Northwest NEWS

April 3, 2000

Entertainment

'Phantom' continues to weave its spell

Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera is now playing at the 5th Avenue Theatre.
Photo by Joan Marcus.

by Deborah Stone

   5th Avenue Theatre's season finale is an encore presentation of The Phantom of the Opera, one of the world's best-loved musicals.

   With elaborate sets, lavish costumes, exciting special effects, and a memorable score, Andrew Lloyd Webber's award-winning phenomenon continues to weave its spell on audiences worldwide.

   This tragic love story of a beautiful young opera singer and a composer, shamed by his physical appearance into a shadowy existence beneath the Paris Opera House, is haunting and mesmerizing.

   The current production on tour is headed by Ted Keegan as The Phantom, and he is definitely the muscle and heart of the show. Keegan throws himself into his role and gives it everything he's got, displaying enormous passion and great vocal range. His "Music of the Night" aches with exquisite tenderness, causing one's heart to go out to this tragic character to whom life has dealt a cruel blow. Unfortunately, Keegan's strong presence makes his co-stars pale in comparison.

   Jim Weitzer, in the role of Raoul, the handsome rival to the Phantom, sings well, but has an unexciting stage presence. Rebecca Pitcher, as the innocent young soprano Christine Daae, has a pretty voice, but it is not assertive enough for the demands of this role. Julie Schmidt and Frederic Heringes as the diva and tenor couple are definite standouts, displaying their comedic talents with their rich, resonant voices.

   The Phantom of the Opera runs through April 29th. For ticket information, call 206- 292-ARTS.