The Polish version of the Andrew Lloyd Webber / Richard Stilgoe musical “Phantom of the Opera” has been showing in Warsaw for very nearly a year now (premier was March 15th 2008 ) at the Musical Theatre Roma on ul. Nowogrodzka. Here’s a cartoon of a man who must be laughing about that all the way to the bank:
We went to see it yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it. We enjoyed it so much, we even bought a programme.
For those who like to compare prices, the tickets cost 75 PLN each (21 USD, 16 EUR, 15 GBP), the programme cost 20 PLN, a small bottle of water cost 4 PLN and the cloakroom attendant got 2 PLN. We were sat in row 3, a very short step from the orchestra pit. I’ll tell you what, that’s fantastic value! We saw Lion King in London a couple of years ago and I’m pretty sure that cost 75 GBP per ticket, five time more expensive and although very good, not five times better.
I’ve not seen Phantom before so I can’t compare this performance with others but we have seen almost everything done at Teatr Roma in the last 8 years and this is probably the best yet. They always do a good job and everything we’ve seen has been enjoyable – Cats, Miss Saigon, Pan Kleks, Grease, Dance of the Vampires. We need to see ‘Cohen’ and ‘My mum Janis’, then I think we have the full house.
I think what sets this slightly apart from other performances is the professionalism. There has certainly been more money spent on the sets and more time devoted to getting it right in every respect, sets, performances, music, lighting and it results in a musical that would happily grace the stage of a theatre anywhere in the world. Preferably ones with more comfortable seats!
The language doesn’t bother me really. I know the songs from having heard them many times before in English but the tunes still come through strongly and I can recognise enough Polish words that it doesn’t sound weird.
Zosia enjoyed it very much. Her “worst moment” was when the chandelier fell from the ceiling onto the stage, despite us telling her this was going to happen beforehand. Her “best moment” was when Christine kisses the ugly boy!
All in all, a good show and well worth going. Judging by the number of coaches parked outside there are plenty of people who agree and are coming from far and wide to see it. The sight of those coaches always makes me appreciate living so close to the centre.
If you’re tempted to visit the restaurant just a little further down Nowogrodzka while waiting for the theatre to open, don’t bother! It is the nearest, and as far as you can see the only, place to get refreshment close to the theatre but it is dire. Horrid food, worse service, dirty decor, it goes in my category of “mafia run” rubbish. The theory being that it only exists to launder money and so nobody really cares if it makes a profit or not. There are other places to go but you have to walk just a little further.