| Chicago Reader

Fandom of the Phantom 

To the editors:

I got to see The Phantom of the Opera this week. It's hard for me to believe that Mr. Williams, the reviewer, found the show lacking emotion and substance [June 8].

Before seeing this production, I had listened to the Broadway recording, read about the special effects, and even read the published script. Nevertheless, the spectacle of the show gave me goosebumps. The music of the show moved me, even though I couldn't understand all the words. The way the actors moved during the show made their feelings and relationships very clear. And the voices of the players were incredible.

However, the last thing I ever was expecting, was to be so totally moved by the last scene. Devoid of spectacular stage devices, the three main characters acted and sang through the climax of the show. This ending left me with tears streaming down my face. I turned to my friend, a man I have never seen cry, and his face was just as wet as mine.

Yes, I think the show has the grandness and spectacle of a parade. Or a circus. Or even an incredibly beautiful sunset. But the honesty of the music, story, characters, and the actors, was just as big. The beauty and pain of unrequited love has an intrinsic conflict that will always be an emotional and moving part of human history.

The Phantom of the Opera contains no graphic violence, four letter words, or total nudity. Some people seem to think these elements are necessary for a piece of theater to be effective nowadays.

Perhaps Mr. Williams would have been moved if that damn chandelier, made of real glass and crystal, came crashing down on the audience. Just like it did in "Gaston Leroux' much-filmed 1911 novel."

Christopher Trotter

N. Hampden Court

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