Bodies falling from the ceiling, fire and professional ballerinas are a few things in store for the audience of the Opelika High School Theatre Society’s latest production. The troupe invites people to “live as you’ve never lived before” by attending their spring production, “The Phantom of the Opera.”
Based on the French novel Le Fantome de l’Opera by Gaston Leroux, the plot centers on a talented opera singer, Christine Daae, who becomes the obsession of an enigmatic, disfigured prodigy who lives in the cellars of an opera house in Paris.
Over the years, countless adaptions of “Phantom” have been performed, with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1986 musical being the longest running show in Broadway history.
“Phantom” will be the troupe’s final production for the 2014-2015 school year, and drama teacher Revel Gholston said it is the biggest play they have ever taken on.
“We’ve done some very big scale productions in the past,” Gholston said. “It’s been a while since we’ve done one of the big dogs, one of the big shows that have been popular in the past century.” Gholston said he believes his class deserved to take on a big production like “Phantom” because of the hard work they have put in and the success they have had this year.
“I felt like they could handle it – and that, not only would handle it, but they would take care of it and make sure that it wasn’t falling short of expectations of the audience members,” he said. “This show, obviously, has great expectations from audience members.”
Not only is “Phantom” the most sizable play the troupe has taken on, but it’s also the most intense as far as the score and special effects go – the play also carries with it a larger budget than productions of the past.
Gholston said with “Phantom,” they are doing things they’ve never done before. Dead bodies falling from the ceiling, fire and professional ballerinas are a few of the things Gholston said the audience is in store for.
Gholston also said that the score of “Phantom” is a difficult one to learn and perform, but that he has been impressed with his cast and the ease with which they have mastered the music.
“Some of our actors have been singing Phantom since they could talk,” Gholston said. “So that aspect didn’t come quite as hard as I thought it would.”
Gholston said the “Phantom” audience is in for a unique experience.
“The music is beautiful and it’s really just a passionate experience more than anything,” Gholston said. “There’s just a lot of emotion and energy involved and really great singing by high school kids, which is amazing too.”
“Phantom” begins tonight at the Opelika Center for Performing Arts, located at 1700 LaFayette Parkway and will run this weekend and next, with Friday and Saturday shows at 7 p.m. and the two shows on Sunday at 3 p.m.
Tickets for “Phantom” can be purchased at the door or ahead of time at Victory Designs and Variations Dance Studio in Auburn.