First, here is the back-story:
My high school homeroom teacher had been diagnosed with bile duct cancer almost right after she retired. She is a lover of musicals, and “The Phantom of the Opera” is her favorite. I have always wanted to see it with her, because we would talk about it non-stop whenever we could.
So along with us going to see the matinee show on Sep. 27th, I came up with the idea that her being about to tour the set and everything would make it so memorable, since this would more than likely be the last time she would be able to see her favorite show.
I contacted the Paramount Theatre in Seattle where the tour was at for a few weeks. They told me I had to contact Broadway across America, and so I did, and I never heard back from them.
About a week or so before we were supposed to go and see the show, I decided to contact BAA once more by e-mail and fax and I still got no response. So, I did the next best thing – I contacted every cast member that had an e-mail address, and even asked Julie (Hanson) to see if she still knew anyone on the tour and could help me out.
Not even 2 hours later after I sent all these e-mails, I was pleasantly surprised when D.C. Anderson responded so fast, and agreed to give us the tour. But that wasn’t all. A few days later, Kelly Jeane Grant contacted me and offered to do the tour as well! And then Julie got back to me saying Greg Mills might be able to give us the tour.
I told Kelly that I’ll see what D.C. says about him giving us the tour during his less than 3 hour break, and I thanked and apologized to Julie, but I was desperate and trying to find someone.
Then something happened; Theresa wasn’t able to go to the performance because she had gotten really sick. She could barely talk, her hands and feet were numb, and her doctor told her that it wouldn’t be wise for her to be at a place surrounded by people in case someone was sick and that could be life threatening for her. She was crying…I think it was not only that she felt bad because we’d spent the money on the ticket, and felt like she was letting me down because we are POTO sisters…but because she will never be able to see a live musical again.
So I contacted D.C. and Kelly and told them the bad news. I still wanted to go on the tour so I could get autographs for Theresa on the Phantom poster, so I asked if they were still willing to do it. I hadn’t heard back from Kelly, but D.C. was happy to do it. I told him that I would be wearing my long-sleeved “Phanatic” shirt.
Now about the show:
The Phantom of the Opera: Richard Todd Adams
Christine Daaé: Kelly Jeane Grant
Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny: Greg Mills
Carlotta Giudicelli: Kim Stengel
Monsieur André: D.C. Anderson
Monsieur Firmin: Bruce Winant
Madame Giry: Nancy Hess
Ubaldo Piangi: John Whitney
Meg Giry: Jessi Ehrlich
Monsieur Lefévre: Michael McCoy
Joseph Buquet: Stephen Tewksbury
Passarino: Stephan Trafton
Kelly Jeane Grant made a beautiful Christine. I couldn’t decide who l liked better; Trista or Kelly. Kelly did give Christine a back-bone, which was something Trista didn’t. I think Kelly’s best song was “The Point of No Return”.
And I was SO happy that Richard didn’t crack during “Music of the Night” again! So It was a beautiful rendition. I was also very happy that he didn’t overact during the scene when Christine leaves him in the lair; I found it funny the first time I saw him do it in Portland. I was also a little o_O when he kissed the monkey on the music box.
Everyone was great, of course. I had to agree with my mom that this performance seemed more moving than the performance in Portland.
After the show we went straight to the stage door. It took about 10 minutes for D.C. to come out, and it was actually my mom who spotted him first waving at us by the door. We made our way over there and introduced ourselves and DC gave me a great big hug. He asked us if we wanted to get started, and of course we were raring to go!
I did apologize for Theresa not being able to come with me. My mom and I both explained her situation with her cancer, and he understood.
He first showed us around on the stage. It was so surreal to see the audience from that point of view, and while I most likely would never perform on stage, ANYWHERE, it wasn’t hard to understand why these people do what they do seeing things from this perspective. It was also so mind blowing to see the famous chandelier right before my eyes. It was taller than me!
He commented on how much he loved this theatre, because it goes along with the Phantom props. It really is an old-fashioned there.
We then went around some of the props. He showed us some of the candelabra’s, the masquerade stairs, the Elephant from “Hannibal” (which my mom felt so compelled to touch), but I couldn’t blame her because I just HAD to touch one of the pillows on the boat XD
We continued around the stage where we saw some of the ensemble clothing, and an interesting fact that D.C. told us was that in each city the ensemble change characters.
He pointed upwards, and that’s where we saw a lot more of the props…like the mirror that the Phantom takes Christine through. I really never imagined that they suspended the props like that.
We finally got to walk by the famous Phantom organ, and I so had the desire to sit on it and pretend I was playing it…but I just felt too stunned to ask anything. I’m so shy! I hate it! ….ahem…Anyway, my mom pointed out the blue rope lights along the wings of the stage, and D.C. told us a story about how in one scene he and Raoul are standing there together waiting to go on, and D.C. gets real close to him and then pushes him out onto the stage. I thought that was so fricken funny, because it was so easy to imagine poor Greg stumbling over himself in public on stage as Raoul. I can’t remember what scene he was talking about, but I think it’s the one where after Christine read the “Little Lotte” note.
He then took us to the quick-changing rooms, where I got to see all of Christine’s dresses. OH MY GOD! Pictures do them ZERO justice…they are so beautiful, and so detailed, and I couldn’t believe how much work went into the costumes.
Now this is really funny; D.C. has been with the show for God knows how long, but when he was showing us another one of the “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again” dresses, for the first time he noticed that they were made of different fabrics! He liked that one more and he said that he will demand that the one he liked be used at all times. But I preferred the other one
After that he led us down to another level of the theatre where we saw a HUGE room dedicated to the wardrobe department. We then past by a bunch of wigs, including Christine’s, and led us into a room for the costumes of the main cast and the dancers. He marveled at how heavy some of the costumes were, and he had my mother and I try to lift the Princess gown on the hanger, and I swear to GOD that there had to be an avail or bricks or something holding it down.
He also told us that there were always 3 costumes made per costume because of the understudies and so on and so forth.
And so that pretty much ended the tour. We went back out the door we came in, to find a couple of people waiting for me…Greg Mills and Kelly Jeane Grant! D.C. was distracted for the moment because some people wanted his autograph, and so Greg talked to me; he said “Are you Katrina?” and I smiled widely and said “Yes! You must be the one Julie talked too!” He too gave me a big hug. He then said that we were worried we missed you. And when Kelly looked my way, I said “and you must be Kelly!” she grinned and walked up to me and said “That’s me! And you must be Katrina!” and then she gave me a hug also! She asked if DC had already shown me around and I said yes. She asked how Theresa was, and my mom and I told her the story that she was crying, could barely talk or walk.
I got D.C., Greg, and Kelly to sign the poster I had bought for Theresa. After a few “thank-you’s” and parting hugs we left
I was disappointed that I didn’t at least get Richard’s autograph, so I vowed to make the 45 minute trip back up to Seattle the next day after the matinee and get it.
I got to Seattle a few minutes before 4:30, and I asked the first person I saw if the show just let out and she said Yes, and I was SO relieved!
I waited about 10 minutes or so when people finally started coming out. I think Kim (Carlotta) came out, but I couldn’t recognize her so I went against my better judgment and didn’t approach her. I did, however, approach Jessi Ehrlich and she signed the poster.
A few minutes later, the stage door opened and whose head pop’s out…Richard’s WITH HIS MAKE-UP ON! I just about died! He said that he wasn’t allowed to go outside, so he invited people into the little waiting area inside the stage door to sign autographs. He signed the poster, and I asked him to address it to Theresa ^_^ I then asked for a picture, to which he agreed. As I set the camera up, he continued to sign autographs, and I asked Greg if he could take the picture for us and he happily obliged. I saw D.C. coming down the stairs and we smiled and waved at each other. No later after that, Kelly comes down the stairs and I smiled, waved and said “Hi Kelly!” Her face brightened up and said “Hi!” and have me a big huge. I also asked her to be in the picture with Richard and me, and of course she said yes. I was then wishing that I could have gotten Greg in the picture (The Phantom, Christine, and Raoul), but it was too late. After we all said our parting good-bye, I had to stay in the little waiting room because it was IMPOSSIBLE to get out! But then John Whitney came down the stairs and he signed the poster as well.
I finally managed to squeeze my way out, and headed back to my car and went home.Here is the picture of Richard, Kelly, and me.Here is the picture of the signed Phantom poster.