Friday, January 07, 2005

Phantom Tops the Charts

Well, I'll be damned. The phans of Phantom have pushed the soundtrack to the top of the charts, on the heels of the critically panned, but phan-loved movie musical of Phantom of the Opera. I must admit to really mixed feelings here. On one hand, pleased as punch to see movie musicals getting made again. On the other...yuck. I really don't like Phantom.

I thought that Eric Idle summed up my perspective perfectly in the Dec 20/27 issue of The New Yorker. He was being interviewed about the upcoming Spamalot, which I'll be seeing in Chicago next week (although the only ticket I could get was "limited visibility", so I may not have many observations on the set...). Here's a bit of the interview:

A prevailing theory among many of those involved in "Spamalot" is that the success of a string of offbeat musicals--"The Producers,""Urinetown,""Avenue Q"--bodes well for a Python extravaganza. It's difficult to imagine investors lining up a decade ago, with "Cats" and "Les Miserables" dominating Broadway.

"To me, 'The Producers' is the punch-back of the comedy musical," Idle said. "For years, there was nothing to laugh at, just Andrew Lloyd Webber and the plates on people's faces. I refuse to believe people really enjoyed it, though they would say, 'Oh, it's wonderful--all that fog!'"

Anyway, everyone I know who's seen the Phantom movie has hated it...but it'll be good for musicals if it does well at the box office. On the other hand, this movie could finally kill Phantom on Broadway, and that'd be a good thing. Put McPhantom out of its McMisery!

Sony Classical and Really Useful Records original motion picture soundtrack recording of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera is #1 on Billboard's Soundtrack Chart and #44 on the Top 200 according to today's Soundscan report. The soundtrack continues to grow in sales as its competition drops significantly after the holiday selling period. The soundtrack is also charting at #2 on Amazon.com and #4 on itunes.

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