Creighton Theatre Showcasing a Different ‘Phantom’
March 20th, 2014
Omaha, NE — Another type of Phantom will be appearing at Creighton University starting this weekend.
Creighton University department of Theatre professor Alam Klem considers himself to be a big fan playwright Arthur Kopitâ€™s work.
â€œYou know I thought I knew all of his plays pretty well but, to be real honest, I didnâ€™t know about this one.â€, Klem Said. â€œ(Creighton Musical Theatre Director) Stephen Sheftz is the one who approached me and said â€˜You know, Iâ€™ve heard this great music from Phantomâ€™ and I said â€˜Well, yeah, everybody likes that music.â€™ He said â€˜No, not (Andrew Lloyd Webberâ€™s) Phantom of the Opera. (Arthur Kopit’s) Phantom.â€™â€
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 itâ€™s own cult following.
â€œAs 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. Itâ€™s a gorgeous musical,â€ Klem said.
The show is one of the largest undertakings ever attempted by Creightonâ€™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.
â€œItâ€™s just incredible,â€ Klem said. â€œThis really tells the complete story of (Gaston Lerouxâ€™s book) The Phantom of the Opera and itâ€™s said so beautifully that you really have to be there to see it and feel it. Then youâ€™ll know what Iâ€™m talking about.â€
Creighton Universityâ€™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 Lucileâ€™s in the Old Market. For more information on the show and special event call the Creighton Box Office at 402-280-1448 or email [email protected]. You can also go online to www.boxoffice.creighton.edu
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