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.


  1. My now husband took me to see Phantom in San Francisco on one of our first will always have a special place in my heart. Didn't know about the 25th anniversary version. Thanks!

  2. I absolutely love Phantom, too! I've seen the opera twice now and will see it as often as I can because it's so phenomenal! I'll have to check out the 25th anniversary addition.

  3. Phantom of the Opera may just be my favorite broadway show ever. I saw the movie version in 2005 I believe and have been obsessed ever since. I always knew of the music, but not the story exactly. I saw the show live a year ago in NYC. It was incredible.

  4. I watched the 25th Anniversary of Phantom on Netflix not too long ago. I really liked it, and I think I watched it again a few days later. I LOVED Ramin Karimloo! So dreamy. Although, I am so with you about Gerard Butler. Oh my gosh, I just couldn't understand why Christine was all goo-goo for Raoul. I mean his hair! So what if the Phantom killed a few people. I mean, it's Gerard! :)

  5. I absolutely ADORE the Phantom of the Opera. It's one of the classical musicals that will always have a place in my heart. The dramatic story, the beautiful music - gah, it's AMAZING. I watched it on Broadway in 2011, and it was so, so, so beautiful.

  6. Love this! Phantom is a favourite of mine as well, although it takes a backseat to Les Mis, which I ADORE. Ther's just something about those heartfelt stories set to song. And I hear ya on not wanting to see the sequel...the ending was SO perfect, why ruin it???

  7. Oh my gosh, that clip is really good but I feel so GUILTY for cheating on Gerard that I actually got up and turned on the TV and tried to find Gerard's version on Netflix but couldn't. Then I got on the COMPUTER to make sure I just didn't miss it and sure enough, it isn't there. I have cheated on my boyfriend Gerard the Phantom with this guy, who is also great. Dangit, Jen.

  8. I'm reading the book right now! I've never seen the musical, though, whomp-whomp.

  9. You HAVE to watch love never dies. I watched the 25th anniversary one too. Seriously love never dies is amazing!

  10. All things "Phantom of the Opera", but especially the 2004 Joel Schumacher film which literally introduced me to the story. There's something about the G. Leorux's story & Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical insight that haunts. So much so that the film continues to constantly add new admirers, and for anyone who never saw it on the big screen, there's an Annual Public Screening each November in Los Angeles. That really is the only way to appreciate the spectacular beauty of this film, it deserves no less. Especially the awakening of the Opera House & that thundering music that soars ...

  11. I am a 12 year old girl, and I'm completely OBSESSED with the 2004 musical! I'm reading the book now, and I especially love when the chandelier rises, and the music starts! I'm always gonna love POTO.

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