This was a pose invented by accident, so to speak. During the first rehearsals in London Michael Crawford’s wig was less oily and slick compared to later wigs. When he removed the fedora during the title song cadenza, his wig acted up and he did an in-character move to smooth it out.
Gillian Lynne, original choreographer, was watching the rehearsals. She swooned when she saw how sensual the wig smoothing pose looked, and told Michael Crawford to do it again (and again). And so the wig slicking became a part of the choreography, done by every Phantom to come.
Here’s some legendary photos of it!
1. Anthony Crivello, Las Vegas. 2. Jonathan Roxmouth, Johannesburg. 3. John Owen-Jones, West End. 4. Dave Willetts, Edinburgh/UK tour. 5. Michael Craeford, West End* 6. Brad Little, Singapore/World Tour. 7. Mark McKerracher, Manchester/UK tour. 8. John Cudia, US tour. 9. Scott Davies, West End.
( * Note also how short his pants and jacket sleeves are. He and designer Maria Bjørnson wanted it this way, so arm and leg movements would be emphasized)
Over the years, I’ve made portraits of some of my favorite Phantom performers. The Portrait series emulate the works of Robert Heindel which I first discovered in the “Complete Phantom of the Opera” book that were both minimalist and expressive at the same time.
1) Franc D’Ambrosio and Lisa Vroman 2) Franc D’Ambrosio 3) Brad Little 4) Anthony Crivello 5) Elizabeth Loyacano 6) Brianne Kelly Morgan 7) Hugh Panaro 8) Brent Barrett 9) Michael Lackey 10) Lisa Vroman
TODAY IN THEATRE HISTORY: In 1993, John Kander, Fred Ebb and Terrence McNally work their magic on Kiss of the Spider Woman, based on Manuel Puig’s novel about two men confined in a prison cell. Harold Prince directs Chita Rivera, Brent Carver and Anthony Crivello in the production that lasts 906 performances at the Broadhurst Theatre. It will go on to win seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical
Phantom phans: The actor formerly in the role of Las Vegas POTO is asking fans to show their support of a full concert version of Phantom of the Opera at the Venetian theater, an idea now being *floated* around by TPTB! Please share and reblog this graphic from Anthony Crivello and let your phan friends know!
To quote Anthony directly: “ PHANTOM in CONCERT in VEGAS … Idea is being ‘floated.’ Spread the word. Demand it!”