The kids and I have not had the chance to indulge our love of stage theater since we moved to DFW three years ago. Rebooting your whole life is expensive, yo.
But Texas has been pretty good to us. Last July when I saw that the Phantom of the Opera tour was coming to Fort Worth in October, I just about sprained my finger hitting the “Buy Tickets” button.
I chose an afternoon weekday showing, because I don’t really like driving in the city at night or dealing with big crowds. The weather turned out to be absolutely gorgeous, and there was very little traffic on the drive in. We enjoyed a delicious lunch at The Cheesecake Factory and then walked across the street for the show.
So let me wax rhapsodic for a moment about Bass Performance Hall, because it is beautiful.
I love the two 48-foot-tall angel statues on the Grand Facade. When I got home there was something like 65 photographs on my camera just of the angels.
The mezzanine balcony offers a charming view of the Sundance Square area.
The Hall’s acoustics are straight up magnificent. Every note from the orchestra, every word from the performers comes through with perfect clarity and resonance. The show itself is gorgeous. The Hall is smaller than I had expected, so our front-center-mezzanine seats put us right in front of the action. We had brought opera glasses, but the only times we used them were to look closely at small details like the monkey music box or the Phantom’s unmasked face. The sets are brilliant, the scene changes are clever and seamless.
I do have one minor complaint. So let me preface it by saying that the Phantom pretty much owned every scene he sang in. His voice is strong and thrilling and just the right amount of intimidating. But…I sensed no real chemistry between him and Christine. This was an angry, frustrated Phantom who seemed almost reluctant to touch the object of his obsession. Maybe the actor played it that way on purpose, I don’t know. But since the whole premise of the story revolves around the Phantom’s ability to mesmerize Christine with the seductive force of his passion, it definitely requires a bit of chemistry to work properly. For the first time ever, Raoul looked to me like the only sensible choice for Christine, with no emotional sacrifice necessary. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the show. But I went in expecting a sensual dance between Christine and the Phantom, and instead their interactions seemed tense and at times almost perfunctory.
Still a fantastic show. Afterward we walked back to the parking garage and decided to climb the stairs all the way up for a rooftop view.
By the way, I don’t recommend doing this. As we were leaving, a cop let us know that everything above the third level of the parking garage is for city use only and not to be accessed by the public. Oops. To be fair, there was nothing posted in the stairwell about it.
All in all though, a lovely day in a lovely city. Bass Performance Hall is an absolute delight. We will be back!