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'Lavish' an understatement for East's 'Phantom'

April 12, 2011

Public Forum:

Lavish, ambitious, extraordinary, fantastic, astonishing, amazing and incredible are just a few of the adjectives that would most certainly describe the Tosa East Players' production of "The Phantom of the Opera." It opened the previous weekend in the theater at Wauwatosa East High School and will be repeated Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday at 2 p.m. Those people who are fortunate to be in the audience this coming weekend will certainly agree with those above descriptions. Artistic Director Thomas Thaney deserves our thanks for bringing "Phantom" to the East stage and having the confidence that together they would create the desired enchantment.

It's difficult to know where to start with the kudos - the actors, the orchestra, the stage management, the lighting and sound technicians, the costumes and makeup crews, the prop crew, the fly crew, the stage crew, the scenery or the directors. All were excellent. Coordination is the main element that is present in this production of "Phantom." Every aspect of the show is so perfectly organized that each scene is carefully blended into the next.

The story line tells the tale of the elderly Raoul's reminiscences of the Paris Opera House in 1911, where he attended an auction of old props, including the chandelier, which magically becomes illuminated and rises slowly over the audience to the position of grandeur it held in 1881. That chandelier reminds the auctioneer of the never fully explained strange mystery of the phantom of the opera. Thus, the exciting tale begins.

Dale K. Hidde

former director of the Tosa East Players

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