LINCOLN NEBRASKA AUGUST 2000
There were several interesting differences in this production that were worth taking note of.
Instead of doing a review of the show it seemed more efficient to make a list of the differences.
Trixie was a drag queen. While she sang there was a black light on her making her hair glow
and some of the phantoms had black light reactive costumes.
When she said the bit about Prunes a giant prune danced out (well ok, it looked more like a
Californian Rasin) but anyway he came out throwing glow in the dark spiders at the audience.
As the song ended they pulled off his prune costume to expose Ralph Happshat and went
right into the wedding scene.
When Riff does his solo for "There's a Light" the stage light comes up on him mounted on top
of Magenta on the Coke machine. He sang whilst grinding her.
Time Warp was really fun. The Phantoms were all pop icons. Included were: Andy Warhol,
Shirly Temple, Divine, John Waters, as well as others.
Sword of Damoclese was by far the high point. The lab area was elevated off of the floor about
5 feet. As Rocky began to run from Frank he dove off the stage. This was quite startling as
there were a few Phantoms on the floor below and his dive was not condusive to a cat-like
landing. But as he dove he reached up and grabbed onto a trapese and began to swing. Oddly
enough no one even noticed the trapese till he grabbed it…so it was quite startling to the
audience. After doing some wonderful trapese work he then jumped off and ran across the
auditorium to a fireman type pole. He climbed the pole all the way to the top…not missing a
beat or losing his breath. It was amazing. The "circus" theme was continued as the phantoms
were all sitting on brightly colored boxes in the middle of the auditorium giving the look of
the circus ring.
For the monitor there was a empty television screen that Riff could put his head through to
give the cheesey yet effective look of being on the monitor. There was a second monitor on
the lower level that was a vent opening from the stage. For the bedroom scenes they used
Barbies to show the couples together, it was quite funny.
During Eddie's Teddy when Scotty is singing "From the day he was born, he was trouble"
sidestage we see a Mother holding her baby. The baby has projectile "Exorcist" vomit.
Also when they sing the line "He left home the day she died" they pull a corpse in a rocking
chair out and hold this crazy light fixture over her as she rocks and we hear the music from
For Eddie's Note instead of a voice over Eddie pops up out of the coke freezer with angel
wings on and sings the words of the note. When they sing "When Eddie said he didn't like
his teddy" he rips stuffing out of his teddy bear and throws it out at the audience.
Being a "Roman" style theater the patrons sat on the floor with pillows in a semi-circle.
There were 2 "Babylonians" or Roman clad warriors who where more or less stage hands.
For the floorshow they carried Frank on with a rickshaw type stretcher. He had a beautiful
boa, ostrich feathers I think, and a long straight black hair wig. He was very elegant looking.
During the floorshow the phantoms came out and violated the audience.
Trixie was more or less molesting the Crim at the end as they reprised "Time Warp"
All in all a really good show. The ideas used above made it very different from others
versions of the play I am familiar with.
Sorry the image quality for these photos is not top notch. I had not gotten permission to photograph the show and didn't have a chance to ask anyone before show started. Afterwards these actors were nice enough to pose for us and assured me that photos during the show would have been fine. The house lighting was a bit dark for good photos (without a flash anyway). Unfortunately this show had some really photo-worthy moments. Live and learn.