The curtain is set to rise on an Australian theatrical tradition, The Phantom of the Opera Easter concert, returning to the stage of the Princess Theatre, where Phantom is now playing its second Melbourne season. Not unlike Broadway's Annual BC/EFA Easter Bonnet Competition, the event features the musical's cast and crew in a series of flamboyantly satirical acts, often lampooning the long-running show itself. Not only designed as a wicked reflection on current musicals, the Easter concert has generated significant funding for numerous charities.
This year's Phantom Easter concert is being staged at midnight on Thursday April 9. The heritage of the Easter concert goes back to the 1980 Australian tour of Barnum and was then passed on to the Les Mis company. This year's proceeds will go to the Brian Stacey Memorial Fund, named in honour of the esteemed and beloved conductor who died so tragically in a hit and run accident in 1996.
A Las Vegas theme has provided abundant inspiration for the costume department, whose work will be so evident in a spectacular opening number. Other anticipated highlights include a soft shoe routine from two Phantoms, the ballet troupe as the Spice Girls, a raunchy Madame Giry and the return of Easter concert favourite, Nina the Ballerina.
The theatre's front-of-house staff will also take to the stage in celebration of the long wait for Phantom's return to the Princess where it had its Australian premiere in 1990.
The concert is staged with the support of the Cameron Mackintosh organisation, and use of the Princess Theatre is donated by owners David and Elaine Marriner. Tickets are available from the Princess Theatre box-office.