We often refer to our new theatrical production of PHANTOM at the Players Theatre as being edgy. As I prepared for tonight’s rehearsal with Christine and Raoul, intending to push them into edgier performances, I had to ask myself what it really meant to be “edgy”.
I think for us it means working outside of the comfort zone. I mean our comfort zone as director, writer, composer, choreographer and actors – but also the comfort zone of the audience as well. The format itself is outside a comfort zone. It is not a typical musical. The music supports the story in very non-traditional ways. Imagine – no big splashy opening number! It is all acoustic with the chamber ensemble of percussion and cello in front of the stage and in full view of the audience. The singers have to reach over the pit with volume and passion to grab the listener’s ears. There is no magical sound man sitting in the back balancing the show into audible perfection. No it is raw and not at all what we are used to hearing.
Should a “classic” piece evoke a lack of comfort and ease? Well, certainly Gaston Leroux, who would shoot off a pistol in his house after completing each novel, did not care for comfort. Erik – the life blood of the story – who created secret passages and trap doors through the opera, who used reeds to transport his voice from one room to the other and every other possible illusion did not seek comfort.
No my friends – if you seek comfort – retreat to your favorite coffee shop. If you want to have the hair raise on the back of your next – come see our PHANTOM.
Until next time – Be Bold!