Mamacita says: Mmmm, I do love me the Broadway musicals! I’m particular, though.
Sometimes, I love a show nobody else likes, and sometimes a show that everybody else likes, I don’t. But aren’t we all like that, in every aspect of life?
For example, I like Arthur Kopit’s Phantom more than I like ALW’s The Phantom of the Opera. I like them BOTH, mind you, but Kopit’s is just, well, better. That’s my opinion and I’m stickin’ to it.
The miniseries that ran back in the early nineties was Kopit’s version, and there is also a musical version of his script. I like them both. I’m not sure which I like better, sometimes.
One reason I like that miniseries is that it uses real opera music in it. Phantom is about the opera; it takes place in an opera house, and there is supposed to be opera music in it. In Kopit’s version, there is! Get people engrossed in a good story, and they will probably like all the peripheral lessons included in it. In Phantom, there is opera music. My students, back in the middle school, were fascinated by Faust – the storyline and the music, both, and that’s a pretty complicated combo. (I’m sorry about the synch on that video, but you can still get the gist of it. Pretend you’re watching a Japanese film dubbed in English or something.) (Speaking of Japanese phantoms, check out the Takarazuka Revue! ) (Then look at this one.) (Fascinating concept.)
Don’t make the mistake of underestimating middle school students. Everybody else does, but don’t any of you. Our young teens are quite capable of not only understanding a complicated story, but also enjoying it.
Honestly? I believe that one – and there are many others – reason so many of our teens hate school is that it’s boring; everything in our public schools seems to exist for the sake of getting the lowest common denominator crammed full enough of answers to pass that big test. Of COURSE our smart kids are bored! Wouldn’t you be?
This is one of my favorite scenes from the miniseries:
. . . and, this is a montage from the stage musical:
If you like that, or are just curious about a Phantom that isn’t ALW’s, you might check out “My Mother Bore Me” on YouTube, as well. Bonus points if you know the point of origin for the lyrics!
The original Kopit phantom was Richard White. If you have children, I’m sure you know what he’s the most famous for these days.
You don’t? You’re kidding. Yes, you do. Check out your child’s video collection.
Find him? Excellent. More bonus points for the title.