Publishing the 26th episode on the 26th?! I don’t think it gets cooler than this.
The Phantom of the Opera is known for its pristine vocals and breathtaking spectacle, but it took a rocky road to achieve its status. Listen as we dive into how Andrew Lloyd Webber went through three different lyricists and three Phantoms before finding the right men for the jobs (not without hurting some feelings) on our way to concluding our conversation about the biggest hit in the British Invasion era of Broadway.
Paul Milliken is an Emmy Award-winning journalist and meteorologist with FOX 5 Atlanta, where he serves as the feature reporter for Good Day Atlanta. A lifelong theatre fan, Paul is also involved in local community theatre; favorite roles include Jackson in Pump Boys and Dinettes and Milt in Laughter on the 23rd Floor (both at Lionheart Theatre Company) and Blore in And Then There Were None (Act3 Productions, MAT Award nomination for Major Supporting Actor). Paul’s hoping this podcast will inspire Andrew Lloyd Webber to compose Raoul: The Musical for him as a star vehicle. [editor’s note from Sally: DO IT, ANDREW!! THE PEOPLE NEED IT!!!]
- The Phantom of the Opera rocks our socks off. We recommend listening to the Original London cast, featuring the one and only Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman.
- You know what else rocks our socks off? Muncie Civic Theatre in Muncie, IN. Visit MuncieCivic.org to check out their work and support an awesome local theatre!
- Our favs: Andrew Lloyd Webber, Sarah Brightman, Hal Prince, Cameron Mackintosh, Michael Crawford, Hello, Dolly!, Steve Harley, Gerard Butler, Ramin Karimloo, Sierra Boggess, Gaston Leroux, The Fox Theatre, The Guardian, Mark Billington, Steve Barton, Charles Hart, Alan Jay Lerner, Frederick “Fritz” Loewe, My Fair Lady, Richard Stilgoe, Frank Rich, New York Times, Lon Chaney, Cats, Starlight Express, Maria Bjornson, Into the Woods, Bernadette Peters, Derrick Davis, Julia Udine, Jordan Craig, “Prima Donna,” Hercules, Les Miserables,
- Other mentions: Good Day Atlanta, Fox 5, Emmy Awards, Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables, Ozzy Osbourne, Pink Floyd, The Band’s Visit
- Special thanks to Peachy Corners Cafe, Crazy Love Coffeehouse, Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee, Ground & Pound Coffee, and Noble & Main for being the best editing offices.
- BGP would not be possible without behind-the-scenes team members Thomas Fuller and Elise Friderich.
Carolee Carmello with Paul after an interview for the Hello Dolly tour at the Fox Theatre Paul (right) after a bad day in Lawless Spirits at Lionheart Theatre Company Paul (far right) next to one of my old theatre friends Greg Fitzgerald in Pump Boys and Dinettes at Lionheart What community theatre experience is complete without You Can’t Take it With You on the resume?!
For the budding theatre fans
While I don’t love the 25th Anniversary cast version, I think it’s worth checking out to decide for yourself.
For the fangirls
Who sang “The Music of the Night” best? Choosing between Michael Crawford and Gerard Butler (who starred in the movie).
For the die-hards
We theatre fans know Michael Crawford as THE voice of the Phantom, but before he soared on those “Music of the Night” notes, he starred as the hapless Frank Spencer in the UK’s Some Mothers Do Ave Em. Please enjoy his physical comedy genius in these clips!
The Pink Floyd song we referenced that Andrew Lloyd Webber supposedly plagiarized sounds an awful lot like a certain Phantom song.
For the sake of embarrassing Paul…
If anyone was adept at combining his passion for both the 1925 silent film and musical version of The Phantom of the Opera, it was Paul Milliken. Please enjoy these home videos his parents helped us find!
The lyricist we couldn’t remember the name of who wrote the “All I Ask of You” lyrics was Richard Stilgoe.
All of the original reviews from The Phantom of the Opera are fascinating to read. I recommend checking out Frank Rich’s entire piece here.
Joanna Gleason, who played the Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods won Best Actress in a musical in 1988, of course.
When Paul talked about his mind being blown about Davy Jones, he was referring to the BGP Episode #9: Consider Yourself – One Hit Wonders.
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