- The Effing Chandelier
It’s twice the size of the Broadway version, comes in four pieces, and does its own little dance at the top of the show. It’s pretty thrilling and if you’re in the orchestra seats, watching it do its chandelier-y thang will give you a total crick in the neck, but it’s worth it. Also, unlike its clumsy, marshmallow-y New York cousin, the Vegas chandelier seems like it could really kill you if it fell on your head, and in one nearly-unforgivable moment that proves that irony is dead west of the Mississippi, the PTO himself even dangles from it, Spider-Man style. `
- The Fireworks, Literally
So, there’s fireworks. Indoors. On the stage. They don’t add much, but as they say in Las Vegas, “Why not?”
- The Set of Huge, Awesome Goldness
In this version, as in the original, the best entrance of the evening belongs to the set. The de-shrouding of all those gold statues – there’s 40% more of them, fyi – happens in Las Vegas too, but a creepy, lavish additional touch made my jaw drop a little, I will admit. Rather than the typical fake opera boxes at stage right and left, the Sin City version expands this idea out to the whole theater. Dozens of boxes wrap around the whole theater on the upper level, and they’re filled with… creepy mannequins. Like, creepy, weirdly realistic mannequins. And we all know how the Phantom loves himself some mannequins. They’re dressed in the period of the show (the more I think about this, the less sense it makes, so I’m not allowing myself time to dwell), and they appear to be watching the lavish spectacle onstage along with you. My favorite? A mannequin of a little girl, house left, whose face is fully turned away from the stage and up to the chandelier.
- The Generally Nonexistant Second Act
The thing about this Phantom? It’s blessedly short. With a single act that clocks in at 95 minutes, let’s just call this the… um… American Idiot version. And you won’t be sad about that. A radically compressed second act allows Christine less time to be annoying, dispels with some fussy details, and puts you back out in the casino with enough time to lose several thousand dollars before bed.
- Raul’s Confusing, Knife-Filled Cage of Death
So, remember that totally confusing piece of exposition where Madame Giry goes on for an hour about the “punjab lasso,” and you were kind of like, “Whatever, Mme. Giry, I don’t understand what you’re talking about, and it doesn’t matter anyway because this isn’t even material to the plot.”? Yeah, well, they cut it. Which means that it’s no longer necessary to have Raul nearly-die after getting caught in the Phantom’s semi-magical noose, or whatever. In this version, he nearly dies… get ready… inside a cage filed with stabby knives. WHAT? I know. I couldn’t believe it either. Halfway between an iron maiden and an old piece of equipment that David Copperfield put out to the street, it’s like… a human-size box full of retractable knives. And Raul somehow gets caught inside it. Needless to say, we don’t get to see this thing in action, but you won’t be sorry for it.
- The Romance Novel-y Marketing
Call me crazy, but I love the Fabio-and-bare-bosomed-wench-style poster. The man is a murderer with a creepy doll fetish, you say? Oh sorry, I can’t hear you. I’m too busy trying to sing along while keeping this rose clutched between my teeth.
- The Bedazzled Merch
I bought a t-shirt. Fuck you.
- There Are So Many People In It – Like, So Many
Good god, it is a cast of thousands. I counted the names on the board and had to stop – from exhaustion – at 50. There are shows on Broadway right now that are lucky if they can boast 50 people in the audience, never mind the cast.
- You Need to Find Your Own Seat
I’ll admit it. I definitely stood at the back of the house for a solid three minutes waiting for someone to seat me before remembering that I was in Las Vegas, and that the rules of civilization do not apply.
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