We gave Phoebe the choice of having a party or doing something special for her birthday. After talking it over for a few weeks, she finally decided that she wanted to see Phantom of the Opera.
We took a few photos out in front so that we would always remember it was her 9th birthday that we went to see it. Though Lolly knew absolutely nothing about the musical she was about to see, she apparently had some sort of idea in her head, as evidenced in the photos below:
Whenever we see a show, I try to tug on a few of my connections to see if I can add that special factor to the experience. I was thrilled to find out that the current Phantom is a colleague of mine from several years ago. Unfortunately I lost the keys to my filing cabinet which contained his contact information, so I went through a friend of a friend to get our backstage tour.
Lucky for us, we were still in the theatre when he descended after cleaning up. Hugh Panaro is as talented as he is gracious, and it was so wonderful to see him. We also bumped into the actors who played Raul and Christine. I was so glad I insisted on lugging my big camera to capture the backstage moments.
Not only did we meet the actors, but the girls got up close and personal with the chandelier, the Phantom’s organ, the costumes (gorgeous!) and I think the girls snuck a peek at the wig room too. It was fascinating to see some of the lighting instruments that are out of date now, 23 year-old technology still in use! And the remote control for the Phantom’s boat is humongous…it’s like an atari, never been replaced since 1988.
I feel quite out of the loop when it comes to theatre these days. I used to feel a bit melancholy when I went to the theatre, as I can relate to the job of the actors and I used to ache to be on stage with them! It is not so raw anymore, and I enjoy the theatre much more. I have to say though, when my very discerning Lolly leaned over to me and whispered: “Mom, you’re better than Christine,” it made me smile. And later our new friend Mary, who gave us the tour, messaged me: “Raul wants to know, were you in A New Brain in DC?”….that also stroked my ego a bit…for better or worse, someone remembered MY performance from almost a decade ago! Maybe the theatre is alive for me yet…