by Claire Pratte. @clairepratte3 (Twitter).
NEW YORK, NY - As New York City enters phase four of reopening, Governor Cuomo has announced that low-risk arts and entertainment activities may resume. With guidelines in place, Phantom of the Opera is the first show to return to Broadway, with the main requirement being the extension of the Phantom’s iconic half mask to properly cover his entire face, sources confirmed.
“The original production had to undergo a few changes to ensure proper precautions were maintained, including the iconic mask worn by the Phantom” explained Phantom producer, Cameron Mackintosh. “We initially just used a Jason mask but then we realized it had too many holes and didn’t really make it any safer. However, it definitely heightened his whole monster persona.”
In order to meet the phase four safety requirements, some scenes had to be cut, while others were extended. “Think of Me” and “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again” are just a few numbers that demonstrated proper social distancing worthy of extension.
Anna Goodwin, a young communications consultant working from home was excited to get out of her studio apartment to see the revamped production.
“It was wild! ‘Masquerade’ had four modulations and two reprises!” exclaimed Goodwin. “I was pretty stoked because that has always been my favorite scene. The choreography didn’t change much, as the dancers were already quite distant in the original number. I appreciated that they kept their masks and gloves on the whole time.”
Not all audience members shared Miss Goodwin’s excitement about the show’s re-arrangements.
“At first, I thought I accidentally bought tickets to a live production of Halloween,”, said retired nurse and fellow audience member, Deborah Rotte, as she described the newly masked phantom as resembling “Michael Myers at a Prom.” Rotte continued to voice her disappointment.
“The ending just felt a bit anticlimactic when Christine removed the Phantom’s mask only to reveal an N95 underneath. If they really wanted to portray him as a monster, they should’ve just let him take his mask off in the middle of this pandemic.”
At press time, Phantom of the Opera is set to run through August, after which the second act of coronavirus should begin.