In this latest episode, Richie and Jeff revisit THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA on Broadway! Take a listen as they discuss their thoughts on the show as a whole, why they think it is so popular, and if they think the show will ever close! Currently the longest running musical in Broadway History, this is an episode of HALF HOUR you will not want to miss!
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Richie [00:00:03] Half hour. Hello and welcome to Half Hour, an entertainment podcast through two worlds entertainment. I'm Richie!
Jeff [00:00:13] and I'm Jeff.
Richie [00:00:13] and were here to bring you all the casual conversations on the shows, concerts, films, movies, music and events and things that we see and observe throughout our careers. We would like to warn you that today's conversation will feature spoilers, so make sure you've checked out the content that you're listening to about today. Before moving forward with this podcast. You have been warned and today I have to say that, but I laugh a little bit because I think the majority of people have seen what we're talking about today. You're probably wondering why are they doing an episode on this show? And you know what, there's reasons. But today we are indeed talking about the Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, and you could probably see it in a million places in the world. A little bit of information and tidbits here. The Phantom of the Opera is a musical playing at the Majestic Theater on Broadway with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Charles Hart's Musical Staging and Choreography by Gillian Lynne and directed by Harold Prince, the legendary wonderful Harold Prince. May he rest in peace.
Jeff [00:01:18] One of Ritchie's idols.
Richie [00:01:20] An Idol of mine. Oh my gosh, of course, the longest running show in Broadway history, The Phantom of the Opera. We went to check it out because the last time I saw it, I was 14. How old were you? Were you about the same age the last time you saw it?
Jeff [00:01:32] The last time that I saw the show, I was, I think, 16.
Richie [00:01:36] Wow.
Jeff [00:01:37] Yeah.
Richie [00:01:37] So it's been a while.
Jeff [00:01:38] So 15 years later, and here we are.
Richie [00:01:41] We're in the summer of 2022. A lot of shows are closing. A lot of new shows are coming. We're in this like middle of the seasons kind of. And so I thought it was really cool. Like, why don't we go check the show? And it's been so long and I just.
Jeff [00:01:54] Kind of were talking about this for years now.
Richie [00:01:56] We've always wanted to go and see it.
Jeff [00:01:58] Yeah lets just get a cheap seat in the back of the theatre and just go see it, you know.
Richie [00:02:01] And we've always wanted to go back and see and it's all and I always forget like it's always running like it's all every eight times a week. That show's running years and years and years and years is really astonishing. So we, you know, actually, we're going to talk a little bit about the movie, too, because Jeff saw the movie for the first time right before we saw this production of.
Jeff [00:02:22] Double Whammy.
Richie [00:02:23] Yeah, exactly. So we'll talk a little about that. But what are your overall thoughts on this, seeing this as an adult versus a teenager? The overall thoughts on the production. Let's just hear what your thoughts on this.
Jeff [00:02:33] So I think personally for me, I think it was great to really come back and see this show as an adult. I think that, you know, seeing the show at 16, I was kind of just getting into to my theater feet wet there. So seeing a show like this with the material that's on the stage could be a lot for someone who's young, you know, what's happening, what's going on? I had never seen the movie, so it's like I had nothing to go based on because, you know, that's my thing. I never watch a movie musical before seeing the show unless it was like Chicago. But I, I really, I mean, there were parts that I remember from, you know, being a teenager and seeing the show. And then it was also like I left. I feel like when I left the theater, when I was a teenager, I wasn't like blown away.
Richie [00:03:18] Okay?
Jeff [00:03:20] And this time I feel like, you know, 15 years later, I just feel like there was so much more that I appreciated with this show. And I really rarely say things like this, but. This show is kind of like a perfect musical.
Richie [00:03:36] I was going to say it's a bold statement, but it is near-perfect in so many ways. And I find that. It's you can name Phantom of the Opera to like anyone. And almost everyone says like, Oh, yeah, I love that show. Very rarely. I don't know, maybe I've come across people who I roll their eyes on. Oh, you have Phantom. I seen it a million times. It's been around forever. But they're not rolling their eyes at the actual show. A lot of times they're not rolling their eyes. And like, what is going on on stage is just like the legendary legacy of it. Some people are like some people are kind of over that and that's okay. But I think I never really cause someone who is hated or someone who refuses to ever see it. You know, some people will like hate certain shows, right? I'm just blown away by all of it. And we can talk about so many things. But this I think we kind of said we were going to really talk about the overall production and the legacy of this and what it's done to culture. It is the longest running show on Broadway history. We saw Julia Udine play Christine at the performance that we were at and Ben Crawford was playing the Phantom. To me, I find that there are moments. First of all, it is so seamless. I'm blown away that like something operatic feels so fast. When I see opera, which I do, sometimes I find that sometimes it was very slow. And there's something about this beautiful hybrid mold between musical theater and opera that is brilliance to me. And it's not opera, opera, opera, and it's not musical theater, musical theater. It's this beautiful mold of it mixed with mystery and romance. And these are things that I think human beings in the world loved in the eighties, love today. They love romance on stage. They love the drama. There's comedy. There is beautiful mix of all of that. And I'm watching this as an adult and I'm like, Wow, that works. Oh, that works. Oh, that works. You know what I'm saying?
Jeff [00:05:33] I think another thing, too, in there musically, though, it's like, yes, it's the opera. Yes, it's musical theater. But at the time in the eighties, the pop elements that Andrew Lloyd Webber brought into the score.
Richie [00:05:46] Oh, it's brilliant. It is eighties synth the overture. You hear that synth going, wow, this is at eight. What a brilliant idea to bring that modern sound into that operatic style.
Jeff [00:05:57] Totally. And so many of those moments, I feel like it's there just hooks and chords that you just know they infect you when you hear them.
Richie [00:06:08] Mm hmm.
Jeff [00:06:09] You know, especially with so many of these songs like The List goes on and on from that show. And I always thought it was like, Oh, there's only one or two songs from that show that are like, Good. But now it's like eight.
Richie [00:06:21] It's a lot, it's a lot. And it all just and there's something about going to me. I love someone, someone I was talking to, they were like, I don't even remember what show. I see what theater in. And I'm like, I do. I remember every theater. I've seen a show and I don't know if you all out there do or not. I, I, if you name the show, I can tell you what theater I saw it and I'm like 95% sure every time, you know.
Jeff [00:06:41] So for the time. Yeah, but and.
Richie [00:06:42] For this I haven't been in the Majestic Theater, some theaters I've been in at least 20 times. I think this is the only the second time I've ever been in the theater. And how many iconic shows have been in this theater. So just for me to walk into that theater and see it and just be in it felt like goosebumps to me, you know?
Jeff [00:06:59] Well, it would be only the second time that you saw it.
Richie [00:07:01] Well, right. And the second is better because it's been running longer than I've been on this earth. Okay, everyone, now you all know that I wasn't born before 1980. What is it? 788. Yeah, in 1988. Yeah.
Jeff [00:07:13] So it was 86 and the.
Richie [00:07:15] Right. Right. But yes.
Jeff [00:07:19] That theater is beautiful.
Richie [00:07:22] The set is beautiful. And the actual theater without this side is beautiful. Yeah, there's, there's just this. I love that. It's the majestic theater and you're in this beautiful palace style environment. And the Phantom's voice travels through the theater, and he travels through the theater. And there's just this magic. There's such magic in the whole thing.
Jeff [00:07:43] There's a fun fact about that.
Richie [00:07:44] Yes.
Jeff [00:07:45] Phantoms voice throughout the theater, they have 24 speakers set up throughout that theater to give it that whole, like.
Richie [00:07:53] Haunted.
Jeff [00:07:53] Haunted, ghostly atmosphere. And I actually so I think when I saw the show the first time I was sitting like center orchestra. So the surround sound, it didn't hit me as much as like where we were sitting. We were.
Richie [00:08:04] Like more side.
Jeff [00:08:05] Orchestras. There was literally a speaker like right behind.
Richie [00:08:08] Yeah.
Jeff [00:08:08] So chilling.
Richie [00:08:09] Yeah.
Jeff [00:08:09] Sometimes he felt like he was right behind you. and it was quite cool
Richie [00:08:13] We were we went with a bunch of friends who all really love this too. And they had said I would go back and see this every few whatever years. It's like something that's just there. I think it's a comfort. There's something really comforting about knowing that that's there. And I do have a question for you and for our half our listeners about Phantom of the Opera. The question I have is why is The Phantom of the Opera such a highly successful and long running show, in your opinion?
Jeff [00:08:39] I think I'll like rephrase what I said the first some I don't. I do rarely say this but like I think it has all of the elements of it being a perfect musical. So because of that, I think people just fell in love with it. And what was put on that stage in 1988 still holds up to what it like. If it was put on the stage today and the fact that it has aged like fine wine. It's like, okay, the show is just perfect and it really comes down to there's a storyline that works. The characters become lovable. For any audience member to be like, Oh, I like that character. I like that character, you really connect with them. But I really, really think it is the music.
Richie [00:09:25] Mm hmm.
Jeff [00:09:27] I think that these songs are just treasures in the musical theater community.
Richie [00:09:33] Yes.
Jeff [00:09:33] You know, for sure.
Richie [00:09:35] It's fun. It. Well, I have to. I'm watching it, you know, years and years later, from when I first saw it with the director eye now know a lot more directing I've done since I'm 14. Right. And I'm saying, wow, look at what's going on over there. While this is going on over here. Look at how that scenery changed and moved. Look at what it's just directed so brilliantly. That legendary Hal Prince just puts this amazing directorial masterpiece together. And I am blown away by that. There is something I was trying to find the specific I don't remember where. And if our listeners remember where this was said, please like comment and chime in. There was someone said apparently, you know previews start and a lot of times with previews things are fixed and change. And that's the one or two weeks where things can be fixed and altered as much as the director wants until opening night. And then opening night comes in, the show gets locked. I don't know if they were the previews in London or the previews in New York, but someone said the first preview happened and it was so good that apparently nothing changed from the first preview to opening night. Like apparently not a lighting change, not a costume piece, not a scenery, not a music note. Apparently nothing changed. The audience was wrapped in it from the first preview. That is astonishing because I've seen things in previews and then later I'm like, Oh, that changed. Oh, that changed. I know people who have worked on shows. Oh yeah, I just got a whole new scene three nights before opening, and that's okay because it's such a living, breathing art form that of course things should change. The previews are there, but for you to be able to say nothing really changed in previews of this is astonishing. And like you said, it is timeless. I think the music is, okay, so it's between two songs for me as my favorite Andrew Lloyd Webber songs of all time. And it is either Music of the Night from Phantom of the Opera, or it is as if we never said goodbye from Sunset Boulevard. I do think there are two near-perfect emotional solos one for a male, one for a female in those respective shows. And I listen to Music of the Night again, and I cried again because I find it to be so moving and to hear that live. It is one of the largest orchestras on Broadway, I believe every night to hear that music live is stunning. When you say the music is stunning, it really is all about the music and lyrics.
Jeff [00:11:52] Yeah, the lyrics.
Richie [00:11:53] Lyrics to Me.
Jeff [00:11:54] are beautiful.
Richie [00:11:54] Charles Hart. We, of course, we praise Andrew Lloyd Webber for the music, but we can't forget that. Charles heart wrote the lyric, my favorite lyric in the song, I wrote it down maybe in the whole show, and I get chills and I could almost tear up saying it out loud. When the phantom says, You alone can make my soul take flight, I'm just blown away by that helped me make the music, you know, you alone can make my so that's so passionate and gorgeous and moving and the romance of it with the live orchestra. I just get tears. I started crying at that moment at the end of the song I just do. And at the end of the show and these are moments and I kind of want to talk about moments.
Jeff [00:12:35] There's so many moments.
Richie [00:12:36] What are your favorite moments? Because I can think of like a million, but are there any that really stand out as like iconic musical theater moments for you?
Jeff [00:12:43] I mean, it's so iconic when he's just taking her like you see him in the mirror, he takes her down to his lair. And for me, it's just that that that it's so iconic. It's so iconic. And just the whole set, the way they're doing the whole bridge down and.
Richie [00:13:05] Yes.
Jeff [00:13:06] And the boat, I mean.
Richie [00:13:08] And the candles.
Jeff [00:13:09] Out of the the candles coming out.
Richie [00:13:10] And the.
Jeff [00:13:11] Smoke, it really makes you say, like, is this the same thing that was on the stage in 1988?
Richie [00:13:17] But it also makes you say, how big are the wings in this theater? Like, there's so many different pieces. And I'm like, you really get the vibe that they go to many locations like this, the rooftop and then the basement, and you're like, Through this? Yeah, that is in.
Jeff [00:13:32] So many things. They're like for the directorial eye on that. It's just stunning to me.
Richie [00:13:39] I'm I'm going to go way back to the beginning of the show. The reveal of the chandelier. The reveal of the proscenium facade. And the overture playing. And you would think that watching this really slow moving chandelier up would be, like, painful. It's like the most gorgeous thing. And I am, you know, you're not really transported in the Prolog. You're like, okay, there's people standing there. There's clearly ahead of the to the theaters. And all the curtains are hanging and it's gray. It's this ghostly gray. And when the lights change and the reveal of the curtains come down, I always think to myself, How many crew members does it take to rehang that? You know, it's like all of that was all covered. I wonder how long it takes? How many crew members? It's got to be a star out there. If anyone knows, I'd love to know that.
Jeff [00:14:22] But there is some stat to like every performance. There's like 150 people working on that show.
Richie [00:14:29] Really?
Jeff [00:14:30] Yeah. I mean, look at the cast on. It's like 50 people alone.
Richie [00:14:32] The cast is huge. The orchestra, the crew plus they just people work in front of house and anywhere in the office is like everybody working on that show every day. It's crazy.
Jeff [00:14:40] It's a lot.
Richie [00:14:41] But when they when you see the overture playing to me, I'm a big fan of an overture. I even love when new shows put in like 30 second Overtures because I'm like, Give us, don't just raise the curtain. I actually like when a curtain raises on a play with no music. Like, that's something mysterious about that. But the musical, this big overture is playing and you're not bored. You're not sitting there waiting, you're not staring at a red curtain the whole time. You're watching the show, the chandelier rising. And if you're noticing, do you notice while the show is rising, all these curtains are rising on the stage like tons. And your and the lights are changing and you're being ripped right back to where this is supposed to take place. It's just someone takes this famous, famous book and puts it on stage and tells this tragic story. So. Overture. Both iconic moments. Another one when the angel is down, when they're on the rooftop and they're singing as if almost as if it was going. I know. I'll ask of you. And it's right before intermission. And he's in The Angel the whole time. And in the movie, it's a little different. You see him kind of hiding, right? We'll talk about the movie in a minute, but he's up there the whole time and then you just look in there. He was. That's a moment for me.
Jeff [00:15:53] It is a moment that I forgot about, too.
Richie [00:15:55] Yeah. Oh, yeah, yeah. If you forget about it, kind of like because I was there the whole song.
Jeff [00:16:00] Yeah. Because for me, seeing the movie recently, I was thinking like, oh, where is he? Is he watching them somewhere? And then to not really realize that he was in the Angel the whole time. And then that reveal I was like, Oh yeah.
Richie [00:16:13] Oh. And then we had that chandelier crash at the intermission is just iconic and it's stunning. And at the time it was probably amazing, like what was doing that on Broadway, that epic at that time, you know, it's like the turntable of Les Mis. That was a really iconic thing like this. The chandelier falling these big eighties moments. Musical theater was, like, astonishing.
Jeff [00:16:37] Well, when you think of the word spectacle in musical theater, I think the first thing you probably think of is Phantom of the Opera.
Richie [00:16:42] Yeah. I mean, put it up there with, you know, Elphaba Flying and Wicked. I mean, there's just moments of musical theater that you're like, That's an epic moment. I also think the ending is his mysterious departure with the mask. Sitting there is so iconic, so and it's beautifully tragic. The ending is so tragic. And it's like I cried again at the end. I cried at the end of the night and I cried the end because there's something so brilliant and tragic and it's really, really sad, but it's gorgeous. And the whole piece is just glued together in that moment at the end.
Jeff [00:17:17] But like, think about things like even like masquerade the opening to act two, you know, the costumes, the amount of costumes no matter in this dress. Yes, people are changing constantly and like also seeing the fun little things in there. It's like you think there are so many more people on the stage, but then they have like the dummy set up.
Richie [00:17:35] The masquerade, which is a great act to opener, isn't it?
Jeff [00:17:38] It really is.
Richie [00:17:38] And it's and like I said earlier, I think people love this so much because you're just putting together iconic, glorious, sweeping music. It doesn't feel too opera sometimes. A lot of opera is in another language, but some of the other languages, some I believe it's Italian. A lot of the opera is sung in this. I'm talking about the show. In the show that's even written so beautifully, I'm like, Is this an opera that was written a hundred or 200 years ago that that Andrew Lloyd Webber took note. He wrote all of this opera like. And to think that he came from Jesus Christ superstar Joseph of the amazing Evita, these like rock awesome scores. And he always says, I never got to write romance, love ballad really at the that level. And this was what he gave the world like, good for you.
Jeff [00:18:24] That's what we need to talk about here, because I think a ballad is either a hit or miss in the amount of duet ballads though.
Richie [00:18:33] Okay.
Jeff [00:18:34] The amount of duets on the musical theater stages, there's a ton of them. Not always good.
Richie [00:18:39] No, no, you're right.
Jeff [00:18:40] And I think every duet in this musical is almost nearly perfect. And the blend of both of the voices together, it's just like.
Richie [00:18:50] Yeah, it's stunning. And and all of it is just. We're just praising and praising.
Jeff [00:18:57] Praising nothing. Okay. Is there anything wrong?.
Richie [00:19:00] I was going to say. I will say one thing, actually. I would I would say something that I wonder about. In the beginning, you see, I believe it's all drawl Raoul and the old. Oh, well, first of all, madam jury might be my favorite character. Love her mystery. She knows everything going on there and she runs that place. And I wish she had her own song kind of because she's this great character and her stance and everything. But it's interesting how in the beginning you're seeing the Prolog is set in 1905 and then we go to Overture and then we go to Act One, Paris, late 19th century and then an entourage out to six months later. Why don't we ever go back to that auction? Like it almost would have been cool if maybe we in the back there at the end? Maybe not. I don't know. In the movie, they keep bringing up the present of 1905. And then when the Phantom goes to the grave and sees the rose there and realized that Christine has died. Right, and that Raoul or Elder or Raoul has left the flower there. Right. Like there was something kind of nice. And the movie's got its own problems. I know, but I think there was something about seeing them in that elderly phase in the present day multiple times. The movie played a little bit of that Prolog back, which we don't see again in the Book of the Stage show.
Jeff [00:20:21] I know because I think we talk about this sometimes with movies versus the stage production, and I think with movies sometimes it's like, you got to tell them everything. Yeah, because people don't really have imagination. Right?
Richie [00:20:33] Right.
Jeff [00:20:33] Right. I hate to say it, but when you're on the musical theater side of things, you don't want to know all of the answers. You want to try to come up with your own narrative on why did they start the show with that and ended the way that they did. And it's because we don't know where the Phantom goes.
Richie [00:20:50] Well, we don't know where he goes. Right. And there is that sequel show that Andrew Llyod Webber wrote to it that didn't really do it, never made it to Broadway, toured a little bit, I think. I love not knowing where he went. Did he where do you go? And there's also this like underlying question of like, is he real or not? And you're like, no, he's real. But it's like obviously it's, you know, but like, is he like and I love that they leave that up to your own imagination to say, what if he was a ghost the whole time and she fell in love with a spirit or a ghost? And he never and that's why she didn't go with him on them, because maybe she literally couldn't. I don't know. I mean, there's a theory there and that's what's the beauty of this?
Jeff [00:21:27] It's so beautiful and there's so many things. Yeah.
Richie [00:21:30] Yeah.
Jeff [00:21:30] I want to ask a question to everyone about Phantom of the Opera and to you. But do you think that the Phantom of the Opera will ever close? Yes. No. And why with your answer?
Richie [00:21:46] I don't think it will ever close. You mean New York, Broadway? London, Broadway? Broadway. I don't think so. I the only thing I could see happening is if there was some major legal issue or something and they had to or there was a sense of maybe the ticket sales just drop and they have to close it. But there's the pull in money.
Jeff [00:22:11] Not when in 2022. It's pulling in $1,000,000 a week.
Richie [00:22:14] And people will go almost right. I think it is almost pulling in $1,000,000. I know. Some weeks. So, no, I can't. And like I said, unless there was something catastrophic that happened. Where. No, but I couldn't. I couldn't see it. Why would it? Unless they literally got to a place and you never know. 40 years from now, 50 years from now, you could just be running 100 years. And maybe that generation of people do. I hate to say this don't it don't appreciate opera or romantic musical theater, and maybe that art form is in a different place than it is now. You know, opera 100 years ago is a lot different than it is now, but it's still around. And I know this is not an opera. I know this is a musical, but I, I unless something catastrophic, I couldn't see why that would close this. What do you think?
Jeff [00:22:59] For as long as Andrew Lloyd Webber is alive, it will not be closed. Yeah, well.
Richie [00:23:03] Yeah well he can have it in his.
Jeff [00:23:04] And whatever the estate decides to do with it, you know.
Richie [00:23:07] Right. And how things live on. I mean, the estates manage shows now that are revived and that come back. You know, there's a lot of things.
Jeff [00:23:15] I will try to keep these, like a show like this running.
Richie [00:23:18] People go, you know, there there's fans that go to see this like like there are people that their yearly tradition with their families, with their friends is to bring people to the like. Some people go, I know some people that go the same day every year like some people are really some people literally have seen it like 50 times. Like, there you go. You are out there, there are fans and there are so many productions of it running all over the world in many languages all the time. Yeah, it's astonishing. It really, really is.
Jeff [00:23:47] You want to know a fun fact.
Richie [00:23:48] Yes, yes.
Jeff [00:23:50] Since opening on Broadway, there has only been 18. Um. Phantoms.
Richie [00:23:56] Wow. Wow.
Jeff [00:23:58] Including the original Michael Crawford.
Richie [00:24:01] who did it for many years.
Jeff [00:24:02] So with the new Phantom that's in it now, it's only 18. And you want to know how many Christine's? Yes.
Richie [00:24:08] More. Many more than 18. No, no. 14. Oh, okay. Because that's a lot of the voice and the Christine usually has an alternate on that name. So.
Jeff [00:24:18] Yeah, unless I don't have that right. But I think I found the right o the right article on which.
Richie [00:24:23] Well I do know a lot of people. I mean, one of them.
Jeff [00:24:25] There's, there's like alternates but they don't count those as.
Richie [00:24:28] Oh, they don't. I wonder why. That's a shame.
Jeff [00:24:30] Taking on the role.
Richie [00:24:31] Yeah, they like to take it on fully because it is a role that's only performed by Christine six times a week. And then the Wednesday and Saturday matinees are an alternate, that alternate being Julia Udine, who we saw. We are an evening performance and we saw Julia.
Jeff [00:24:43] I don't think they count her.
Richie [00:24:44] So that's a shame because she's always wow.
Jeff [00:24:47] As as taking on as being in the role of Christine.
[00:24:52] Interesting right?
Richie [00:24:52] Yeah. It was also interesting that I think this might be the only show that is currently running that that is like outlived me like this show that's currently running. I think every other show that's currently on Broadway has come out or that production of it has started after. So there's something about this that's like I bow down to it because it has come before me and I think it's and and like I said, there is everything that people want mystery, romance, comedies, comedy in there at the core. A lot of stuff is great. I just I have nothing else to say about it other than I just. And let's talk for a really quick second about the movie. Okay. The movie being I had its problems. I don't think it's perfect. It was nice to document it. What do you think of the movie?
Jeff [00:25:42] I actually liked watching the movie for story purposes. Sometimes when you're in a musical. And there's so much going on in a musical like this, you lose some of the plot line. So watching the movie, I was able to really go into this musical and fully embrace knowing what the story already is. So sometimes it's good to do that. I like more of the surprise factor when I see theater. But in terms of the movie, though. It's not the worst thing that I know. I know. And, you know, I mean, in terms of musicals, I just think that everything is really held to the the standard of what Chicago has done to the movie musical space.
Richie [00:26:31] Right.
Jeff [00:26:32] And I don't think this lives up to that.
Richie [00:26:35] Mm hmm. Mm hmm.
Jeff [00:26:35] so.
Richie [00:26:36] So the movie was delayed a lot. It was. It just kept getting delayed and delayed and casting changes and things like that. It's not perfect. I do think it missed the mark in a in ways. But to be able to see the scenery and and the whole, they were not able to add special effects of fire and the chandelier. You know, they were able to kind of make it a little more than the live production,
Jeff [00:26:56] I think that it didn't need and this is what the beauty of the Phantom of the Opera is, though, is like it didn't need the stars and it should have cast people that could have really owned the role versus the role owning them.
Richie [00:27:10] Right. And it has big shoes to fill in these roles.
Jeff [00:27:11] Yeah. So. One more fun fact. The Phantom of the Opera is the largest single generator of income and jobs in Broadway in U.S. theatrical history. Wow. I mean, obviously, you would think about that. But because it's been running for so long, but it's the number one thing in theater generating income.
Richie [00:27:30] Yes. And there's so many. And you would think a show would start big. And then by now, maybe they'd have like ten people in the ensemble. I mean, I don't think there's like huge and like and they're not they're not pulling anything back. And if that is exactly what we saw, it is exactly what people saw opening night and like bravo to those people keeping that exactly running the way it needs to, especially for Hal Prince, his legacy and his direction and the way nothing. You know, obviously, when a show opens, nothing changes. But you ever wonder, like, how often Andrew Lloyd Webber sees it? Like, does he ever go to London? I think he's in London. Right? Does he ever go see that production or the Broadway? And they just pop in.
Jeff [00:28:08] And he would have to be. I mean, he was back here DJing from the Marquee.
Richie [00:28:12] Oh, yeah. Yeah, he did. At the opening. He was deejay mixes and.
Jeff [00:28:17] All because he was like, you know.
Richie [00:28:18] Who needs to be over here? Like, I know he fought really hard for that. And yeah, it's amazing. It really is. Oh, my gosh. Time already. I could go on about half an hour about this, but last minute thoughts, wrap it up. Favorite moments or just thoughts overall on this and what do you think it is?
Jeff [00:28:34] Overall, I mean, if anyone's listening to this and they're deciding on if they should go back to see Phantom of the Opera or not, I would highly suggest just go and getting a ticket. You know, you can get cheap tickets to see the show. Just sit anywhere in there and just go back and experience. I think the magic that's happening in that theater, it really to me is a fully immersive, magical, immersive experience. You feel emotions and it's just it was great. And, you know, my aunt loves this show. She says it's literally her favorite show. And she actually got us a ticket to when I was a teenager. She was like, you guys have to see it. But, you know, I can kind of see now why this is her favorite show.
Richie [00:29:14] Yeah, totally. Totally. And for you. Yes. And for me, it is near perfect. It is a staple in not only in musical theater history, but British history. You know, it's a British show, but it's also, in a way, a staple of American musical theater history, because it's the longest running Broadway show. And I think there's something really charming and special about that. It's very timeless to me. And and like I said, I don't cry that much in shows. You know, I really has to actually be moved. But the last few shows I've seen, I cried in like with Glenn Close in Sunset is Andrew Lloyd Webber shows. I don't know, something gripping about his music to me. Yeah.
Jeff [00:29:52] And I mean, it just, I think the word creative.
Richie [00:29:54] Yeah, it's brilliant and it's.
Jeff [00:29:56] A lot of really thought out creative things that have happened in Andrew Lloyd Webber. Webber shows like, like you said, Sunset, Cats, you know, some of these big shows that are staples in musical theater history. You know, when people are writing now and creating now, we sometimes say the word creative wasn't there. And now seeing stuff like this kind of relights the fire for me that like you need to put time and effort into putting out a good product.
Richie [00:30:24] And it's always nice when you see Andrew Lloyd Webber. He always praises Roger Richard Rodgers as his inspiration for what he does. And it's always really nice when you see people look back and say, Well, look who came before me. And if you're looking at someone like the iconic Richard Rodgers and that what the things that he wrote.
Jeff [00:30:40] But look at so many of those shows yeah they're still staples in musical theater history and and we don't see that a lot any more.
Richie [00:30:47] Right. Right.
Jeff [00:30:47] It's like, how long is this show going to be? You know, two weeks or.
Richie [00:30:51] You know, and you do see, obviously, Sondheim, you know, Lin-Manuel Miranda, there's definitely people Jonathan Larson wrote some work. You know, there's definitely people. But we'll see who the next people are.
Jeff [00:31:01] What's the next writing team?
Richie [00:31:03] Yeah. Well, we thank you so much for listening. We really hope you enjoyed listening to go check out Phantom of the Opera because. Why not? It's there. It's there. It's just there. Go. It's it's I don't think it's going anywhere.
Jeff [00:31:14] So we hope this will be our. Yearly.
Richie [00:31:15] Yeah, maybe we do this once a year on average. A lot.
Jeff [00:31:18] We end the season with Phantom.
Richie [00:31:19] Yeah, now.
Jeff [00:31:20] Well, maybe we'll do it every year. We end with a show that we haven't seen.
Richie [00:31:24] Oh, like Chicago or Wicked or Mormon or something. Yeah, maybe. Yeah, that's cool. Well, we hope you enjoy it today. Please check us out on all our social media @halfhourpodcast on Tik Tok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube Two Worlds Entertainment, all those places and chime in comments. Let us know what you think. We I asked a few questions here. Jeff asked a few questions. So let us know what you think. We'd love to hear more some more shows coming as we enter the fall, more pop music coming as we enter the fall. So stay tuned for more coming up in September and onward.
Jeff [00:31:53] So taking a gap week.
Richie [00:31:55] We are taking gap week. It's Labor Day weekend and then we kind of start back up again, September with more pop music and more shows. Broadway, you've got a lot of new shows coming this fall. So thank you all so much for listening. We hope you enjoy it. And signing off for now.
Jeff [00:32:09] I'm Richie.
Jeff [00:32:10] And I'm Jeff.
Richie [00:32:10] Saying Ta Ta.
Jeff [00:32:11] Bye.