Date of Play: April 12, 2014
Theater: Academy of Music, 420 South Broad Street Philadelphia
Entrance and greeters: The greeters are polite, informative and friendly. If you forget your tickets, you can have them reprinted at the counter instead of walking all the way back to your car. You can only do this if you already purchased tickets via the Kimmel Center and your seats are reserved.
Theater: This theater is rich in color and boasts in the colors of burgundy and gold. The temperature is not too cold nor too hot. The chandelier hanging above is the star of the room.
Seating: Balcony Box Seats 3 and 4, Section 31
View: Amazing view, although seats 3 and 4 you might have to turn your chair slightly to the right as to not strain your neck. Once the chairs are turned, the view is perfect and no neck strain.
Main Cast members: Cooper Grodin as the Phantom, Julia Udine as Christine and Ben Jacoby as Raoul.
Favorite Song(s): I had waited to hear “All I ask of You” all night and was not disappointed when it finally arrived. However, the songs “Music of the Night” and the “Theme” song were so captivating and powerful, I thought I was in the movie of the Phantom of the Opera from 2004. The cheering and clapping of the audience after it was performed showed that the singers did their job in taking us into a musical journey. It was pitch perfect and right on point.
Overall opinion: This play was a dream come true for me and one I can now cross off my bucket list. I had waited many years to see this play and I was so happy when it came to Philadelphia. I was overly impressed by the strong voices from the cast members, albeit this was their last show here in Philadelphia. Cooper Grodin was amazing as the Phantom and captured his every essence-he truly was spell binding and mesmerizing. Julia’s strong yet feminine voice carried out throughout the theater in a crisp manner. Ben’s role as Raoul was sweet, romantic and strong. The remaining cast members contributed nicely to the main cast members in the play. There were many funny moments in the play and the audience was part of it in several points of the night. I found the costumes beautiful and well made. The staircase that the Phantom and Christine walk down on was interesting and high tech. During the play, cast members appear in the audience for a scene in the play. Where we sat, we were literally 2 feet away from one of them and that was a fun experience. Overall, the entire songs sung were breathtaking and beautiful. I was impressed by the cast.
Orchestra: Under the direction of Richard Carsey.
Parking: We parked on Samson Street off of Broad Street. It is a 2 block walk to the theater.