Stage Left to debut “The Phantom of the Opera” as spring production

Bailey Southard, Staff writer

“The Phantom of the Opera,” the famous musical which was first shown on Broadway in 1988, is now making it’s musical debut in Manteo.

Chosen as this year’s spring musical, “The Phantom of the Opera” takes a different approach than the fall play. The fall play, “Leaps and Laughs,” consisted of several dances and skits. In contrast, “The Phantom of the Opera” is one of the most intense musicals to have ever been on Broadway. From the ranges of voices needed to the set design, the play is a big commitment and large undertaking.

“Mr. Luciano [has] wanted us to do [Phantom] for a long time, but it is the kind of show that you have to have the kind of voices and the cast commitment to do it,” director Connie Rose said.

The musical was selected right after the fall play finished and auditions soon followed.

“Thankfully [we] had a couple weeks to relax and recuperate before we started auditions for Phantom. We purposefully chose a show that wasn’t as taxing in the fall so we would be ready to work hard in the spring. During those weeks we had off, some of us were searching for voice teachers and preparing music and monologues for the audition,” senior Grace Davis said. “I personally could not wait to jump into rehearsals for this show considering it’s one of my all time favorites. We spent numerous Saturdays and late days of the week hauling wood and building the set, spending hours brainstorming how in the world we could put this thing together. It was a lot of work, but now looking at everything we’ve already accomplished, it’s definitely worth it.”

Starting on the first week back from winter break, cast members were asked to come to the first rehearsal. During the first rehearsals, the cast went over the script and practiced its lines. Since then, the cast has had rehearsals nearly every night to get ready for the show.

“Rehearsals are going great. We are so excited to do this show. The set is coming together and is absolutely amazing,” senior Jenna Zottoli said.

The set was designed so that there is a large staircase, which will be used for several songs, and two levels. They designed the set so that it felt like a opera house, with boxes and balconies. They also built a lair for the Phantom and a boat. Carpentry teacher Beau Barber’s class designed the boat, help build the lair and are also helping with another project which will be seen during the musical.

“Somebody donated the motorized wheelchair and then we had to figure out how to turn it into a boat,” senior Walker Parks said. “We also built a garage for the boat to stay in and helped with some other parts. This project was a lot of fun because it was different from what we normally do in class.”

Although this is a large production, larger than what had been done over the past few years, cast and crew members are having a blast putting it together. This production has been all hands on deck from the moment it began.

“I helped build and paint the set on Saturday work calls and during theatre class,” senior Katelyn Medlin said.  “It’s almost magical that first opening night. I think that that’s something the audience doesn’t get. In the end we have this big set, and the lights, and costumes, and hair and makeup, which is normal for the audience. But the cast started with an empty stage and a black background. We transformed it into something amazing. And that’s really rewarding.”

With opening night only days away, the cast and crew are working harder than ever to make the musical the best it can be. They have been working on this production for weeks and are determined to put on the best show that they can.

The play will open March 24 and run for two weekends. Friday and Saturday night shows are at 7 p.m. and Sunday matinées are at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for orchestra seats, $8 for general seating and $6 for students. Come out and support Stage Left and it’s spring production, “The Phantom of the Opera.”