Phantom of the Opera
Phantom is all about the production, and the touring version certainly has that. Every bit of theatrical magic that can be hauled out of the battered old Broadway bag o’ tricks is visible, from spooky lighting to outlandishly detailed sets to pyrotechnics. But what else can you hang a show on when there’s really only one song in it? Better have a character disappearing in a flash of smoke, pacing the catwalk and dropping from a gargoyle-illuminated gondola. With good solid performances from experienced actors with beautiful voices, the show does everything it can to transcend a rather thin plot and twists that are telegraphed from a mile a way. Phantom is a crowd-pleaser, no doubt about that, and local crowds will undoubtedly be thoroughly pleased by this rip-roaring technical masterpiece. But it’s sort of like a diet of cotton candy; fun going down, but it leaves an aftertaste and has nothing of nutritional value to carry away.
Broadway Sacramento, 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 2 p.m. Thursday, Saturday and Sundays; $17.50-$70. Sacramento Community Center Theatre, 1301 L Street; (916) 808-5181 or (916) 557-1999. www.broadwaysacramento.com. Through June 14.