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Happy 25th Anniversary to The Phantom of the Opera!!!

Dear readers, I apologize for a late post. As you must know, this year is the 25th anniversary of "The Phantom of the Opera" (POTO). Yes, you heard me right. The Andrew Lloyd Webber sensation inspired from the book by Gaston Leroux. I am a huge 'phan', and I'm not even a big theatre buff. Okay, maybe a little bit. Like every little girl in her high school chorus class, I've dreamed of playing Christine on Broadway. Of course, I traded singing lessons for rent money, and now I can't sing nearly as well as I did seven years ago, but it's the thought that counts, right?

Anyways, I inevitably owe my inspiration to start writing to this wonderful musical. My Nana first told me about the Phantom in the '90s. She took me to the downtown theatre house and we would watch plays together: Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde, Beauty and the Beast. But Phantom never came to Florida and my hope at ever getting to New York to see it dwindled. In 2004, the POTO movie came out and I got to see what my grandmother admired so much in a musical. In short, I became obsessed.

Opening night casting call: January 26th, 1988.
Steve Barton (Raoul), Harold Prince, Michael Crawford
(The Phantom), Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Sarah
Brightman (Christine). 
(In case you didn't know...The Phantom of the Opera is a Victorian romance set in the Paris Opera House where a young singer, Christine, is encourage to become a star with the help of an angel of music--The Phantom--who falls desperately in love with her. But she cannot return his affection, because she has feelings for another.)

If I could not see the Broadway play in New York or sing as Christine, then I would do the next best thing, writing a story inspired by POTO. :)

My friend encourage this behavior by lending me a book called, "A Rose In Winter" by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, which became my favorite book. Since it contained a masked, reclusive hero and a headstrong, talented heroine, I couldn't help but fall in love. My very first novel titled, "The Phantom of Fonthill Abbey" (with working title, "The Earl's Redemption" and Book #1 in the Victorian Redemption series) is a story of redemption, love, and betrayal. Sound familiar? William Kendall, the fourth Earl of Wiltshire, is the phantom of Fonthill Abbey. He is scarred from his past, and full of love just waiting to be given to someone worthy who comes along like his future wife, Elizabeth. In my novel, Christine ends up with the Phantom as I've always wished. :)

Here is a tribute to all the Phantoms who took every woman's heart year after year:

Michael Crawford
(The first Phantom.)
Howard McGillin
Hugh Panaro
(The current NYC Phantom.)
John Cudia

Cris Groenendaal
Mark Jacoby

Kevin Gray
Marcus Lovett
Davis Gaines
Steve Barton
Timothy Nolen

Brad Little
Jeff Keller
Ted Keegan
Gerard Butler
(From the 2004 film.)

Gary Mauer

A final note from the author:

Inside the Majestic Theatre, waiting for
The Phantom of the Opera to begin.
Now, if you've continued this far into my post (in which, I hope you have enjoyed the Phantoms), I would like to share with you my experience in 2010 at the Majestic Theatre in New York.

Pandora Gray (left) and her friend (right)
outside of the Majestic Theatre, NYC.
Nothing compared to seeing the show in person. I waited so many years to see it...and this is proof that dreams do come true...eventually. :)

Thank you for reading, sharing in my experience, and learning through my past.

Happy writing!
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Anonymous said...

Phantom in NYC 2010!! That was an awesome trip!! Miss you much luv and hope to see you soon!

- your friend in the photos, kaitlin

Hope Clark said...

I saw Phantom in Las Vegas last year, where they did remarkable things with the chandelier. I've always been a Phantom fan. Thanks for sharing.

Hope Clark

Pandora Gray said...

Thank you so much for the comment, Kaitlin. I wish we could to go NYC again! :)


Pandora Gray said...

The chandelier is a wonderful thing to behold, Hope. Too bad they misplaced the scene in the 2004 movie. Phantom will live on forever. Such a timeless story.

Have a great week and thank you for the comment.


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