AMORY – Historically, “The Phantom of the Opera” is a hard show to close.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical is the longest running Broadway show, after all.
Amory High School’s students and faculty thought their production was complete after a series of well-attended performances in February.
Now, the cast and crew are preparing to take “The Phantom of the Opera” to the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis for a one-time engagement at 7:30 p.m. April 11.
“The students were very excited when they found out,” said Steve Stockton, co-director. “All of the excitement wore off and reality stepped in: ‘Oh, my gosh.’”
In 2006, AHS staged “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” at the Orpheum. A former Orpheum employee attended one of the “Phantom” performances, and he reported back to his old bosses. An invitation was extended and accepted.
“This is a bigger show – a much bigger show – than ‘Joseph’ was,” Stockton said. “It’s definitely a challenge.”
It’s expected to take two 18-wheelers to get the show’s statues, grand staircase, chandelier and other sets to Memphis. In addition, there are more than 150 period costumes.
A donor has stepped up to cover the Orpheum’s costs, so all ticket sales will go to AHS.
“We always said that taking ‘Joseph’ to the Orpheum was a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” said co-director Peggy Holmes. “We didn’t have a clue it could happen again.”
It’s tennis and baseball season, which means some must juggle acting with other activities. Rehearsals also have to be scheduled around school testing.
The Orpheum will present its own obstacles, including a new stage, fly loft and sound system.
Putting on another production of “Phantom” won’t be easy, but it should be amazing.
“When you go into a venue like the Orpheum,” Stockton said, “you want to be your best.”
Contact M. Scott Morris at (662) 678-1589 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A special opportunity
– What: Amory High School’s “The
Phantom of the Opera”
– When: 7:30 p.m. Monday,April 11
– Where: Orpheum Theatre,
– Tickets: $10, $20 and $35
– Info: (662) 256-3576
– Extra: Credit card orders accepted
M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal