WINNIPEG — Close your eyes and think about ‘80s musicals — you can probably hear the opening notes of the Phantom of the Opera blasting in your ears even if you’ve never seen the show (perhaps it’s because the commercials play every 45 seconds on Winnipeg airwaves lately, but I digress). The notes are nothing short of iconic. For the last 30 years, tourists have flocked to the Majestic Theatre in New York City to see the original production of Phantom, and it continues to hold its own on Broadway, despite bigger and newer productions moving in over the decades. I was one of those tourists a few years ago on my first trip to the Big Apple, watching history happen when Norm Lewis took the stage as Broadway’s first black Phantom.
The productions on Broadway and in London are what the biz calls “frozen” — after opening, nothing changes, except for the cast — the sets, costumes, script, and special effects all stay the same, and will until it closes (if it closes). But on tour? On tour is a different story — they do not have the same obligation of loyalty, and I’m thankful they don’t.
Culture Card has partnered with Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Pride Winnipeg to present a performance of Jean Grand-Maître’s critically acclaimed “Love Lies Bleeding” performed by the Alberta Ballet.