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Review: Students stage strong 'Phantom of the Opera'

| Monday, Oct. 25, 2010

Pittsburgh Musical Theater's all-student production of "The Phantom of the Opera," which played at the Byham Theater, Downtown, this weekend, was about as good as a student production could be -- and, often, the play seemed quite professional.

Students from Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts school, the Richard E. Rauh Conservatory and Robert Morris Colonial Theatre performed the well-loved Andrew Lloyd Webber musical about the wretched but brilliant Phantom and his obsessive love for beautiful soprano Christine Daae.

The vocal roles of the Phantom and Christine are challenging for even seasoned professionals, and much of the time, Channing Frampton and Ashley Reichl -- who played the Phantom and Christine, respectively, on Thursday night -- hit the right notes. Reichl's best moment of the evening was when she belted out "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again." Kate Queen -- who played Carlotta, the opera's prima donna -- had the strongest voice on Thursday. Logan Williams also gave a good performance as Raoul, Christine's fiance.

"The Phantom of the Opera" featured colorful costumes and many sets that were memorable and believable. The cast and crew did a good job of re-creating the scene in the Phantom's underground lair, with a moving gondola, candelabras and smoke rising from the stage, simulating a river.

-- Kellie B. Gormly

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