Act I: When The Phantom Visited Manila

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It is rare for famous Broadway musical to perform here in the Philippines but it is rarer for me to have enough money to buy tickets for these shows (kasi wala akong pera). So after hearing that a Tony Award winning musical will perform in the country, I promised that I have to watch this show. This started my unforgettable Phantom of The Opera experience.

Although I have seen the movie adaptation featuring Gerard Butler, the story is not actually very familiar to me. Actually I always thought the movie was the original story. I did not know that it all started from a serialisation written by Gaston Leroux on 1909- 1920 of the same title which was later adapted by Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1986. Due to its success, the movie is now considered as the longest running musical show in Broadway.

My friends and I waited for this show upon hearing it somewhere, a year before the scheduled performance date. But during the ticket sale, we were informed of how expensive the tickets are. We were hesitating already even though we really want to get one. Thankfully, a promo opened so we immediately grabbed the offer.

Sunday October 14, 3:00 PM- my friend took this schedule to see Claire Lyon’s last performance, as Christine Daae, in the Philippines. My friends and I are supposed to meet at 11 in the morning to meet with the cast upon their arrival. Principal casts, Claire Lyon and Jonathan and Roxmouth (as Phantom) already arrived and the fans are already taking a picture with them. My friend was very late and I do not have a digital camera not a pen (for signing) with me. She was the one who is ecstatic to meet the actors not me but because of the situation, I cramming to find something that the actors can sign and of course a pen to use. I end up letting them sign on the back of my ticket. I later realized that the ticket will be torn upon entering the theatre. I also cram to load the film in my Lomo LC+A to take photos of them. It was really troublesome. Not to self: never use an analog camera for fanboying/girling purposes.

Me and Jonathan Roxmouth, who played Phantom in the hit musical play, Phantom of the Opera.

The Phantom of the Opera Book of my friend with my signed ticket above. Too bad my ticket was torn when I entered the theater.

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My ticket for the show.

I managed to take a picture with the casts and they were really accommodating. They were really interacting with the fans too like asking them questions and taking time to pose for a picture. I know that they had to rehearse but they still stayed for the fans. Claire was even holding her bag and a cup of coffee when they fans mobbed he for a picture but I never saw her got mad. Either she is really a good actress of she is just happy to see her fans, and I think it is the latter.

Me and Claire Lyon, who played Christine Daae in the hit musical play, Phantom of the Opera.

Anthony already left and Claire was about to go inside the artist entrance when my friend came. She followed her inside the entrance and surprisingly she was not blocked by the guards so she got her signature. It is funny because she was calling her Christine (her character’s name) instead of her real name that is why she took a while before she made her stop.

My friend’s fan girl instinct told her that Anthony is going to get a coffee in Starbucks so we ran towards the store. And there he was with his blue shirt and casual get up, waiting for his coffee. I instantly pushed my friend towards Jonathan because she suddenly felt intimidated. This caught Jonathan’s attention so my friend has no choice but to talk with him. She also asked for his sign. And around the store people and the baristas were staring at us confused on how the guy we were talking to was. Of course, another photo opportunity, this time with a digital camera.

My friend and Jonathan talking in Starbucks. Notice how puzzled the barista is?

Really, the casts that we met were the most patient, accommodating and friendly stars that I encountered. Claire and Anthony were really happy every time fans gave them something. They were also all smiles, when asked for a picture. Even though surrounded by a lot of people, they displayed composure and professionalism and accommodated all of them.

This moment made me an instant fan not only because of their superb performance but also because of their real characteristics.

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