Tonight: Westlake High Theatre presents ‘Phantom of the Opera’

About this time last year, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Phantom of the Opera” presented its 13,981st and final show on Broadway. Westlake High Theatre will resurrect its themes of obsession, seeing past scars and longing Thursday, April 18 at 7 p.m. at Westlake High School, 100 Garden Dr.

Kaden Hasty will be the disfigured, haunting musical genius. Christine Rougeou is the beautiful young soprano and Ayden Potts rounds out the tragic love triangle as Raoul. Catie Rougeou will direct.

The musical is based on the novel by Gaston Leroux published in 1910, according to Director of Theatre Kerry A. Onxley.

“It is a masterwork of legendary music, dazzling period costumes, stunning sets and the infamous chandelier,” Onxley said.

The chandelier, he says, is the centerpiece, the sine qua non, the first object the audience patrons experience once they enter the theatre, and it symbolizes the dramatic power and malevolence of the Phantom over the opera house.

Onxley and Catie Rougeou agreed; the chandelier must be huge, but light. It hangs about 100 feet out into the audience and features approximately 150 battery-operated candles bedazzled with thousands of gemstones, Onxley said. The entire unit is controlled by a remote operated by Stage Manager Ren Hill, and it was designed by Catie Rougeou and her stepmother. The chandelier took a day to be delivered, installed and hoisted to the exact position above the audience. The pulley system took five months to construct.

Onxley said it was even more difficult to get theater students to study the Phantom of the Opera music, the pinnacle for this production.

“For most of the Westlake High thespians, this was their first exposure to opera,” he said. “This music is a combination of classical, romantic and operatic styles, drawing on influences from both French and German opera.”

The back wall of the theater serves as a  masterpiece drawing painted by Kyron Campbell. The 50-foot by 50-foot backdrop took three months to complete. Campbell will play the role of Fimin in the production.

Other cast members are Rayna Smith, Tyler Williams, Joseph McGee, Aaliyah Bergeron, Isabelle Foreman, Daerion Hawdkins. Jason Thibodeaux, Payton Chapman, Kamyn Chaman and Laura Sitti.

Don’t miss this one and only performance of educational theater at its finest. Tickets are $10 per person and can be purchased at the box office on the day of the performance beginning at 6 p.m. For more information, contact Onxley at (337) 217-4950 or kerry.onxley@cpsb.org.

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