Date: Oct 31, 2011
Title: Phantom Of The Opera
Band: Phantom Of The Opera
Venue: The Venetian Hotel and Casino
Place: Las Vegas, NV
Author: Robin Roth
Photos: Robin Roth
Editor: Mark Lewis
Posted: Oct 31, 2011




                             “mUSIC OF THE NIGHT”













From the moment I entered the magnificent, awe-inspiring, 40 million dollar, custom-built theatre at the Venetian Hotel and Casino, I felt as if I were in the heart of a Paris Opera House situated right inside of the Phantom's frightening dark world. I urge you to look around the theatre after taking your seat to feel the aura and setting of the story. This mental and visual time warp creates an ambience of a theatre within a theatre. The Phantom’s underground lair is superbly crafted as candles and smoke rise from the floor while the Phantom glides in his gondola through the murky water and fog.




This dazzling Las Vegas Spectacular is based on the classic by Gaston Leroux. The musical (winner of seven Tony Awards), tells the story of the gruesomely deformed Phantom who lurks underneath the stage of the 1911 famous Paris Opera, while conducting his reign of terror over all its occupants. The phantom quickly falls madly in love with the young beautiful soprano Christine, who has the voice of an angel.  He devotes himself to tutoring, teaching, and creating his new star for the Opera. Mentored by this mysterious and strange vocal coach who appears only in the shadows and lives in a secret lair below the opera house, Christine is still grieving and confused over the death of her father.



Ironically, she believes that her “angel of music” is actually the ghost of her late father. After numerous demands from the Phantom, Christine is forced to choose between the love of her life and a life of horror and seclusion with the Phantom. Throughout the story, the Phantom threatens great disaster to the theater and to the lives of the actors and audience members.


The Las Vegas version of The Phantom of the Opera, in my opinion, felt more dramatic, sensitive, exciting, and captivating in comparison to the other productions I have seen around the world. Furthermore, the unparalleled cast made this show simply flawless. Some might find the added theatrical effects a bit too much and over the top. However, I felt it added to the intensity of the story. For those of you who are Phantom of the Opera purists (as I am), have no fears about this shortened production. It was all created and edited by masters Andrew Lloyd Webber, Hal Prince, and others from the show’s original creative team. As impossible as it must have been, together, they somehow reconceived their flawless 3 hour show into a spectacular 95-minute production without intermission.


This show moves quite swiftly so, consequently, there is no down time. It almost felt as if I was watching a movie even though it was performed live right before my eyes.




Furthermore, I was actually quite relieved that this shortened production included each and every song from the original Phantom. I was very impressed by the spectacular sets and extravagant illusions, as well as the awesome and dramatic notorious chandelier experience which is unlike any Phantom I have ever seen. I was spellbound and glued to the stage the entire show. Somehow, this production seemed to bring me into the story and touched all of my emotions. It was, “Phantom perfection”!


Needless to say, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s legendary stunning music heightens the romance and tragedy of this story. Maria Bjornson’s glorious designs and Harold Prince’s astonishing direction transport the audience to the Paris Opera and the Phantom’s candlelit underground home.





After an intense nation-wide search for the most talented and stellar singers and actors to fill the shoes of some of the most beloved characters in contemporary musical theatre, the gifted cast was handpicked by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Harold Prince. Hence, “Phantom the Las Vegas Spectacular”,was born.


The role of “The Phantom” is played by Tony Award-winner Anthony Crivello, known for his roles on Broadway in, Kiss of the Spider Woman and Les Misérables. Anthony’s performance is remarkable and electrifying. His strong yet sensitive portrayal of the phantom is not only stunning but magical. His voice and acting is haunting and left me feeling the pain and emotions of the phantom long after leaving the theatre.





Christine Daaé”, who was seen in regional productions of Mame and The Sound of Music, is cast as the delicate ingénue Kristi Holden. She has a magnificent soprano voice, acting talents that mesmerize the audience, and her very presence lights up the stage. Brava, Christine!





Andrew Ragone, from the national tours of Evita and the Tony Award-winning, The Light in the Piazza, plays the role of the charming, “Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny.”  This multi talented actor’s portrayal as Raoul is most memorable and impressive. I was completely enthralled and captivated feeling all the emotions, delight and pain displayed by his character.





I must say that the chemistry between the actors Anthony,

Christine and Andrew was like watching poetry in motion


phantom_9                phantom8


Musical Diva, “Carlotta Giudicelli”, brilliantly played by Joan Sobel has sung with Opera Ontario and New York City Opera Touring Company.




As Carlotta’s companion, Opera star “Ubaldo Piangi,” is the incredible Broadway veteran Larry Wayne Morbitt who brings 12 years of Phantom experience to The Phantom Theatre at The Venetian. 


Tina Walsh, from the original companies of Mamma Mia! Las Vegas and EFX! , superbly plays the demanding dance mistress “Madame Giry.”




Brianne Kelly Morgan makes her musical debut in Phantom – The Las Vegas Spectacular as inquisitive ballerina “Meg Giry.”  


The Opera’s new managers “Monsieur Andre” and “Monsieur Firmin” are performed by John Leslie Wolfe and Lawson Skala. These outstanding, extraordinary veteran stage actors with extensive opera and musical theatre credits were spectacular.  They prove in their performance that there are no small parts in the theatre.


Phantom’s ensemble overflows with exceptional talent featuring performers from Broadway to film, each bringing unique chemistry to one of the most experienced casts on the Las Vegas Strip.





I was very impressed and delighted to see that even after performing 6 nights a week, the performances by the entire cast appear as fresh and exciting as if it were opening night (June 24, 2006).





1. There are actually two performers playing each of the main roles. This allows for no costume changes as well as the Phantom to seemingly appear and disappear from different parts of the theater. However, I never would’ve noticed. Not even from the front row!


2. It took 6 months to construct the $5 million chandelier with its 29,444 hand-strung individual crystals. It weighs 1ton and hurtles down amid pyrotechnics from above only to stop a mere 10 feet above the heads of some in the audience.




3. The cost of the lavish costumes cost $4.25 million.


4. There are 1,800 seats in the theater.


5. There are 222 candles that rise from the Phantom’s lair.


6. The show uses 250 automated effects.


7. There are 80 life-sized, front-of-house mannequins filling the opera boxes.




8. The total of cast, crew, and orchestra members combined is 142.


"It's a dream come true," Webber says about the Las Vegas Production. "We can do things (here) that we could never have done in any other context."





Run and experience this truly unique, fan-tabulous production of The Phantom of the Opera, the longest running show in Broadway history. Even if you have seen the Phantom of the Opera before, you must see it in Vegas to really experience the updated version with its unique scenes, including fireworks and pyrotechnics.

Phantom at The Venetian is an experience not to be missed and I recommend for all ages. The timeless unparalleled music and the Phantom’s touching story thrills audiences and loyal fans alike. I was impressed by the new effects and enhancements made possible today by modern technology. It is, without a doubt, one of the very best shows ever in the city that truly never sleeps, Las Vegas!!!

I can only rave about every aspect of the enchanting Las Vegas phantom…Bravo!



The Las Vegas Spectacular performs to excited audiences, six nights a week at The Venetian Resort Hotel and Casino on Monday at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., Tuesday – Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Ticket prices range from $72 to $160 plus tax.


The VIP Experience, which includes a Golden Circle ticket, souvenir program, backstage tour and meet and greet with the stars of the show, is available for $250.


Tickets for Phantom at The Venetian are available by calling the Venetian Box Office at 866-641-7469 or 702-414-9000, or online at


For groups of 10 or more, please call (702) 785-5394 / 866-633-0195 or e-mail


For more information please visit

Venetian Phantom Theatre, 3355 South Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas, Nevada 89109


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