Los Angeles Theater Preview: VOX LUMIERE—THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (L.A. Theatre Center)

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by Tom Chaits on September 13, 2014

in Theater-Los Angeles

SHINING NEW LUMIERE ON A FABLED CLASSIC

VOX LUMIERE - Phantom of the OperaGaston Leroux’s novel The Phantom of the Opera created a sensation when it was first unveiled as a serialization in the French newspaper Le Gaulois from September 1909 to January 1910. Based  partly on actual events that haunted the Paris Opera in the late 19th century, the tale has been captivating audiences ever since. Hollywood jumped on the bandwagon and released a film version starring Lon Chaney Sr. in 1925. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical juggernaut has been spooking audiences in the West End, on Broadway, and around the world for over 25 years. Now Vox Lumiere (Voices of Light) brings its twist on the classic tale to downtown’s Los Angeles Theatre Center for a limited 8 performance run beginning on September 19 and continuing twice a month through December.

Kevin Saunders Hayes and The Phantom

Billed as an explosive mash-up of music, dance, technology and silent film Vox Lumiere’s creator Kevin Saunders Hayes (pictured above, not the one at the organ) credits its genesis to his search for cheap underwear. One day while scouring a Big Scene from Vox Lumiere's PHANTOM OF THE OPERA.Lots store for discount briefs he came across a bin selling silent films for a dollar. He scooped up several with his last $5 and headed home. The first he popped into his VCR was the Fritz Lang classic Metropolis. Blown away by what he saw, he decided to turn it into a multi-media extravaganza. The show premiered at The Avignon Opera House in France and was an instant hit. Hayes and Vox Lumiere have since transformed three other silents (The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Peter Pan, and Phantom) into immersive stage experiences. There is also a “greatest hits” compilation: Vox Lumiere—Silents You Can Hear™.

Scene from Vox Lumiere's PHANTOM OF THE OPERA.

Hayes is an award-winning composer, songwriter, and producer who creates music for television, theater, animation, video games, new media, theme parks, and national brands. In addition he has composed scores for over 45 films including two Oscar-nominated documentaries. For Phantom he wrote an original score that runs the gamut from rock to opera which, when combined with live performances and the projected film, delivers dazzling visuals and, in his words, “a genre-busting new art form unlike anything you’ve ever seen.”

Scene from Vox Lumiere's PHANTOM OF THE OPERA.

The cast includes James Lynch as the Phantom, Marisa Johnson and Victoria Levy as Christine, D. Valentine as Raoul, Julie Brody as Carlotta, and a cadre of singers, dancers, and musicians.  Lighting design is by William Kirkham with costume design by Sharell Martin, and hair, wig, and makeup design by Kristy Staky. Choreography is by Natalie Willes.

VOX LUMIERE - Phantom of the Opera.

The evening begins with a red carpet entry including photo ops with the cast, refreshments, and pre-show entertainment in the lobby. Hayes states his goal for the show is to “leave the audience breathless.” With a live band, surround projections, hi-definition sound and lights, lavish costumes, soul-pumping original music, and powerful performances all blended with a classic silent film, that goal certainly seems to be within reach.

Scene from Vox Lumiere's PHANTOM OF THE OPERA.photos courtesy of Vox Lumiere

Vox Lumiere–The Phantom of the Opera
Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring St.
Sept. 19/20; Oct. 10/11;
Nov. 21/22; and Dec. 12/13 at 8:00
for tickets, call (844) VOX-ROCK
or visit www.voxlumiere.com
hear song selections at CD Baby

{ 1 comment }

Michelle Gerdes September 17, 2014 at 10:26 pm

Sounds intriguing. Although the Theatre Center is nice I would LOVE to see this in the Los Angeles Theatre, which was inspired by the Paris Opera house. Maybe next time.

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