Tuesday, October 04, 2005

From Dali to Remi: Broadway

Watching a Broadway show for the first time is like never having watched a Hollywood movie ever and then see one for the first time. We went to watch the only show that I even knew, The Phantom of the Opera. Having seen the first 30minutes of Joel Schumacher's movie, I was thinking it would suck because there is no way they can depict all these things they show in the movie since they only have a finite amount of space and equipment. And boy, was I wrong or what!

I was used to theatrical plays that only change the sets once or twice during the whole show. But Broadway is really high-class expensive productions. Minutes after the show starts, the famous chandelier comes to life, and from being abandoned in the middle of the stage it gets alive, the lights turn on, and it is slowly moved towards the ceiling of the Majestic, where it stays there until it is to be dropped again from the Phantom. Despite the poor story, I it is hard not to be astonished from the incredible sets and costumes they used. For the first time I felt a new feeling: the feeling of watching a movie live. The stage was transforming so fast and so realistically, with huge pieces ranging from elephants to enormous staircases and bridges coming in and out like feathers.

The singing was perfect to my ears. Although I cannot tell a good singer myself, I could definately tell that the acoustics were flawless. Although the actors had tiny microphones and their voices were reproduced from the speakers, it never felt odd or out of place or coming from the wrong direction.

I also realized that these shows cannot be reproduced anywhere else other than in their dedicated theater. We are talking about dozens of enormously-sized equipment, hundreds of costumes, complicated machinery that moves thinsg on, under and over the stage, plus a live orchestra that has to be perfectly synchronized to the actors.

Finally, I realized how perfect would it be to live in New York. As Dimitri pointed out, we booked tickets 2 weeks in advance, paid $100 each, and got decently good seats. We would have to book 3 months ahead to get the really good ones. But, if we were living in NYC, you don't care. You just book months in advance for the good seats, and then you have all the luxury of the world to make it to the theater for a couple of hours on that night. When you are planning vacation there, you usually won't risk booking so early.

This was my first time in Broadway but it certainly won't be the last one. It's just something you can only experience there, in the heart of New York City.