Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical about a double murderer is back at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. And so are all the famous theatrical effects - the thunderous organ chords, the plummeting chandelier, the candle-laden lake beneath the Paris Opera House, the frantic chase at the end.
And then there are all the swoony tunes, endlessly recycled throughout the score, from The Music of the Night to All I Ask of You.
This is the fifth production of The Phantom of the Opera to play TBPAC. The first was in 1994, when it virtually put the center on the map, with seven weeks of packed houses. In January, the musical celebrated its 20th anniversary on Broadway, where it is the longest-running show in history. The TBPAC run is expected to fare well at the box office, but Phantom is no longer the hottest ticket in town. In a clever marketing ploy, all tickets on election night, Nov. 4, were priced at $20.08, and that performance is sold out.
The tour is headed by Richard Todd Adams as the man in the half mask (he is to be replaced midway through the run by John Cudia) and Trista Moldovan as Christine, the chorus girl turned prima donna. The cast includes the longest-running Carlotta, the diva supplanted by Christine, played by Kim Stengel in more than 4,500 performances on Broadway and on the road.
Phantom opens at 8 p.m. Friday and runs through Nov. 22. $18.50-$78. Performances at 2 and 7:30 p.m. today are previews, with tickets from $15 to $62.50. (813) 229-7827 or toll-free 1-800-955-1045; tbpac.org.
BY THE NUMBERS
1.5 Tons, weight of the opera house staircase
3 Operas seen within the show
11 Mannequins used in crowd scenes
20 Trucks to transport the show
36 Cast members
141 Trap doors in the stage deck
550 Pounds of dry ice used per performance in smoke and fog machines
2,700 Yards of fabric in the Victorian-style drapes
35,000 Beads on the chandelier