I was probably like a lot of people my age walking into the theatre. I’ve heard the snippets, I’ve seen the references in pop culture, heck, I even saw the film with the Gerard Butler. Btw, I don’t think he was as bad as they say. Not a singer, nope, but no one really ever said the Phantom was, just a brilliant teacher. And I must admit, that rough voice was quite befitting a deformed murderous madman lurking in an opera house. If he’d really been a brilliant singer, even with that face, he wouldn’t have needed Christine Daae.
Anyways, I was skeptical. Peter Jöback voiced Disney’s Alladin the Swedish version. He’s a softie and a bit of a cutie pie. Could he really pull ugly psycho off? In the beginning… no… I just kept going back to Alladin. But as it progressed… yes… and the make-up was good, they made him one fugly bitch! The further into the musical, the further into madness he spiraled, and I really found myself going “eeeerk, you nasty!”
And yes, chills down the arms were had when that organ-synth-beat-intro lit up the broken chandelier (you know which intro I mean). While there were some snooze middle parts where I’d wished they’d gotten more charismatic actors (although they’re supposed to look bland next to the Phantom and Christine, aren’t they?) as a whole, a big yup! Gripping my chest a little at the final scenes.
And while everyone got some proper applause, Jöback got a standing ovation. And he deserved it. Even the gimp girl (that’d be me) stood up and cheered. 4 curtain calls.
Most of these photos are taken around Sthlm, but the last one is right before the show started. I didn’t take any pics, not that the prohibition carries much weight any more as it’s far too much work to stop everyone from raising their mobile phone every now and then. But I decided to enjoy the show properly. So the intro pic is the burlap sack covered auction items, ghostly lit up, as the opera is closing down and all the objects are doled out to the public for a good price.