Caitlin Borek plays Christine Daeé and Michael
Glavan plays The Phantom in “Phantom” at the
Fireside Dinner Theatre. Garrett Storm filled in
for Glavan the night the musical
was reviewed for
ATKINSON - When first hearing of the upcoming production
of “Phantom of the Opera” at Fireside, I was very
excited to see it again. However, upon getting there, I
soon came to realize that the version they had chosen
was not the one by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
it was one called “Phantom” by Arthur Kopit and
Maury Yeston, one that has been somewhat overshadowed by
Webber’s masterpiece which opened five years prior to
this one. However, it has also made a mark in the
are based on a novel by Gaston Leroux, a story that
echoes shades of “Beauty and the Beast,” “The
Elephant Man” and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,”
sad tales of persons whose external appearance is
tortuous and proves a deterrent to their dreams of love,
acceptance and success. The Phantom is a talented
composer-musician-singer whose life and his work have
been stymied by his flawed face.
is a young talented singer discovered by Phillippe as
she strolls down the streets of Paris trying to peddle a
song she wrote. Impressed with her beauty and her
talent, he tries to arrange vocal lessons for her with
his friend Gerard Carierre, the man who has been running
the opera house for many years. Unfortunately he has
just been fired and replaced by Joseph Buquet and his
wife, Carlotta, a singer whose ambition exceeds her
Carlotta hears Christine sing at the Bistro on open-mic
night, she is jealous and determined to abort her
tension of fear and angst is provided by Carlotta’s
venomous plot and the ominous presence of The Phantom
who lives in the bowels of the opera house. He has
fallen in love with Christine by hearing her beautiful
voice and does everything in his power to bring her
fame, even giving her music lessons behind his mask,
secretly hoping that she will eventually fall in love
with him out of gratitude.
music, though quite lovely, is not as memorable as that
in Webber’s version, but the story is better and more
enlightening, giving us more details on The Phantom’s
background and fleshing out the complexity of some of
the relationships between characters. No crashing
chandelier here but some very dramatic scenes that
provide their own surprises.
Storm filled in very ably for Michael Glavan as The
Phantom the day I attended. He must have been thrilled
to have his taste of glory in this meaty role. Caitlin
Borek’s awesome voice and powerful emotional range
made her a perfect fit as Christine, the beleaguered
heroine. Tina Mancini as the spicy Carlotta was an
excellent choice, and Philippe’s portrayal as the
handsome friend and would-be lover of Christine was very
well-rendered by Matthew Salvatore.
outstanding performance worth mention was given by
Ronald L. Brown as Carierre.
period costumes were provided by Robin Buerge; graceful
ballet dancers and a strong vocal ensemble were chosen
and directed by the able collaborative team of Edward
Flesch and Mary Ehlinger.
in all, it’s an experience to relish and remember.
musical runs through Feb. 18 at the Fireside Dinner
Theatre, 1131 Janesville Ave., Fort Atkinson. Call
800-477-9505 or visit