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Rosemary's Report from Phantom's Record Breaking Performance on Broadway (1/09/06)

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Hey All :o)
 
I just arrived home from the Phantom Gala and couldn’t go to bed before I told you all about it :o)
 
We arrived about 5pm and waited outside the theater to catch a glimpse of Michael.
 
Max Von Essen (Alfred from DOTV) stopped by and so did Ray McLeod also from DOTV to see some of the MCIFA ladies.
 
By 6:20 pm Michael still hadn’t arrived yet and we were losing hope we’d get to see him before we had to get in to our seats but low and behold Michael arrived with ALW about 5 min later.  I did see him wave but that was about it hehe.  I couldn’t get any shots of him because he was swarmed by press but when I walked in I was contemplating checking my coat and as I made my way over I was about arms distance from Michael – merely by luck.  He stopped to sign some autographs and snap pictures.  I smiled, he smiled and my heart melted. 
 
I also saw and took some pictures of John Litgow and Lauren Bacall.  I was like 2 feet away from Patrick Wilson but didn’t know it was him until I someone was like oh that was Raoul in the Movie and I was like oh really? Hehe  
 
Michael looked GREAT ladies.  REALLY great! He looked very healthy, smiling and laughing and very sexy in his tux if I do say so myself.  God I still can’t believe I was THAT close to him hehe of course by that time I had put my camera away and didn’t have anything for him to sign but the smile was worth a thousand photo’s or autographs :o)
 
Our seats weren’t bad at all and I had a nice view from the upper mezz.  When we sat down there were masks and complimentary programs on our seats.  Also, the play bills were different than the regular ones.  I am going to try and scan some of it to show you all.  
 
I saw many people hanging over the edge taking pictures of Michael by his seat.  I was told he was in row J in the Orchestra off to the right a bit but I can’t confirm it because I didn’t actually see him.
 
When the show started the audience was SO jazzed up.  We clapped so much one of the managers ad-libbed a few lines and you could see the cast members beaming.  There were many moment’s like that through the night.  The only noticeable difference I saw in the actual show was that they did not use any manikins in Masquerade they used all performers on the steps and around the stage.
 
About 5 min before the show ended tons of press came up to take photo’s and were using there flash and such so I felt fully justified to do the same :o)  I pulled my trust 35 mm out and got ready.  
 
After the curtain calls there was a funny tribute to Cats.  Than many old cast members came out and sang some of Masquerade which was truly lovely.  
 
ALW, Hal Prince, Cameron Mackintosh, Jillian Lynn (sp??) came out and made speeches.  I almost lost it when they spoke about Steve Barton.  There was another person who passed away like 4 years ago but I didn’t catch her name :o( 
 
ALW said that he wanted to mention another cast member who made Phantom what it was but who couldn’t be there, Sarah Brightman and she got a huge round of applause.
 
Than ALW introduced Michael and OMG the audience went wild.  He received a standing ovation and you could just tell he was very moved.
 
He spoke briefly but it was a lovely little speech.  I can’t remember it all but he did say that he had never seen Phantom before and that it was just as magical from the audience as it was from the stage.  He thanked Hal Prince and ALW for giving him the chance to have a very large part in creating the Phantom character.
 
Than Michael said in his best Phantom voice, “let the celebration begin…. GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” and OMG did it ever.  TONS of confetti, gold and silver fell and was shot out EVERYWHERE it was a sea of colors and than black balloons with Phantom’s mask on them fell.  I wanted one but I wasn’t able to get one darn :o(
 
This was an amazing evening, one I won’t forget for a very long, long time.
 
We waited outside the stage door for about 30 minutes or so but found out that Michael had already left :o( bummer.  I was waiting for Marilyn Caskey (Madam Giry) but I must have missed her as well.
 
It’s 1am and I’m wide awake!  I can’t stop thinking about tonight and how grateful I am for friends who though of me and made this dream a possibility.  
 
I met a lot of the MCIFA ladies at the show and we just had such a smashing time.  I can’t wait for Friday for the birthday celebration.
 
I hope I didn’t forget anything but if I did just ask me about it :o) 
 
Hugs,
Rosemary *who is floating off to bed to dream of Michael :o)*

"May Your Hopes and Dreams Always Be Carried on Eagles' Wings"-Michael Crawford