Lora Hogan > Uncategorized  > Phantom of the Opera in Tampa

Phantom of the Opera in Tampa

Disclaimer: I received two complimentary tickets to this production thanks to my relationship with the Straz Center and Tampa Bay Bloggers. All opinions are my own.


I had a lucky child for a theater lover. I saw my first professional ballet when I was in kindergarten.  The first professional musical I remember seeing was a 1992 production of Guys and Dolls. I don’t remember anything that happened besides the fact that they all needed to sit down because SOMEONE was “rocking the boat.” From there my father (often accompanied by my Mother and brother) went on to see more shows on Broadway on tour than I can possibly count. I think I still have a trunk at my parent’s house that holds the countless programs and tickets, which I used to have plastered on bulletin boards in my various childhood bedrooms. Of those many shows, I have now seen Phantom of the Opera five times.

When I was in six grade, like many a 90s child, I LOVED Phantom. I sang “Think of Me” in my voice lessons. (Sorry Mom and Dad, I’m pretty sure that must have been pretty horrific to listen to.) I learned to play Phantom of The Opera (the title song) on the piano with great zest. And for Christmas when I was twelve, my parents gave me tickets to see Phantom in San Francisco.

At that time San Francisco had a touring production of the Phantom installed for five years in San Francisco’s Curran Theater.  I still remember my excitement of going to see the show on a foggy San Francisco night.  I loved the music and missed out on some of the more disturbing plot elements of the show.

I next saw the Phantom on Broadway with my father, my best friend, and her father–also during Christmastime.  We had amazing seats but our fathers lost track of time and we had to sprint through the city to make curtain. I remember arriving winded, slightly sweaty, and awed by the caliber of vocal performances in the show. I went on to see the show twice more–on tour in Boston in high school and again in a touring production shortly after College. I must confess, these two performances were not so memorable. If it wasn’t for the fact that I know I was in the audience (and had quite good seats), I can tell you nothing that stood out.
christineraoulChristine and Raoul; photo courtesy of the Straz
And on Friday night, I saw Phantom for the fifth time at the Straz Center in Tampa with the 25th Anniversary National Tour.  This production holds special meaning for me, as one of my friends from New York is in the corps de ballet!
10857822_10100785864528007_6670911089161125573_nMy friend Micki and I at the stage door after the show
Yes, I may be a bit biased because my friend is in the production, but the current production of Phantom at the Straz is by far my favorite rendition of the show. The new staging, amazing sets, breathtaking costumes (“Masquerade” has some of the most intricate costume work I have ever seen on stage), and supremely talented cast makes for a fantastic show!

masquerade“Masquerade” photo courtesy of the Straz Center

The Phantom of the Opera is at the Straz Center in Tampa, Florida now through January 4.

Show dates and times:

Dec. 22 – 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 23 – 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 24 – 2 p.m.
Dec. 26 –  8 p.m.
Dec. 27 – 2 and 8 p.m.
Dec. 28 – 2 and 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 30 – 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 31 –  8 p.m.
Jan. 1 – 7:30pm
Jan. 2 – 8 p.m.
Jan. 3 –  2 and 8 p.m.
Jan. 4 – 2 and 7:30 p.m.

Buy tickets here. And if you go, be sure to cheer loudly for my friend Micki in the corps de ballet! 🙂

Have you seen the Phantom of the Opera before? What was your favorite musical when you were in middle school? Did you even have one?