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 The Yeston/Kopit Musical

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TheMaskedLion

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PostSubject: The Yeston/Kopit Musical   Sat Oct 24, 2015 2:07 am

Some Background Information:

Phantom is a musical with music and lyrics by Maury Yeston and a book by Arthur Kopit. Based on Gaston Leroux's 1910 novel The Phantom of the Opera, the musical was first presented in Houston, Texas in 1991.

Although it has never appeared on Broadway and has been (wrongfully, IMHO) overshadowed by the success of the 1986 Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, Yeston and Kopit's Phantom has received over 1,000 productions.

Yeston and Kopit had just finished the musical Nine, winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical in 1982, when in 1983 they were approached by actor/director Geoffrey Holder to write a musical based on Leroux's novel. Holder had obtained the rights to musicalize the novel in America from the Leroux estate, making Phantom the only Phantom of the Opera musical to do so. Holder planned to direct. Initially, Yeston was skeptical of the project. "I laughed and laughed.... That's the worst idea in the world! Why would you want to write a musical based on a horror story?.... And then it occurred to me that the story could be somewhat changed.... [The Phantom] would be a Quasimodo character, an Elephant Man. Don't all of us feel, despite outward imperfections, that deep inside we're good? And that is a character you cry for."

In 1984, British producer Ken Hill revived his 1976 musical The Phantom of the Opera in England. This was not a big threat to Holder, Kopit and Yeston, since their musical was intended to play on Broadway. The real threat emerged through an announcement in Variety, where an article was published concerning plans for a musical production of The Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The rights to the novel were in the public domain in Great Britain. Holder only held the rights for two years in the United States and Europe before the property became public domain there as well. Yeston had completed much of the score to Phantom, and Yeston, Kopit and Holder were in the process of raising money for a Broadway production when the Lloyd Webber plans were announced

After The Phantom of the Opera became a smash hit in London in 1986, Lloyd Webber announced a Broadway production, and Yeston's Broadway investors backed out.[5] Yeston, Kopit and Holder reluctantly shelved their plans for Phantom and went their separate ways for a time. When Kopit saw the Lloyd Webber version of The Phantom of the Opera in New York, he realized that the approach he and Yeston had taken was fundamentally different and that it could still work on the musical stage. A few years later, Kopit wrote the NBC miniseries Hands of a Stranger, which was successful enough that NBC approached Kopit again. Kopit rewrote the script outline of his unproduced musical Phantom into a teleplay for a four-hour two-part miniseries entitled The Phantom of the Opera and sold it to NBC, with Yeston's blessing. It was filmed at the Opera Garnier, and the only music used was opera music. It starred Charles Dance, Teri Polo and Burt Lancaster and premiered on television in 1990. Kopit said, "I told Maury to hold on. Maybe someone would see the miniseries, think it would make a good musical we'd be ready."
The Yeston/Kopit musical was finally produced by Theater Under the Stars in 1991 under the official title Phantom.[1] The piece has since received over 1,000 productions around the world. Yeston refers to Phantom as "the greatest hit never to be produced on Broadway." Yeston and Kopit's Phantom is more operetta-like in style than Lloyd Webber's, seeking to reflect the 1890s period, and seeks to project a French atmosphere to reflect its Parisian setting more so than it's more well known counterpart.

The Management of Phantom's Theater would like to recommend this version, It is a personal favorite and we feel confident in saying that "This mesmerizing Phantom is traditional musical theatre in the finest sense"

SYNOPSIS

The story begins at the time of the first meeting of Erik (the Phantom) and a street singer named Christine. Erik was born and raised in the catacombs under the Paris Opera House and needs beautiful music – he cannot exist without it. Complications arise when Gérard Carrière, the company manager, loses his position as head of the Opera house and therefore cannot protect Erik any longer. Furthermore, Carlotta, the new diva and wife of the new owner of the Opera, has such a terrible voice that the Phantom is in torment. His salvation must eventually come through Christine, whose voice is so beautiful that he falls in love with her. He accepts Christine as his pupil, training her for the opera, but forbids her to see his face. Erik's rival for Christine's affection is Count Philippe de Chandon, whose influence helps Christine get a minor job with the Paris Opera, but it is Erik's training that helps her earn a place as a member of the company. When Carlotta's jealous machinations ruin Christine's debut, Erik spirits Christine to his underground lair and later takes a terrible revenge on Carlotta.

Carrière finds Christine and reveals an amazing secret: He is actually Erik's father. Emboldened by this revelation, Christine begs Erik to let her see his face, since his mother was able to look at him and smile. Reluctantly, he removes his mask (although the audience never sees his face), but Christine doesn't have the same fortitude and recoils in horror, causing Erik to go on a destructive rampage. Carrière helps the guilt-stricken Christine to escape, and later he returns to tell Erik the truth about their relationship. However, Erik has known all along that Carrière is his father and has only waited for Carrière to corroborate the fact. Erik fears that he will be captured and treated like a circus freak because of his horrendous face, but Carrière promises Erik that he will never be put on display. The police surround him, and Erik makes a failed attempt to swing to safety on a rope. With Erik dangling helplessly, the chief of police tells his men not to shoot because they "can take him alive!" Erik shouts out to his father for help. Carrière understands; he grabs a policeman's gun and aims at his son. Reluctantly, he fires, and the Phantom falls. Fatally wounded, Erik allows Christine to remove his mask. She now smiles and tells him "You are music, beautiful music, and you are light to me ... you are life to me," and replaces the mask as he dies.


Musical numbers
Act 1
Overture
Melodie de Paris – Christine, Street Vendors and Prisienne
Paris Is a Tomb – Erik and Acolytes
Dressing for the Night – Open Company and First Nighters
Where in the World – Erik
This Place Is Mine – Carlotta
Home – Christine and Erik
The Music Lessons/Phantom Fugue – Erik, Christine, Carlotta, Cholet, Ledoux, Policemen and Opera Company
You Are Music – Erik and Christine
The Bistro: "Sing, Can You Sing!" – Waiters and Bistro Partygoers
Melodie de Paris (Reprise) - Christine, Waiters, and Bistro Partygoers
Who Could Ever Have Dreamed Up You? – Philippe and Christine
This Place Is Mine (Reprise) – Carlotta
The Fairy Queen – Oberon, Christine, and Opera Company
Where in the World (Reprise) – Erik
Act II
Entr'acte
Without Your Music – Erik
Where In The World (Reprise) – Erik
The Story of Erik – Carriere, Belladova, Young Carriere, Young Erik, and Company
My True Love – Christine
My Mother Bore Me – Erik
You Are My Own – Erik and Carriere
Finale: You Are Music (Reprise) – Christine


Photo Gallery:

http://www.phantomstheater.com/Picturesmusical.htm


Cast Album: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000003FGT?keywords=Phantom%20Yeston&qid=1445676934&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1

Libretto: https://www.amazon.com/Phantom-complete-script-lyrics-Arthur/dp/0573693412/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1445676934&sr=8-2&keywords=Phantom+Yeston

Sheet Music Selections available on request.

Video:

PHANTOM by Maury Yeston, based on the play by Arthur Kopit (Musical Theatre of Wichita, 1990)
Original Production.
Cast: Richard White (Phantom), Lauren Hathaway, Edward Staudenmayer, John Almberg, Patti Allison
Includes interview with White and Hathaway and White singing "Where in the World" in concert.

https://youtu.be/NPwLtHPIlhE

PHANTOM – Performance Riverside, 2004
Christopher Carl (Phantom), Melissa Walters (Christine), Norman Large (Carriere), Debbie Prutsman (Carlotta), Damon Kirsche (Philippe)

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8fEyRXmZDYC1WuijQxyN3mfs3eqc29b2
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PostSubject: Re: The Yeston/Kopit Musical   Sat Oct 24, 2015 2:46 am

One of my favorite versions even over ALW's. It's a version close to my heart. Smile

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