'Phantom' holds no surprises 


Phantom of the Opera Murat Directed by Harold Prince Through Dec. 5
Gary Mauer and Rebecca Pitcher in the Broadway National Tour of 'The Phantom of the Opera,' playing through Dec. 5 at the Murat.
Phantom of the Opera fans will be happy to know that their beloved Andrew Lloyd Webber musical gets a tried and true running in this special to the Broadway in Indianapolis series. Having opened in 1986, it is celebrating its 18th year and is the second longest-running production in Broadway history. The Phantom is played by Gary Mauer. He does lovely work with cherished numbers, such as "The Music of the Night," exhibiting good control over the high notes. Rebecca Pitcher as Christine also does beautiful work, though she sings with an operatic tremble, which always sounds odd in modern Broadway fare. She and Tim Martin Gleason, as Raoul (his first role in a touring show), sing a lovely duet in "All I Ask of You." Enthusiasm across the board is pretty good - remember that these people have to perform almost every night, and sometimes twice a day. Secondary characters are well-portrayed, but ensemble numbers are indecipherable; then again, they are indecipherable on the soundtrack as well. The sets and costuming are grand - but that is what you expect from Phantom of the Opera. Most everything here is what you have seen before if you are a Phan-atic, so there aren't any surprises - falling chandeliers, moving pieces of the Paris Opera House, shadows that solidify into the Opera Ghost. Phantom is enjoying a nice long run at the Murat, 502 N. New Jersey St., through Dec. 5. For tickets, call Ticketmaster at 239-1000.

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