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Gerard Butler GALS


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About Panarophile

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    Sam's Kissing GAL
  • Birthday 01/01/1974

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    Upstate New York

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  1. I was pretty eager to hear the French dub of the film since I speak and read French pretty well and because there's no French stage recording. I have to admit I didn't care for it at all. I never even finished it. I did, however, love the Italian dub with Luca Velletri. And, while I generally dislike Uwe Kroger (except as Death" in the musical "Elisabeth"), I liked him on the German film dub. I'll admit I'm a very hardcore Phantom fan (and a Mizzie, as the "Les Miserables" fans are called...and a general Broadway fan), but I'm by no means the most intense. I know many, many "phans" who are even more hardcore! DLSPBS, glad to help!
  2. You're more than welcome. Yes, Steve originated the role of Raoul in both London and NYC, then later played The Phantom himself for a time. I don't care for his "Music of the Night." I find it a little too overpowering. But his Final Lair was excellent and his sobbed "I love you" was heartbreaking. He also suffered a serious injury as The Phantom, falling through the trap door at the end of the Red Death scene. On a random side note, there are few recordings out there of Steve. He died about five or six years ago after a long struggle with bi-polar disorder. A real loss - I've talked to people who knew him (Hugh did "The Red Shoes" with him very, very briefly) and have heard nothing but respect and love for a talented, troubled man. One of his final recordings was a simple, beautiful song called "Simply Flying" and it was featured on a memorial album recorded by some of his peers after his death. Hard to find on CD, but worth it. It was also featured in a little fan video... Amazon.com usually has the Canadian cast recording. There's also a site - soundofmusic.de whic is based in Germany and has an INCREDIBLE selection of foreign cast albums, including the Japanese, Hungarian, Swedish, Korean, Mexican, and other versions of Phantom. There are two German language stage recordings...the Vienna and the Hamburg casts. It's been a while since I've heard either, but my German-speaking friends always recommend the Vienna cast. On a related note, a few years ago, a number of former and current Broadway Phantoms recorded an album to benefit Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS. It's a great little CD with the various Phantoms singing non-Phantom songs. My favorite tracks on it include Gary Mauer's "This Is The Moment" from "Jekyll & Hyde," Brad Little's "Forever From Here," and Ted Keegan's "Marianne." But the one I especially love is Hugh's recording of "You're Already There." It's a lovely little song that he sings beautifully and it's the song that made me fall in love with his voice. Michael Crawford's track, "Charlies," is a bit of a let-down...I know die-hard Crawford fans who hate it. It also includes a posthumously released recording of "Night And Day" by Steve Barton...a rare chance to hear him. Broadway's Fabulous Phantoms
  3. They never released a Spanish film soundtrack. There is, however, a Spanish-language edition of the stage version...the Mexican cast recording with Juan Navarro as the Phantom. http://www.amazon.com/Fantasma-Opera-Mexic...4036&sr=8-1 My additional two cents on the various recordings... The Original London Cast Recording was my introduction to Phantom. Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman were responsible for what is now twenty years of love for this musical. I loved both of their voices, as well as the music and the story. When I first heard it - I was fourteen when it was released and my English teacher played it for us - I thought it was the most amazing thing I'd ever heard. Interestingly enough, when I was younger, I did not care for Steve Barton's voice at all. I didn't dislike Raoul or anything...just his voice didn't impress me. Now, however, Steve (may he rest in peace) is my favorite part of the OLCR. (It was my early love of Phantom that also lead to my very strong interest in "Les Miserables" - I knew nothing of it until I heard Michael Crawford sing "Bring Him Home" on his first solo album. When the 1st National Tour came here a few months later, I begged to go see it. It was one of the most powerful stories and I had a rather big crush on the young actor who played Marius. Three summers ago, I met that Marius...Hugh Panaro...as the Phantom and, this summer, had the joy of seeing him as Jean Valjean.) Unable to get tickets to see Phantom on Broadway with the original cast, I did have the chance to see Michael Crawford live in concert. It was a wonderful show, though hearing him sing "The Music of The Night" live didn't meet my expectations and it was his version of "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" that was the high point of the performance, vocally and emotionally. Somewhere along the line, I got the Canadian Cast Recording. I was looking forward to hearing it because I liked Colm Wilkinson on the Les Miz cast recordings and loved his rendition of "Anthem" from "Chess." I did not, however, like him at all as the Phantom and, to this day, he remains one of my least favorite stage Phantoms, along with Robert Guillaume, Paul Stanley (yes, that Paul Stanley), and the current Broadway Phantom, Howard McGillin. At some point, I put my interest in Phantom on the backburner. I never lost my love of it, but I had other things on my mind. I grew up, took down my Phantom poster from my bedroom wall, misplaced my silver mask pin. Once in a while, I'd come across my OLCR or hear a version of MOTN on the radio and I'd smile. But that was about it. By the time the movie was released, it had been a very long, long time since I'd heard it at all. So the movie soundtrack had, at first, a very fresh sound for me. I will admit that, even at first, I did not like Emmy Rossum's voice at all. I'm not well-versed (no pun intended) in music...I tease Hugh that I'm as musically illiterate as he is computer illiterate...but I really found her voice to have a thin, colorless lack of character. It wasn't until a few months AFTER the movie's release that I finally saw the show love on Broadway. After that, the OLCR, Canadian, and movie recordings were completely eclipsed for me. Since then, I've seen the show over two dozen times and heard numerous recordings (yes, bootlegs) and discovered Phantoms, Christines, Raouls, and Carlottas that I greatly prefer to those on the commercially available recordings...Hugh Panaro, Jeff Keller, James Romick, Susan Owen, Kris Koop, Julie Hanson, Michael Shawn Lewis, Jim Weitzer, Anne Runolfsson, Patricia Phillips. Back to Michael Crawford before I shut up (and I can ramble about Phantom for hours)...he is not my favorite Phantom by a long shot. I do, however, still like him and I have great, great respect for his work in originating the stage role. But I've never found his voice to be unmanly, effeminate, girly, or any of the many other adjectives I've heard used since the movie was released. His voice is higher and lighter in tone than Gerry's and I can understand why some people prefer one to the other and some people enjoy both.
  4. I have to go with "none of the above." For me, the best is the Swedish Cast Recording...and this is coming from someone who doesn't speak or understand a word of Swedish. The orchestrations are simply splendid. Clear and gorgeous and they really capture the feel of being there live, minus the sounds of the audience. Mikael Samuelsson is tied for second place (with Jeff Keller) for me when it comes to favorite Phantoms. There's something very powerful and simply compelling about his "Music of the Night." Elisabeth Berg is probably the best Christine I have ever heard. A beautiful, pure-sounding soprano...her cadenza at the end of the title song is wonderful and her "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" is simply exquisite. The weak point is Raoul...his name escapes me right now and, of the various recordings, his Raoul is my least favorite.
  5. Well, we're not given much of a backstory for Buquet...for all we know, there may have been factors in his own upbringing that contributed to his unpleasant behavior, too. For all we know, he may have come from a very brutal childhood. He may have had a horribly abusive father, a negligent mother. Perhaps his parents were alcoholics who left him to fend for himself on the streets at a very young age. Maybe, for different reasons than the Phantom, he too didn't have anyone to teach him right from wrong or properly set his moral compass. But I guess it's OK to justify and excuse whatever wrong that the Phantom commits because he's one hot hunk of manflesh. But Buquet? He's an unattractive slob...so I guess his life doesn't mean anything. Edit: I have my copy of Leroux at hand and nowhere in it does it reference Buquet raping anyone. He's a scene-shifter who, after seeing the Phantom is found hanging near some sets in storage. He isn't given that sort of violent backstory.
  6. Well, after over three years, Dear Frankie remains not only one of my personal favorite films of all time, it's still one that I enthusiastically recommend to people often...I think I recommended it to at least four people in the past ten days.
  7. But, by that logic, Christine would be justified in killing the Phantom (or Raoul killing him on her behalf) because he is basically a stalker himself...no matter how his motivations (love, loneliness, societal rejection) are explained away or excused.
  8. Ha, well, I can't sing well at all...but I'll confess to singing bits of Phantom (and other musicals for that matter) for years. Usually, there's no one around to hear me but my dog...poor thing.
  9. I saw this one about twenty years ago when I first got interested in POTO through the Broadway musical. Now, I'm a huge fan of old movies in general and I've always liked Claude Rains. But I didn't care for this adaptation back then and I liked it less when I revisited it more recently. For me, it just strays a little too far from the core story of Phantom. I do like some of the costumes and the music, though.
  10. LOL. So in essence all we're doing is beating a comatose horse. And there's certainly nothing wrong with that! You're advocating cruelty to animals? To horses? You of all people? I'm shocked, just shocked. Anyhow, I don't think this topic is beating a dead horse. As long as there's someone out there who might still want to add their two cents, it's still a valid discussion. At the moment, I'm too lazy...and Luv knows where I stand.
  11. I bought the soundtrack to 'Woman in White' a while ago, and it wasnt very good. I dont recommend it. Gosh, I just keep thinking about what a disasterous idea this Poto sequel is. Like, if it flops and it could, it would possibely ruin Andrew Llyod Webber. Not to mention it would ruin the career of whom ever plays the Phantom. Who ever plays that role, especially if the show failed, would be synonymous with that role forever and not in a good way. If the sequel didnt live up to the expectations of the myriad of followers(and believe you me theres a very good chance of that), then the followers would turn against it, and in a BIG way. Oh god...how can ALW be so arrogant?!? He is rich enough. The Woman In White like much of Lloyd Webber's post-Phantom work is inconsistent. The book did a decent enough job adapting the plot of Collins' novel. In fact, I liked how they condensed the story. The score, however, was hit-or-miss. Some songs were very good - though nowhere near as memorable as anything from Phantom, Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, or even Aspects of Love. Others were forgettable. And the staging was questionable. I didn't have a chance to see it live, but I have seen a lot of clips and, in general, I like it...though it's weak compared to his past shows. Friends whose opinions are generally similar to mine had mixed reactions. Some LOVED it, some thought it was just O.K.. Still, selections from it do get a lot of play on my battered green iPod...especially "I Believe My Heart." One major problem that contributed to its demise was the cast illnesses. In London, Michael Crawford was the original Count Fosco, but he had to leave due to health issues. He was replaced by Michael Ball who transferred with the show to NYC, but was often out sick...I've heard people say that the fat suit worn for the role can cause problems for actors. Also, the lovely Maria Friedman who was very good as Marion, was treated for breast cancer during the show's run and had to take a leave. Some people specifically buy tickets to see certain stars in the role and absences like that certainly can contribute to the poor grosses that contributed to the closing. I'm not sure it would completely ruin the career of the actor to play the Phantom if they already had a solid body of work. But, believe me, it's not easy for an actor to overcome being in a flop. It's been two years since Lestat failed on Broadway and Hugh Panaro has gone on to amazing reviews in an excellent production of Sondheim's Company, toured in Europe with Barbra Streisand, gotten a wonderful audience response as a concert artists (including nearly two-minute standing ovations for his "Music of the Night"), and is being deservedly praised for his performance in the current Philadelphia production of Les Miserables. But, despite that and despite having a theatrical resume that goes back to the age of thirteen, I know firsthand that the stigma of playing the title role in Lestat is still attached to his name and there will always be people who'll know him primarily as "that guy who was in Lestat.
  12. I'm going to pretty much copy what I just said at another forum on the same subject...but I'll preface it by saying that I'm one of the fans who discovered Gerry because I was already a fan of The Phantom of the Opera long before the movie was released in 2004. I fell in love with the music and the story when it first transferred from London to Broadway. I didn't get to see it live until after the movie premiered, but I followed it very closely for years. Neither Gerry nor Michael Crawford is my favorite to play the Phantom...Hugh Panaro has my heart there. He amazed me in the role fifteen times and I've been very fortunate to get to him as a friend - something that wouldn't have happened if not for the movie. But I recognize every actor who has played the role - from Lon Chaney to Ramin Karimloo - has his own unique chapter in the story's long history and fans who love his portrayal. Now, as for the sequel... I've always been completely against the idea of ANY sort of sequel to The Phantom of the Opera. It's nearly impossible to create any sort of sequel to this story that doesn't negate the very things that make it so beautiful and touching and powerful. And the premise of the source material for the sequel - even with major tweaking - especially strips away everything that is so moving and wonderful about the original. Every bit of meaning...all the love and sacrifice and redemption of the kiss and in the Phantom releasing Christine to be with Raoul...is undermined by it. Oh, and the new title? It's awful. Whatever happened to the elegant Gothic romance of the original? This title sounds like something out of a very trite, syrupy Disney-esque fan fic jammed full of pretentious romantic cliches and affected flowery language written by a preteen. Even if we can hypothetically say that, despite everything, the musical is a success on stage...a lot can still happen before it becomes a film. It could and probably would be years between the sequel's stage premiere and a film. For example, Chicago premiered in 1975, but didn't reach the silver screen until 2002, A Chorus Line opened in 1970 and made it to film in 1985, Hairspray took five years from Broadway in 2002 to the movie last year. Sweeney Todd took even longer...almost thirty years. I believe it's taken about ten years for Mamma Mia to become a film. And, of course, it took from 1988 to 2004 before The Phantom of the Opera transferred from stage to screen and there were, over the years, many news stories saying that Lloyd Webber was seriously considering various actors for the title role...everyone from Michael Crawford to John Travolta to Michael Jackson. Even now, Gerry is not the only one being suggested for the role. There have been other news items mentioning John Barrowman and a Welsh singer named Rhydian as potential Phantoms. Not to mention some people have speculated that Josh Groban is being groomed for the role since he will be singing the role in a BBC radio concert version of The Phantom of the Opera. Plus, if the sequel fails on stage, the chances of a flop musical being made into a film are lower than low. You don't see producers lining up to make movies of Lestat or Lloyd Webber's most recent musical, The Woman In White. The latter was a good musical, but nowhere near a success in London or Broadway. Besides, does anyone here have a direct line to Gerry's own thoughts and feelings on the matter? For all we know, he might want the role very badly. Maybe he goes to sleep every night with a prayer that he will be offered a chance to play the role again in any form - stage or screen, sequel or otherwise. Maybe he wants it so much he'd make a Faustian bargain for it. Or maybe he wouldn't don the mask again for love or money. Maybe he'd say that, while he loved the first go-round, he's just not interested. Maybe he just wouldn't care to deal with the hassle of the make-up process a second time or expose himself to more hostile stage fans (given the negative feelings towards just the idea of this sequel, ANY actor who signs on will be in the crosshairs) or more criticism of his voice, justified or not. But, at this point, no matter if you're the sort who welcomes the chance to experience many different actors in the Phantom role or have some sort of monogamous love for only Gerry's Phantom and will never see any other actor in the role...whether you like, love, hate, or are totally neutral on Gerry as the Phantom...whether you're ready to sell your soul to see him damage his vocal chords in a stage performance...whether you won't see the sequel no matter who they cast...at this point, it's just speculation now and, at this point, all anyone can do is just take a deep breath and chill until official news comes along.
  13. There may be some good free or shareware programs for converting videos to the correct format for iPods, but the best program I've found is ImTOO's MPG Encoder 3. The name sounds a little limiting, but it's able to convert audio and video files back and forth between MANY different formats...from AVI to MP3, MP4 to WMV...and many, many others. I've always used it for converting videos for my iPod and, so far, haven't had an issue with copyrighted videos. I recently used it to convert a song that was included in a DVDs extras, but not on any soundtrack. I had already ripped the video and was able to make an MP3 for personal use with no trouble.
  14. I guess I don't spend much time wondering about the "real Gerry" these days. I know that even every single interview, fan encounter, and photo taken together doesn't begin to add up to the whole person that only family and friends would know. All of those collectively shows us a glimpse of who he is...fragments and facets, but not the whole of him. Certainly, I like those fragments and facets we do see, those aspects of himself that he chooses to reveal in a public way to fans. But I can't really say I know him from that. I accord him the same respect that I give any fellow human being...a basic level of respect that changes only if the person in question does something to increase or lessen it.
  15. I ended up having to take a road-trip from Albany to Montreal to see this film in March 2006 with a friend ( to HighlandHeather) in order to see this film. Has it been two years already? I enjoyed the movie. I felt that they did a good job adapting the massive story, though the editing seemed a bit patchy and I can see some people finding it hard to follow. Gerry gave an excellent understated performance - he never made Beowulf into a over-the-top cartoonish figure...which I think could easily happen with epic warrior characters. The Icelandic landscape was stunning and almost a character itself. My one major complaint - aside from the editing - was Sarah Polley's performance. She was very flat and unemotional, reminding me more of the wannabe emo girls at the local burrito bar than a real social outcast survivor. But it was worth the trip and I wouldn't mind seeing it again...if my missing DVD is ever found.
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