'Phantom of the Opera' spectacle unmasked at Pix (Blog)

Category: Phantom of the Opera News | Posted by: DaisyMay
Article Date: October 29, 2009 | Publication: gazettetimes.com | Author: Nancy Raskauskas
Publication/Article Link:gazettetimes.com

ALBANY - Looking to infuse a little bit of fantasy into your Halloween night?
For the third time in the last four years, the Pix Theatre will host a Halloween night showing of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "The Phantom of the Opera" at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31.
"It always seems to draw in a nice crowd," organizer Teresa Stout said.

The showing is a chance to see the lavish 2004 film on the big screen and to join in the masquerade by donning period duds and masks.
"About 90 percent of the people dress up," Stout said.

"It's something adult to do," Stout said of the event's appeal. "They (the audience) want some fantasy, they want a chance to get away from the daily grind."

Stout, a "Phantom" afficionado, is co-host of a weekly Internet radio show called "All Things Phantom" and will bring a display of memorabilia she has collected over the years, as well as several costumes to display in the lobby.

Like all manifestations of the phenomenon that is "The Phantom of the Opera," from the original novel written in French by Gaston LeRoux in 1910, to the 1925 silent film and various stage and musical adaptations, the 2004 version of the film has its fans and critics. According to Stout, Andrew Lloyd Webber is often credited for bringing music and romance into the story.

Film critic Roger Ebert praised the work of director Joel Schumacher and the look of the 2004 film in his initial review, writing "Here, working with production designer Anthony Pratt ("Excalibur"), art director John Fenner ("Raiders of the Lost Ark"), set decorator Celia Bobak (Branagh's "Henry V" and "Hamlet") and costume designer Alexandra Byrne ("Elizabeth"), he creates a film so visually resonant you want to float in it."

Ebert was less in love with the film's iconic, yet repetitious music, but conceded "part of the pleasure of moviegoing is pure spectacle - of just sitting there and looking at great stuff and knowing it looks terrific. There wasn't much Schumacher could have done with the story or the music he was haned, but in the areas over which he held sway, he has triumphed."

Gerard Butler stars as the Phantom in the film. Stout, who recently saw his performance in "Law-Abiding Citizen," said, "If you watch him in the 'Phantom of the Opera' it's hard to believe it's the same person."

Tickets cost $10 and include a small popcorn and a truffle. Beer and wine will also be for sale at the theater. Information: www.albanypix.com.