. The main plot of the musical begins before the start
of the book so we’re treated to a rehearsal of the performance that Christine would end
up leading in the first chapter, which was apparently the first time that Richard and
Moncharmin introduced themselves as the new owners. Several other changes become apparent right
away. Madame Giry is significantly younger, and
appears to have been promoted from concierge to the choreographer of the ballet. Raoul appears to have a financial investment
in the opera now which better explains why he’s allowed to have free reign of the house.
I kind of got the impression from the book that it was just sort of accepted that rich
people could do whatever the heck they wanted if they insistently whined about it for long
enough. Christine now gets her lead role after Carlotta
quits in a diva tantrum brought on by the Phantom playing silly buggers with the set
one too many times, making him directly responsible for the change in lineup. He might have been responsible for her illness
in the book but don’t think that’s confirmed. At this point I should probably mention that
I read the public domain translation of The Phantom of the Opera which is apparently not
the best available as it cut some parts of the original story out and had several…
questionable translation choices, however it is the version that most adaptations are
based on. One such strange choice was to, with the single
exception of the front cover, always translate Le fantome de l’opera as The Opera Ghost and
not The Phantom of the Opera so as a result the title is never name dropped in universe. Andrew Lloyd Webber corrected for this almost
immediately. Fuck meee it’s the the Phantom of the Opera.
Holy fucking balls the Phantom of the Opera. Meg Giry, Madame Giry’s daughter has her
role expanded upon somewhat. Just one of many young dancers terrified of the Opera Ghost
in the book she’s now Christine’s best friend and confidant. She’s the first person to
hear about Christine’s “angel” in the play and the first to discover the Phantom’s
home right after he abandons it. She’s even the very last thing you see in the production
as it fades out on her holding the OG’s mask. The film also plays up a male lead singer
and Carlotta’s… husband I think as a recurring comedic relief character. It’s easy to miss
because the dummy they use to represent him is pretty bad but he meets an unfortunate
fate near the end at the hands of Erik’s punjab noose. Ok so Raoul… He still isn’t the best because
he remains a spoiled rich boy with more self confidence than years of experience but Lloyd
Webber managed to make him stunningly inoffensive compared to his jealous, entitled, immature
book counterpart. This is partly due to his feelings for Christine
being so much more enthusiastically mutual from the start now. Their reunion seems genuinely happy for both
parties and Christine, apparently not as immediately concerned with avoiding making the Phantom
jelly makes no attempt to pretend not to recognise him. Their secret engagement now comes across as
a source of happiness for both of them and not a bone that she seems to be throwing him
at the Phantom’s behest to keep him quiet and content until he buggers off for an exploration
mission to the Antarctic. A major unmissable change in the musical is..
Well… Christine. She just..she just really wants to fuck that Phantom now. This is one of the before mentioned things
that ties back to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s self insertion and again you’ll probably
be better off going to Lindsay Ellis’ videos for a chronicle of the Opera Ghost’s transformation
into a sex symbol. For my part, all I really want to say is yeesh
Lloyd Webber you probably should have either made Christine romantically and sexually attracted
to the OGs musical genius OR confirmed that she secretly thinks he’s the ghost of her
father but not both. Another change, and possibly a knock on effect
of this added sexual tension is Christine stays at least partially under the Phantom’s
psychological, borderline mystical spell for a lot more of the story. If you’ll recall, in the book that ended
the SECOND she woke up in his underground lair the first time he brought her there. Ahh balls he’s not an angel I’ve been
kidnapped by a smelly looney. It was pity for his misery and his patheticness,
not infatuation that kept her coming back to him in the book. There’s a surprising amount interesting adaptation
fun facts relating to the musical Phantom’s iconic half mask. Starting at the beginning, in the book Erik
very rarely bothered to wear any sort of mask at all. He only did so around Christine, not giving
a flying fuck if he scared the crap out of anyone else with his hideousness. His only
regular concession to vanity was wearing what Leroux, still pretending he was talking about
a real person theorised to be a prosthetic nose, to hide the fact that he was born without
one. Christine described the mask that he wore
around her as a black mask that covered his entire face and fashionably matched his black
attire. However the problem that Lloyd Webber’s team
encountered with complete face obscuring masks is no one can hear a bloody word you’re
saying in them and they certainly don’t allow Tony Award winning singing to escape
them. The original plan was to scale it down to
a half mask but that apparently still interfered with the stage microphone so it was trimmed
down yet more and as a result the Phantom’s deformity was toned down with it, becoming
asymmetrically primarily located on the right side of his face. They used makeup to make his left side look
a little flaky and and his lips slightly warped but it’s inescapably no longer the shit your
pants terrifying zombie face of the book. Not surprisingly, to accommodate the stage
performance format time is condensed quite heavily, not just between scenes but within
them too. The Phantom goes though his rage at Christine for taking his mask, his ominous
declaration that he’s going to have to keep her forever now, his fall into despair and
self loathing and his eventual concession to allow her to return to the world above
all in the space of about 2 minutes. Not counting the transition out of the prologue
the only significant time jump in the musical takes place during the intermission as they
skip forward through six months of phantom inactivity. Joseph Buquet is granted a little more life
in the musical. Instead of being found dead the night of Christine’s first performance
he’s now murdered during what was supposed to be Carlotta’s big return to the stage as
part of his retribution on the management for disobeying his demand that Christine be
given the lead role permanently. It looks like he was the chosen victim for
the Phanton’s first public murder partly because he was conveniently alone up on the
catwalks and partly because of Buquet’s ill advised habit of making fun of the Opera
Ghost and not taking the threat of his existence seriously. While the destruction of the poor chandelier
is accurate the Phantom’s motivations for doing it are changed slightly. It was originally
yet more retrubution for Carlotta being given the lead role, however as I just said the
murder of Buquet now fills that role in the story. The chandelier now meets its fates slightly
later after the rooftop scene, making it the victim of the Phantom venting his rage after
learning that Christine and Raoul are about to become an item. Now obviously “theres songs now” would
be an inane thing to bring up in an adaptation review of a musical, however I do what to
mention that in this particular case some of the song and dance numbers go on for so
long, for better or worse they do significantly change the pacing of the story. The Phantom’s backstory appears to have
been adjusted so he now ended up in a carnival in France AFTER he spent some time in Persia
instead of before. He was also apparently being held against
his will by the freak show attraction now which I am pretty fucking sure wouldn’t
have been legal in late 19th century France. If you going to try to “well actually”
me about this in the comments I’m going to need a citation backing up your claim. After the intermission which takes place immediately
after the chandelier dies the story goes a little off the rails adaptation wise. As you might remember from the last section
there’s still some details that stay true to the book past this point but they’re
now surrounded by a lot of Leroux defiant machinations. For starters the Opera Ghost is no longer
at the Masquerade party just to wander around and show off his sweet Red Death cosplay,
he’s there to make a dramatic public appearance and hand over his completed masterpiece Opera:
Don Juan Triumphant with demands for them to perform it. Don Juan Triumphant is mentioned in the book.
Christine hears the Phantom play a bit of it to work off his feelings after she pulled
his mask off and described it as expressing every emotion, every suffering of which mankind
is capable. However it was Erik’s expressed intention
to never show his masterpiece to anyone else and eventually be buried with it forever unperformed. Raoul then had the bright idea to use this
production to draw his nemesis out. Talking the others into capitulating to the Opera
Ghost’s demands so he can fill the opera house with soldiers intent on apprehending
him. However the Phantom easily evades them and
sneaks onto stage dressed as a dementor. It’s almost like performing the Opera that
he wrote meant that he would have a comprehensive knowledge of where everyone will be at all
times and an easy way of providing himself with an opportunity to get close to Christine
by disguising himself as a Nazgûl. Weird that. Anyway Christine eventually realises who the
ghost of Christmas yet to come is and first unhoods him, then unmasks him in front of
everyone. The enraged Phantom then drags her back to
his cave to try to force her to marry him which finally brings the plot back to something
slightly more parallel to the book. While it is accurate that a kiss ended up
saving Raoul and Christine, it’s changed from a tender peck on his forehead to a full on
snog on the lips which is a little weird to me because in the book Erik compares it to
all the kisses that he didn’t get from his uh, mother. However I do acknowledge that this version
of the story was written the better part of a century later and it makes sense to update
the level of acceptable pre-marriage intimacy with the times so I guess I can forgive Lloyd
Webber for wanting to introduce a little tongue action. And finally an overall change. If you recall
in my last video I explained that a key issue with the book was that while it was extensively
a gothic romance, it followed all the plot beats and tropes of the murder mystery books
that Leroux was more adept at writing. Lloyd Webber does away with this identity
crisis and them some. This is musical 100% gothic romance, this musical is one of the
most defining gothic romances of the entire genre. There’s no longer any attempts to make you
question the Phantom’s identity or need to explain how he performed all his little
tricks. While his status as a living corporeal person is confirmed, the audience is left
to decide for themselves if there was a mystical element to his abilities or if they were just
a magician’s misdirections. These things are not important to the story
and are now treated as such. Floating, falling, sweet intoxication. Touch me, trust me, savor each sensation. Let the dream begin! Let your darker side
give in, to the power of the music that I write! The power of the music of the night! Let’s start with a list of characters who
didn’t make it through the adaptation process. The Persian… Yep. They cut out the ONLY
not white character. A lot of his role in the story is absorbed
into Madame Giry. She now has the greater knowledge of the Phantom’s past and the
hidden passage down to his hideout. Unlike the helpful Iranian she doesn’t go
with Raoul to rescue his lady love, but one thing I will say to her credit is she does
away with all the silly tricks that he used to get Raoul to hold his hand at the level
of his eye and just straight up tells him that he needs to block the punjab.
Raoul instantly forgets this and gets himself get noosed but she tried. Next up Raoul’s older brother the Count
de Chagny and his unfortunate death at the hands of Erik. He really didn’t have as
much of an impact on the story so you don’t feel his absence as bad as the Persian’s. Aaand alas, slightly barmy Madame Valerius
does not appear to exist in this version so there’s no one to irresponsibly encourage
Christine to spend more time with her heavenly tutor. Story wise they skip over a few things like
Raoul’s trip to stalk Christine in their hometown, Erik playing her father’s violin
for her there in the graveyard, and her subsequent second long term disappearance. While Madame Giry does mention that he’s
a genius architect, there’s no longer any hint that the Phantom was the man who designed
and built the Paris Opera House, making his sense of ownership over it more purley delusion
and raises the question of why there’s a hidden passages that leads from the foundations to
the dressing rooms. They apparently also decided not to include
Erik rigging the opera house to blow sky high if Chritine turned down his marriage proposal
and the insect themed knobs that she could turn to signify her choice. Erik’s torture chamber is likewise omitted.
Instead of stumbling right into it while trying to rescue Christine, Raoul successfully makes
it to the underground lair but immediately turns his back on the Phantom, allowing him
to walk slowly over to his closet, get his punjab, slowly walk back to him and noose
him up in it. It’s a different sort of useless but I guess it’s the same level of useless. Another Erik’s evil plan related plot twist
that Lloyd Webber didn’t go with was his intention to rejoin society once Christine
married him. He had apparently devised a new type of mask that was so realistic he felt
confident walking around in public with it….. I uh guess Erik invented latex. Kudos Phantom
old boy. One of the most significant segways away from
the A plot in the book involved Richard and Moncharmin trying to lure whoever was trying
to extort money out of them by pretending to be an Opera Ghost out of hiding by using
his demanded salary as bate and Erik successfully bamboozling them out of their 20,000 francs
in cash twice. The second investigation involved them manically
attempting to recreate the exact goings on of the first while the money was in Richard’s
pocket, secured with a safety pin. When Erik used one of his many trapdoors to get the
drop on them and pickpocket the money he was nice enough to leave them the pin as a souvenir. While on the whole the R&M subplots didn’t
annoy me too much this particular one took place during the climax. While everyone else
was running around trying to find Christine these two chucklenuts were locked in their
office going mad with paranoia. It’s a bit of a pace killer and I’m not sad they cut
this out of the musical. Madame Giry’s firing for claiming to know
the Phantom and subsequent rehiring to placate him is skipped over, possibly because the
stage version of her seems too far intimidating to sack. This means that even if the chandelier had
fallen in this version it wouldn’t have landed on the head of her replacement on her
first day of work. This omission is more significant than you
might think as that was one of the true to life events that Leroux used to try to convince
people that his book was nonfiction. The Paris Opera House chandelier really did fall down
on the head of a very unlucky new employee. The other real thing is the lake under the
Opera by the way. They apparently sometimes use it to train firemen about swimming in
the dark. Upon her reinstatement Richard and Moncharmin
try to get more information out of Madame Giry and discover that she is so fanatically
loyal to her Ghostygoo because he once wrote her a note prophesying that her daughter Meg
would one day marry an emperor who saw her dancing in the opera ballet. They also decide to have her arrested when
they discover her part in helping Erik pinch their money and her amusing response is to
punch Richard in the head. And last but not least, not once in the entire
musical does the Phantom of the Opera reveal that his name is Erik. Final thoughts: This musical is undeniably way more of Andrew
Lloyd Webber’s vision than Gaston Leroux’s but…. It is still recognisably the same
story and surprisingly true to the Opera Ghost’s original character arc all things considered. The prologue seems a little unnecessary just
from a story perspective but that’s not why they added it, it serves a purpose for the
big bombastic musical opening, not the plot. As I said: the second half, in particular
the build up to the climax is where they appear to have taken the most liberties with the
storyline but it doesn’t overly usurp the meaning or the message. I must ask you to forgive me for saying this
because I know I’m supposed to be restricting myself to grading accuracy not superiority
but I would personally say the majority of the changes are an improvement. The catchy as hell songs and music nicely
distract from the let’s face it not amazing story. We now have a hero whose almost likable and
who offers a romance that comes off as relatively mutual and healthy and can now juxtapose the
possessive toxic one with the villain instead of just seeming like a watered down copy of
it and lesser of two evils that Christine has to choose between. And a sympathetic villain that you have a
halfway decent chance of actually feeling sympathy for instead of contempt. It would take a lot to screw up an adaptation
of something that’s been so skillfully adapted into another medium once already so please
do join me next time my Beautiful Watchers so we can discuss how Andrew Lloyd Webber
and Joel Schumacher did exactly that. If I could leave you with the usual reminder
that Youtube somehow manages to be simultaneously a wonderful place that provides independent
artists with a platform to thrive and find an appreciative audiences on and a blackhole
of despair that will crush you into nothing if you fail to get enough likes and comments
on your videos so if you wouldn’t mind helping it remain the former instead of the latter
for me I would be much appreciative. Also if I’ve successfully installed within
you even a little interest in the book that started all of this, might I suggest Audible
as a splendid medium for enjoying it. Audible has an unmatched library of audiobooks
for your listening pleasure. When you sign up you get a 30 day trial that comes with
a free audiobook of your choice AND two Audible originals. Every subsequent month, you’ll be given a
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of if your membership is active. There is no catch or fine print, it’s a genuine test
run with some cool free stuff. Audiobooks are a godsend for people who have
trouble finding the time to keep up with their reading or regularly face the monotony of
a long car journey, providing a chance to multitask to the former and much needed entertainment
to stave off the madness to the latter. So yes, follow the link in the video description
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Audible Originals, and a 30 day free trial. Thank you for joining me my Beautiful Watchers.
If you’re new here and enjoyed this video do consider subscribing so you can be aware
of new content and I will hopefully see you all in the final Phantom themed episode. Much love and appreciation to my Patrons of
Honor: Shelby Hotz, and Matthew J. Brysch. Hello again my Beautiful Watchers. I just
wanted to take this opportunity to give you a quick reminder that there’s a wonderful
website called Patreon that’s been allowing online producers to actually make a living
doing what they do, since apparently YouTube’s decided that they shouldn’t anymore. Basically,
they offer the chance to pledge a certain amount of money per month or per video in
exchange for various rewards offered by the creator. There’s a variety of stuff you
can earn by becoming one of my patrons, including early access to all videos and taking part
in that survey you see at the start of every Lost in Adaptation episode. That’s actually
a very important part of the process, as I use it to gauge how much I’m going to need
to explain about the book and the film before I start comparing them. If you decide to become
a higher level contributor your name will be added to the credits that you’re seeing
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100 Replies to “The Phantom of the Opera (Musical) ~ Lost in Adaptation”

  1. Slight error: Apparently Firmin Richard and Armand Moncharmin's names were changed to Richard Firmin and Gilles André in the musical and I didn't notice.

  2. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind hearing more of your thoughts on that wretched sequel (Love Never Dies) at some point. I feel it really drives home the fact that, though the character development for Erik is interesting in the first musical, Andrew Lloyd Webber either somehow Didn’t Get his own adaptation’s message or the siren’s call of an overindulgent sequel with more self-insertion was too much to resist despite needing to derail basically every character.

  3. I know it's not new but pleeeeease take a look at "orange is the new black" (I still can't believe that they did THIS to an book which is autobiogaphic)

  4. The Phantom of the Opera is one of my guilty pleasure musicals. I first saw it at around 19 years old, and I loved it. My mom and I saw the movie in theaters when it first came out, and she laughed when I pulled my hat over my face at the kiss (20-year-old me was massively cringing over it.). Anyways, I love your review and the Phantom duet. Keep being awesome Dominic. =)

  5. Dom: "Can't believe it's November. I'm so fucking hot."

    Me, sitting in San Antonio in 33 degree weather before winter's even hit: "Tell me about it."

  6. Honestly the weird incest undertone with Christine being both attracted to Erik while also thinking he might be the spirit of her father and Erik’s mommy issues getting tied up with Christine’s kiss can almost be called a motif of the play albeit an unintended one. But if you dig into it you can bring a lot of deeper subtext to both characters’ psychology as far as Christine missing the only affection she ever seemed to get through her father and Erik’s starving for love meant to be given by his mother as a child.

    Pity it wasn’t really meant to be that and is instead more creepy self insert nonsense. But in this case I think I’ll just go with the death of the author thing

  7. I work at a theater and it very often buys rights and builds various famous musicals/operas/ballets. We have Fiddler on a Roof, Chicago, Greek Zorba…
    I would love us to make our Phantom of the Opera one day 😀

  8. So you're telling me I've been pronouncing Gaston Leroux's last name wrong? Thank you for correcting me and making content about one of my favorite fandoms of all time.

  9. I remember reading the novel in French for French class, and really loving it. Then years later trying to read it again but in the English translation. And realizing I loved it because of all the details that I…well…lost in translation.

  10. The bloopers killed me.
    "You know other cats are saving babies on Twitter and you're running into windows." 😀 😀 😀

  11. If we're doing Book/Play/Movie now… you NEEED To do Les Miserables!!!! Hell the differences in the Thenardier's alone are worth having a discussion about!!

  12. I think one thing you fail to mention about a stage adaptation, especially in a musical as long running as phantom, is that often differences in character can be because of actor's choices. For example, the Christine I saw recently didn't seem sexually interested in Erik at all, instead she seemed to be extremely devoted to him and then deeply care and feel pity for him. Just my interpretation but I love your video

  13. Really looking forward to the next part. I remember I enjoyed the movie, when I was younger, haven't seen it in years though

  14. C'mon Dom, as a British native you should know she's the Queen of the United Kingdom, not England! There hasn't been a kingdom of England since 1707!

  15. Sorry But i disagree with you when you say that the Shoumacher version fucked it up. I love that movie and i love the musical. I even went to London from Sweden just because i had gotten tickets to the musical with the Swedish actor Peter Jöback as the phantom.
    Watch Paws music movie review of the movie and you will see why many people like the movie.

  16. How, HOW do you get your timing in your multiple selves sketches so spot on‽

    Please never stop making these, Dominic.

  17. It makes me happy that in two videos, you've cited both Lindsay and Elisa. Maybe next time you can give a nod to Diva from Musical Hell to complete the Phantom trifecta.

  18. I also heard that ALW wrote the musical for a friend of his who could not get into Broadway(because she couldn't act). She begged him to write something for her to star in. That's something a theatre friend told me

  19. First off, why is it evil that Erik would rejoin society if Christine loved him and agreed to marry him and wear a new mask to go around in public? I actually find that rather bittersweet. And don't think for a second such intentions don't happen in modern day with people with deformities and disfigurements because CRAP, people have gone even more overboard than poor Erik did with fashioning a fake but realistic facial mask. The modern problem is arguably its own deep dark ethical rabbit hole. Also, I think it was already pointed out, but in the original serialization (and original publications of the novel), in "The Phantom of the Opera" – it is hinted that Christine is not under any "thrall" of the Phantom, but she DOES certainly more than merely care for him as a friend. If you go to the final pages of the chapter called "Apollo's Lyre", when Raoul asks Christine if Erik were good looking, would she still love Raoul and Christine evasively drops a subtle but HUGE bombshell. She basically says, "Why ask me about things which I prefer to keep deep in my heart" —- HUGE red flag there, Raoul. As for 19th century people living with deformities and permitting themselves to be in "freakshows" so earn a livelihood that would be otherwise denied them, that is a whole history lesson in of itself. For condenscation sake, history does attest different countries had different developing thoughts on people with deformities, as which was so poignantly highlighted in the tragic real life case of Joseph Merrick. In Joseph's case, when he toured in England, it was not his first choice to earn a living, but he eventually voluntarily chose to join a freakshow (similiar to Erik in the book). While he toured in the British freakshows, it is said by him and those running them, he was treated fairly well, though Dr. Treves later said, when he first saw him, he was not treated as well. When the tide turned in Britain viewing freakshows as both cruel and unnecessary, Joseph then travelled abroad to Europe to join another freakshow. Unfortunately for him, the owner involved was much more cruel and even stole all the money Joseph Merrick had earned at the freakshow. (That's yet again, another story in of itself – read about Joseph Merrick's life in either Joseph's own autobiography; "Measured by the Soul: The Life of Joseph Carey Merrick (also known as 'The Elephant Man')" by Jeanette Sitton and Mae Siu-Wait Stroshane; and "The True History of the Elepahant Man: The Definitive Account of the Tragic and Extraordinary Life of Joseph Carey Merrick" by Michael Howell and Peter Ford. I also recommend other websites with more historical and archaeological information in regards to famous people, who tragically were blighted by disfigurement or deformity – fun fact – there actually were people with physiques that eerily match that of Erik's. One of whom was Isaac W. Sprague, who literally was called "The Living Skeleton" by P.T Barnum. Also, for those who doubt that people could be born without a nose, modern history proves that with a few extremely rare but no less poignant cases – one of whom is that of a man named Li Ming. Tragically, in modern time, people are still obsessed with deformities and to put it bluntly speaking, there are now three forms of exhibitions – one while the person is alive, and the other two are when the person has already died and , in the name of "science", are exhibited to the public to gawk at – sometimes even making "art" out of people's remains. Also, another fun fact – according to some experts in the art of kissing – – the kiss Christine gives to Erik and likewise him to her, could be seen as more than just a chaste friends' kiss. According to some, including married husbands and wives, a kiss on the forehead between a man and woman who are non family members and who have been romantically interested is seen as the most pure and romantic of all – because that means that the giver of the kiss has feelings for you. Deep feelings, that is. You read that right: a kiss on your forehead is not just a smacker, but a sign of real love. By giving you a kiss on the forehead, the other person wants to show you that he or she wants to be your patron or patron, you don’t want to lose anymore and loves you with all your heart. However, as stated,  It would be very naive to claim that every kiss on the forehead carries one of the meanings above. This is determined by both the person giving the kiss and the person receiving the kiss. It can happen that the giver of the kiss only wants to give out one kiss and the other would rather not kiss on the mouth because of garlic reasons. Or that this kiss is used to provide comfort to the other person during a difficult moment. So many reasons, so many kisses. In relationships, such a kiss is often self-evident and couples have given it their own meaning. This kiss is no longer considered, because in general there is protection, friend-affection and romantic-affection. Often you will immediately find out the intentions and the meaning. 

    With that said, I must disagree with some of Lindsay Ellis' observations, at least in regards to to the original Leroux book. Of course, though, she's coming at the book from HER perspective, and again, omits some details and inaccurately insinuates others.

  20. Do (any version of) Tarzan
    1930s Weissmuller
    1980s Lambert
    1990s Disney
    2010s Skarsgard
    Or: an Oscars of any combination.
    Imho, Lambert was closest overall, only because disney got everything wrong

  21. More, please. Yes, please. Because I recently went to a local production of Phantom of the Opera so this was TIMELY all the videos are timely.

  22. The book is good, but the Musical adaptation is perfection. Saw it on the West End and on Broadway and loved it. I personally preferred the Broadway version but both were great.

  23. In reference to the setting and freak shows – based on the dates stated in the show's prologue in connection with the items being auctioned off, the events of the show are set in the mid 19th century (causing a plethora of confusion for me about Raul's age in that scene and the amount of time covered during the show). As for freak shows, I don't know when France specifically stopped them, but the Nazi's are who put an end to the original freak shows in the western world. – Ask A Mortician on YouTube mentions that in a video she has from a few years ago; I think it was specifically an "iconic corpses" video. If I am able to find a better source, I'll come back to edit this comment with it.
    Technically, side shows are still legal in the USA with, I'd imagine, less abusive regulations. I had a friend with PCOS who used to perform as a Soprano singing bearded woman in side shows, though she was met with intense toxicity about not being "deformed" enough for her act because beards can be shaved among other things, seemingly ignoring the existence of modern cosmetic surgery that can treat other "deformities." She doesn't recommend joining side shows now, but they do still exist.

    EDIT: I have yet to find information about French freak shows specifically, but in America, "Freak shows" specifically were outlawed in the 1980's.
    I'm not sure how much of Europe handled them after the Victorian period though.

  24. Commenting because I don't want Dom to be crushed into nothing by a black hole of despair.
    Also because this was a great video, good job.

  25. Here's a comment for the algorithm:
    I always had read it as both Madames being merged into Giry. She's kinda the character that subsumed almost all the cut ones.

  26. I love your duet with yourself! You can really sing.

    BTW, have you read the novel 'Phantom' by Susan Kay? It was my first exposure to the basic story, and it's always impacted the way I view the characters. It covers Erik's early years and has a surprising ending. You might enjoy it, if you can find it in the library. I can't understand why it's OOP; I thought it was pretty good.

  27. Commenting because I want to support this channel. It is interesting to learn about this story because I had no interest in ever seeing the musical or reading the book.

  28. Rip armenian, a song about him build the opera and being his secret master and magician coud be surprisingly interesting.

    ".. let the dream begin ler the darker side in to …"

  29. Not trying to "well, actually" you here, but I don't think it's quite that unlikely. I listened to a podcast episode recently about the "Elephant Man", who was similarly hideously disfigured and he couldn't even go out in public without people rioting and screaming in terror at the sight of him (according to this podcast, sometimes people literally rioted, yes) and that was in the 1860s, and the musical was set in the 1870s, so Eric probably would have been met with similar reactions. And because of it the "Elephant Man" couldn't hold a job, even though he was very intelligent and hardworking. He spent many years living in Victorian workhouses, which were deliberately made as uncomfortable and miserable as possible so as to discourage people from remaining homeless out of laziness (ie the conditions were so bad you would probably take any job that would get you out of there). Joining a freak show was, in the end, the only way he could earn a living, even if it was still a pretty awful one. I'm not sure how much you can call it willingness when you have almost no other option, and all of your options are terrible ones.

    And the "Elephant Man" was a very gentle, kind, polite young man who made every effort to appease people upset by his existence. It's not hard to imagine that a man like Eric, who was horrifically disfigured like him, but unlike him, very angry and bitter at the world for his suffering, whose attitude would cause most people to lose any pity they may have had for him, would be treated that much more poorly. Perhaps to the point of being outright forced to stay in a freak show rather than… sort of coerced by the circumstances the way that the "Elephant Man" was.

  30. It amuses me that I got an ad to see PotH on this video. It's going to be playing near me in Dec, I'm tempted tbh…

  31. I've spent all time watching this video in a secret hope for a reference to "Maskerade" by sir Terry Pratchett 🙂

  32. " Ah, balls, he's not an angel, I've been kidnapped by a smelly looney."

    Everytime Dom uses costumes, a fairy gets her wings * o *

  33. I hate the idea that if your art is considered 'good' enough, The Queen can just give you an inordinate amount of power. As much as I enjoy his musicals, the idea that Webber is set for life while he tries to raise our taxes frightens me deeply.

    (I had 'love/hate' at first, instead of just hatred, because I find the idea hilarious. On further reflection, it's just horrible.)

  34. I enjoy watching your videos. You really do your research. Now I have a challenge for you. Will you do a Lost an adaptation episode of The Water Horse?

  35. I love POTO but I can’t stand the “sequel”. It ruins phantom if you actually like to consider it canon. Which I don’t. Because it’s a shit show. It’s caused me to loose respect for the brilliant original.

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