The clock is ticking, and we are now less than one week away from the debut of the Senior School musical, The Phantom of the Opera. Students performing onstage, in the music pit, and working feverishly behind-the-scenes on costumes, make-up, and sets. Still more are excitedly preparing for the show’s run at the McPherson Playhouse from Feb. 25-27.
Today, the SMUS News site introduces you to Grade 12 students Sid Boegman and David Gardiner, the two young actors sharing the role of Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny.
What are your backgrounds in the performing arts or being involved in the SMUS musical?
Sid – I did musical theatre when I was a kid, and I’ve always loved stuff like improve. Last year I did props for Legally Blonde and I also worked in the make-up department for (the Middle School production of) The Wizard of Oz, so I really got to see how the musical worked. And then this year, because I love Phantom, I figured, ‘Hey, why not give it a shot?’
David – Before coming to SMUS I had no acting experience whatsoever, and I’ve still never been in a musical… until now. But I have been in two of the school plays in drama class since coming to St. Michaels.
What is it about Raoul that attracted you to that specific role?
Sid – The first time I saw the musical I saw the film version of the 25th anniversary, and Hadley Fraser, who plays Raoul, is phenomenal. He really brought the character to life, and I didn’t think I could be creepy enough to be the Phantom.
David – I share that sentiment; neither of us could be creepy enough to play Phantom.
Sid – I have a certain aesthetic about me and I felt like I could use that to be Raoul a lot more easily. I love the part and I love the songs I get to sing. It was the role that I felt myself drawn to most naturally when I saw the musical.
David – I had a nearly opposite experience. I saw the role and I thought it would be a large challenge and a very large step away from who I am naturally. That challenge is very appealing to me, and I wanted to take it on.
How has the experience of being in the SMUS musical been so far?
Sid – It was a little hard to get used to; you really have to build your life around the musical for a good chunk of the year. It’s been such an amazing experience, but I am definitely looking forward to some free time.
David – I feel like it’s been sort of like starting a lawn mower that you pull back on, and it sputters for a bit, but once it gets going, it really gets going. Initially getting started it was all a bit of a shock for me, but it’s all coming together really nicely now. Rehearsals are fun, and quite frankly, I could probably do this forever.
What has it been like sharing this role?
Sid – It’s the best thing that could’ve happened. It great – we each have different strengths and each bring something new to the character, so we play off of each other and create this awesome living person that we’re going to present to the audience, which is so cool. And David’s awesome, it’s been a pleasure to share the role with him.
David – We’ve talked a lot about the character, and we work together to make each other better. Whenever one of us isn’t getting something – like Sid is better at [removed for major Phantom spoiler] – we just ask the other about it and get tips.
How are you feeling with opening night on the horizon?
Sid – I’m at a point where I feel like we’re prepared and we’re just fine tuning it. There are a couple of scenes that still need a bit of work, but we’re really close.
David – What we do on rehearsals isn’t the best indicator of what we can do. When you get on the stage it’s something completely different, you just feel like everything will work. And if it doesn’t work you just have to make it work, and if you make it work well enough, no one will know, and everything works in the end.
Sid – Something will change when we get into the Mac for rehearsals; we’ll really start to feel the energy and it’ll start to feel like a performance. Last weekend we had the first full run-through in the gym, and that was one of the bigger moments for me because it was the first time I could see, ‘Hey, we’ve got something here!’
Why should people come see The Phantom of the Opera?
David – This performance of Phantom will blow your mind; we have a fantastic cast!
Sid – It’s Phantom; people should see it because it’s a big show and there aren’t a lot of chances to see it. We’ve really managed to capture the essence of what Phantom is supposed to be. I think it’s worth seeing it just to get that feeling when you’re in the theatre because it really feels like the Phantom is in there with you; the show is an experience.
David – A lot of people have only seen Phantom as a movie or a recorded copy of the stage version; watching it in the theatre is not only a completely different experience, but it’s also the best way to experience it.
The Phantom of the Opera runs nightly at 7:30 p.m. from February 25-27, with a 2 p.m. matinee on February 27. Click here for tickets and more information.
Last week, the News site introduced you to Emma Heusser and Victoria Schickhoff, the two actresses sharing the role of Christine Daae.
Do you want to read about some of our past musicals? Last year, the Senior School put on Legally Blonde, while the Middle School performed The Wizard of Oz. In 2014, Spamalot was the Senior School production, and in 2013 we were treated to The Secret Garden at the Senior School, and Annie at the Middle School.