A Different Kind of Phantom

Creighton University department of Theatre professor Alam Klem considers himself to be a big fan playwright Arthur Kopit’s work.

“You know I thought I knew all of his plays pretty well but, to be real honest, I didn’t know about this one.”, Klem Said. “(Creighton Musical Theatre Director) Stephen Sheftz is the one who approached me and said ‘You know, I’ve heard this great music from Phantom’ and I said ‘Well, yeah, everybody likes that music.’ He said ‘No, not (Andrew Lloyd Webber’s) Phantom of the Opera. (Arthur Kopit's) Phantom.’”

The show is a musical written by Arthur Kopit and composed by Maury Yeston. When the duo was working on the not-yet-completed show in the 1980s, they found out the Andrew Lloyd Webber had a finished version that was about to go to Broadway. After seeing this development, the project was abandoned.

However, in the early 90s, Kopit was hired to adapt Phantom into a mini-series. After the success of the teleplay, Kopit and Yeston decided to finished and launch their Phantom musical at the Theater Under the Stars in Houston. While the show has never been on Broadway, it has started to gain it’s own cult following.

“As a matter of fact, Maury Yeston has labeled this the best musical to never be on Broadway. To be real honest, I feel he is probably right. It’s a gorgeous musical,” Klem said.

The show is one of the largest undertakings ever attempted by Creighton’s Theatre Department. To go along with large scene changes and dynamic lighting by Bill Van Deest, the show features massive 30-person cast and a full 31-piece orchestra (the most ever for a Creighton production). Klem said he hopes that this show sheds light on the works of Arthur Kopit and Maury Yeston and opens new doors for audience members to works of art the might have missed.

“It’s just incredible,” Klem said. “This really tells the complete story of (Gaston Leroux’s book) The Phantom of the Opera and it’s said so beautifully that you really have to be there to see it and feel it. Then you’ll know what I’m talking about.”

Creighton University’s production of Phantom by Arthur Kopit and Maury Yeston will run from March 20th-22nd and March 27-29th at 7:30pm. There will also be a 2pm show on March 30th. There will also be a special dinner with the playwright on Friday March 21st at Lucile’s in the Old Market. For more information on the show and special event call the Creighton Box Office at 402-280-1448402-280-1448 or email arts@creighton.edu. You can also go online to www.boxoffice.creighton.edu

Cold Cream looks at theater in the metro area. Email information to coldcream@thereader.com

posted at 03:19 pm
on Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

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