The Wallace Theatre premiered “Phantom,” written by Arthur Kopit and Maury Yeston, on April 10.
The performance, directed by Debbie Prutsman, is adapted from the famous “Phantom of the Opera” book by French author Gaston Leroux. California Baptist University’s adaptation includes the beloved operatic singing, choreographed performances and characters whom fans have come to love over the years.
The production has an exquisite stage with great backgrounds, effects, props, steel fabrication and lighting. It truly gives the feeling of an old Parisian opera house in the early 1900s.
The opera incorporates comic relief for the audience to enjoy and to allow a moment of laughter amid the drama.
“I really enjoyed this play a lot even though I thought I wasn’t going to,” said audience member Steven Pratt. “I also thought it was cool how they had a little humor involved within the play, as well. It gave the show character and made it more enjoyable to watch.”
The storyline of “Phantom” begins with an introduction to the city of Paris, where the opera takes place.
“Phantom” follows a disfigured man named Erik, known as the Phantom because he lives in the basement of an opera house and haunts the people working there.
The Phantom, played by senior theater major Ethan Park, is searching for his one true love. This woman lives in the opera house and, according to the Phantom, sings more beautifully than anyone he has ever heard. He believes she could end his suffering.
He discovers the woman’s name is Christine, and he offers to train her and become her mentor if she promises not to ever see his face.
Count Philippe de Chandon is also in love with Christine, and he and the Phantom fight for her affection.
Caleb Oakes, senior theater major, plays the role of Philippe. Although he has been in seven theater productions at CBU, this is his first major role.
“I mainly recalled what I have done and how I have handled situations in the past, and bring myself into character,” Oakes said.
The final three showings are April 17 at 7:30 p.m., April 18 at 7:30 p.m. and April 19 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for CBU students and $15 for general admission.