THE Phantom of the Opera opened to packed audiences and rave reviews in Echuca at the weekend and looks certain to smash Echuca-Moama Theatre Company box office records.
And with tickets selling fast, time is running out to make sure you get a seat.
With nine shows to go, more than 75 per cent of tickets have already been sold, ensuring this will be one of Echuca-Moama Theatre Company’s most successful productions.
The cast of 47 dazzled an audience of almost 800 after opening at the Paramount on Friday night, followed by two performances on Saturday.
The production received standing ovations and rave reviews; including “what a professional show”, “equally as good as a presentation by Anthony Warlow and Marina Prior”, “it brought me to tears”, “a spellbinding spectacular” and “you’ve pulled off the impossible EMTC. Well done”.
The Riverine Herald’s own reviewer described it as “something unparalleled in 43 rich years of musical theatre in the twin towns” and “just occasionally, no, only rarely, the stars in the heavens align with the stars on stage – and create magic”. And this is it.
Directors Mark Thomson and John Wright have been blown away by the response.
“The audience reaction has been amazing to the shows so far – the calibre of singing has blown people away and they can’t believe the professionalism of the costumes/sets that we have used,” Mark said.
“The reactions of people leaving the Paramount over the weekend has made the huge number of hours invested in the creation and development of EMTC’s production of the Phantom during the past 12 months worthwhile,” he said.
“Both John and I are extremely proud of the cast and crew – their hard work and dedication has paid huge dividends over the weekend.
“Each performance got better and we can’t wait to see the next nine.”
Mark said audience numbers increased over the three performances, averaging about 270 per show.
“Ticket sales have been taking off for the remaining shows which is so encouraging that the people of Echuca-Moama and surrounds have embraced the arts and are supporting some very talented people.”
And while the cast and crew couldn’t have hoped for a better result, they are keen to improve on what has already been one of EMTC’s greatest achievements.
“We are truly proud of what has been created and look forward to seeing how we continue to develop over the next two weeks,’’ Mark said.
Phantom will take to the stage again tomorrow and Friday night, followed by two shows on Saturday and a matinee on Sunday.
Next week, there will be four shows from Thursday night, with the final curtain call on Saturday night, June 9.
“The whole production team and cast encourage people to buy their tickets as soon as possible as this is one show that should not be missed,” Mark said.
■Tickets are available at the Paramount, phone 5482 3399.