Sunday, February 10, 2013
This One Thing: I'm Obsessed With
This One Thing is a feature where I'll be talking about, obviously, one thing. Any thing. Every thing. I love books, which is why I have this blog. But I love to talk about all kinds of crap. And this seems like the perfect opportunity to do so.
Okay, so flashback to 1998: picture 13 year-old Jen with blunt bangs, a freshly-starched white button up, and a clarinet. YES, a clarinet. I've always loved to sing, but I was way too shy to do anything like that. So junior high band, it was! I consider this my introduction to most musicals, off key and horribly timed as our renditions may have been. Most of the pieces were too mundane to really remember, but BAM. My adolescent heart went a-flying when we played THIS ONE PIECE: Phantom of the Opera.
Now, I had no idea what the actual musical was about. All I knew was that Wayne played the absolute hell out of the tuba and Mike and Cathy's saxophone playing sent chills down my spine and I had to know more, more, more of the music that even a gaggle of 13 year olds could make sound fantastic.
I'll go so far as to admit that I downloaded MIDI files of the music, since these were the days before Spotify (and even Napster, Morpheus, and Limewire!) I never knew the words, but I rocked out to my MIDIs.
I'm embarrassed to say that I never even watched Phantom of the Opera until the 2004 movie came out and Gerard Butler sexified the Phantom to the point where I thought "oh, it's all good. He just has a little disfiguration. LOVE HIM, CHRISTINE DAAE. Just keep the mask on that shiz and get over it!" Yes, it was Gerard Butler (and his delicious, growling voice) that made Phantom seriously come alive.
After bawling my eyes out at the movie, I convinced my husband to take me to see Phantom! in Las Vegas, after which I was a sobbing mess. And I spent the remainder of the week twirling around the casinos singing "Think of Me" to myself and whoever would listen.
And I read Susan Kay's Phantom, which was another ground-breaking and essential fanfiction, that made me fall even deeper in love with Phantom of the Opera. Didn't know it was possible, but here we are.
Then in 2012, I discovered on Netflix the 25th Anniversary at Royal Albert Hall. I scoffed a bit, I won't lie. Because who could be a better Phantom than perfect Gerard? And who could be a more convincing Christine than Emmy Rossum?
Um, Ramin Karimloo. That's who.
And Sierra Boggess. Her, too.
Guys, I can't even tell you how many times I've watched this on Netflix. And downloaded the soundtrack. And watched YouTube videos. And finally cracked and bought it on DVD, because it won't be on Netflix forever. And watched interviews with the characters and extra features and everything.
I'm in love with this musical, forever and always. But I'll never watch the sequel, Love Never Dies, because there was absolutely nothing wrong with the way Phantom ended. It broke my heart and my soul, just the way it always has and always will. The tragedy is what made this story perfect for me.
Seriously, you guys. If you loved Phantom of the Opera like I do, do yourself a favor and watch the 25th anniversary version. I dare you not to cry.