Local News

Triangle Show Goers Want More Broadway

Posted May 6, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT

— For the next month, a ghastly apparition will be haunting Raleigh's Memorial Auditorium. The Phantom of the Opera is here. It's the first of what many local resident hope will be a long list of shows straight from the ranks of the Big Apple.

The reviews of opening night at Phantom of the Opera were spectacular. What else can you expect from a show that's been seen and loved by 100 million people in twelve countries and has grossed more than 2.5 billion dollars around the world?

The portcullis comes down. The candles go up. After 10 days of preparation, the stage is set for a show unlike any the theater has seen before. And a show unlike any most of the people there has seen before.

Actually, if you've seen the Phantom of the Opera on Broadway in New York, this is actually the same show you've seen before. Different actors? Maybe. But, the same music, the same effects, the same costumes, the same mix of love, horror and elegance that made Phantom the most successful show in entertainment history. It's the biggest coup for Memorial Auditorium in its quest to bring Broadway to Raleigh.

"Instead of us begging New York to send the shows, they are calling us and saying 'This is what we have. Can you fit it in on your slot,'" explains Jim Lavery. "So, it's been a big transformation for us this year."

That's music to the ears of many theater goers who say Raleigh is ready for the big time.

"Raleigh needs big time entertainment," says Sally Ellinwood. "We've got the population here. We've got the crowds. It's terrific."

Phantom is just the beginning for Memorial Auditorium. They've already booked Stomp, Chicago, Miss Saigon and Rent for next season. This season, Phantom tickets are still available.