We invite you to come and travel back with us to 1890, to the Paris Opera House where there is rumored to be a ghost. Warren Players opens its fall season with the musical, "Phantom." This haunting production will be presented on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Oct., 27, 28 and 29 at 8 p.m. and on Sunday, Oct. 30, at 2 p.m. at the Struthers Library Theatre, Warren.
Maury Yeston's score of gorgeous melodies is lush and compelling - music to break your heart - whose beauty connects to the deepest parts of the soul. Beyond the remarkable score is the unique story and the moving way it is expressed. Among the many touching moments in this production is "The Story of Erik, the Phantom," beautifully told. We learn why the phantom is disfigured and why he was raised from youth, hidden in the crypts and lagoons beneath the Paris Opera House. The adult Eric's inner beauty reflects the music that all his life has wafted down from the stage above, and has sustained him.
But, there is much action, murder and mayhem in this heart-twisting tale. Warren Players' telling of this tale boasts an exceptional cast, orchestra, and crew.
‘Phantom’ played by Jordan Spencer haunts the streets of Warren
Although it never appeared on Broadway, this Phantom is the American version of "Phantom of the Opera." Based on Gaston Leroux's 1910 original novel, the musical was first presented in Houston, Texas in 1991. It is constructed around more richly developed characters than any other version. Yeston's version actually predates Andrew Lloyd Webber's better-known one and although both retell Gaston Leroux's story, the unexpected origin of the Phantom in this version gives the story an extra, personal, twist. Where the Webber version tends to focus on the spectacular, this is a moving Phantom. It goes beyond special effects to explore the love story. Kopit's book is stronger romantically than Lloyd Webber's, more suspenseful, and contains an original score by Yeston.
Sue Spencer, the show's director, states, "This has been a labor of love filled with the most amazing people involved with the production. I believe the audience is in for a truly unforgettable evening. From the sets to the costumes to the beautiful lighting, with notable behind-the-scenes work from the stage crew, all work together to create a visual treat, complete with some tricks. The show is so full of emotion, a few extra tissues may be in order."
Spencer has spent the last two months working closely with Jen Morley, production manager, and Fran Leto, musical director, in preparation for this epic event. The music will draw you into the story, and the orchestra adds the perfect amount of musical lightness or suspense. Maury Yeston also wrote the music for "Titanic," another show whose story line and music is so compelling.
Phantom kicks off Warren Players 80th year of offering community theater in Warren. Tickets for Phantom are $14 for adults and $12 for seniors and students. Tickets are available at the theater office from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and at the door. Phantom has a PG-13 rating.
In addition, Players are presenting a holiday show for the whole family, "Candle in the Window," during the first weekend in December. To see the whole season schedule, visit Warren Players on Facebook or contact the Struthers Library Theatre office for a season playbook at 723-7231.