Posted October 4, 2011 by Ugly Bug in Actors, Theatre. Tagged: 25th Anniversary, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Colm Wilkinson, Hadley Fraser, London, Michael Crawford, Peter Joback, Ramin Karimloo, Sarah Brightman, Sierra Boggess, The Phantom of the Opera. 11 Comments
These are from the finale at the Royal Albert Hall, celebrating 25 years of The Phantom of the Opera.
Posted by Iris E on October 4, 2011 at 9:25 am
Thank you so much for these pictures! I especially love the 5th one, Colm is dapper as always, and Peter Joback looks so dreamy~~
Les Mis is my all-time favorite, and I’m obssessed with Sondheim, but POTO is the very first musical I fell in love with. So the 25th is quite emotional for me. I didn’t get to watch the celebration live here in China, but reading about it from your blog has been wonderful!
Posted by Ugly Bug on October 4, 2011 at 10:12 am
You’re very welcome! It’s a joy to hear from fans around the world.
Les Mis is my favorite too, and I hope you go read the post here “My Les Mis,” about seeing the original London production in 1986. One year before that, in the summer of 1985, I was a technical theatre student, and I got to work on a production with Stephen Sondheim actually there in the theatre, every day, re-working the show. One of these days I’ve got to do a post about it.
Can you watch YouTube videos in China? Just curious.
Posted by Ralph Adette on October 5, 2011 at 10:10 am
Posted by Ugly Bug on October 5, 2011 at 10:26 am
Oh, sorry! Even I have trouble finding my older posts. My next project is adding an index page, at least for Les Mis posts and screencaps.
Posted by Ugly Bug on October 4, 2011 at 5:56 pm
Happy to hear you enjoyed it so much! Sorry to hear you got sick after. I know it left me needing some rest and recovery. Be sure to let us know what that “something extra” is all about.
Posted by Iris E on October 5, 2011 at 1:34 am
Just read the “My Les Mis” post, love it! Wow, to be able to see the original London production, to see the young, slim, handsome Michael Ball playing Marius (still handsome now of course)… I couldn’t even imagine what a thrill that must’ve been! I completely agree with you on the “no dancing” part, it’s the drama and tension and emotional drain that draws me to it.
In 2002, the 3rd US Tour Company of Les Mis made a stop in Shanghai, China for a couple of weeks during their Asian tour, and my father took me to see the show. That was the first Broadway musical ever to visit China, and also my very first musical experience. With some unbelievable luck, the performance we attended was the premiere, the only performance starring Colm Wilkinson. (The rest of the tour featured Randal Keith as Valjean.) I was only 13, and I knew nothing whatsoever about musical theatre. My father fell in love with it, I saw him crying at the end of Bring Him Home. I on the other hand, liked the show, but I just couldn’t quite understand it.
After that, Cats and POTO came to Shanghai too. I love Cats now of course, but it didn’t impress me back then. Because I was classically trained in piano and French Horn, because I love the music of Bach and Chopin, and basically because I was just an arrogant little kid, I felt that a buch of adults dressed like animals dancing around just seemed childish.
But POTO was another story. I completely fell in love with the phantom (portrayed by Brad Little), and I remember a time when I couldn’t get through the day without playing Music of the Night and All I Ask of You for about 20 times a day. After that, musicals gradually became a part of my life.
POTO was my entry to the world of musical theatre, so I’m really grateful for that. I have loved every phantom I’ve ever listened to: Michael Crawford, Colm Wilkinson, John Owen-Jones, Simon Bowman, Anthony Warlow, Gerard Butler in the movie version, Brad Little (just saw him and Lea Salonga in a musical gala last month in Shanghai, both were fabulous!), and Ramin Karimloo. My love for Les Mis blossomed and matured over time, but POTO was like my first love, you just never forget!
And to answer your question, to watch youtube or log onto twitter or facebook or sometimes even google in China, we need to use a special VPN to get past the Internet blockage. We call this ‘climbing the wall’. But not everybody knows how to do this, so the population of ‘wall climbers’ is quite small. And even if you know how, the gvmt would still tighten the grip on Internet sensorship from time to time, e.g., on National Day, sensitive Anniversaries, or sometimes just whenever they feel like it. As far as I remember, this blockage thing started in 2007 or 2008, and this ‘wall’ has been expanding non-stop. The prospect looks pretty bleak.
Looking forward to your post about working on that Sondheim production!
Posted by Ugly Bug on October 5, 2011 at 9:45 am
Thank you for sharing your memories! It’s fascinating to hear about life in China and what you can access.
Michael Ball was so handsome! I can’t believe I didn’t go see him as Raoul in POTO two years later, when I spent six months in London and had so much opportunity.
My uncle in London used Cats to reference everything that was wrong with West End theatre, so I didn’t dare go see it and risk being ex-communicated.
You’ve inspired me, and now I’m working on my Sondheim post. It’s going to be a long one!
Posted by Liam on January 4, 2012 at 9:35 am
These pictures look really nice especially the fifth one, something about the blurriness of his hands just makes it look really cool, i was just wondering if i could get permission to upload that to wikipedia for the colm wilkinson page since there isn’t a picture on his page and i think that one looks really good. if you don’t want to give permission it’s fine.
Posted by Ugly Bug on January 4, 2012 at 10:01 am
I understand wikipedia wants only public domain images, but go ahead and give it a try. In this particular case, please don’t credit The Ugly Bug Ball, so it will be less likely to get deleted there. I always appreciate being asked, so thank you.
Posted by Liam on January 4, 2012 at 10:29 am
okay thanks very much, i’ve never tried uploading images on wikipedia but i presume as long as i have permission to use the picture it should be okay, i’ll give it a try anyway thanks
Posted by Ugly Bug on January 4, 2012 at 11:46 am
Screencaps made from copyrighted material falls into a strange grey area, one I’m still trying to figure out. Good luck!
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