Review: The Phantom of the Opera starring Ali Ewoldt
The Phantom of the Opera is the longest running Broadway show, and it's for good reason. Everyone, whether they've seen the show or not, know the strong, loud organ chords in the beginning of the title song.
Ali Ewoldt currently holds the role of Christine Daaé, a member of the opera house who is plucked out to the chorus for a lead role. Ewoldt's voice is well suited to the role of Christine, and she approaches high notes with perfect clarity and precision.
James Barbour is currently the title character, a role he has held off and on since 2015. He is obviously comfortable in the character and his voice lends itself to Andrew Lloyd Webber's compositions as his acting and movement lends itself to the role.
Rodney Ingram and Michele McConnell as Raoul and Carlotta respectively, fill the stage with their presence and fit their roles perfectly. McConnell possesses an obvious ability to play a character with charm and grace and Carlotta is indeed a character. She brings the perfect amount of humor to the part without taking a funny moment too far. Ingram's talent is shown in full when Raoul is beyond the lake with Phantom and Christine as Phantom tries to kill him. He conquers the scene well and manages to bring his character on an arc throughout the show while giving a splendid performance.
It would be remiss to not mention the amount of talent possessed by the rest of the cast. The show is an ensemble piece at times, and throughout ballet, singing, and movement, the entire cast is in sync.
One of the best moments of the show is the falling of the chandelier. Not only does it create a spectacular end to the first act, but it is a spectacular design as is the rest of the set. The music of course, is Lloyd Webber's finest, and feels like a breath of fresh air, despite the nearly 30 years it has been on Broadway.
The production does indeed allow "fantasies to unwind" with it's magnificent score, marvelous cast, and incredible design. Whether one is old or young, has seen the show 1,000 times or has never seen it, it is one to see again and again.