Love Broadway Musicals?
Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classic musical comes to Austin as part of a brand-new North American tour—and critics are raving that this breathtaking production is “bigger and better than ever before.” Featuring a brilliant new scenic design by Paul Brown, Tony Award®-winning original costume design by Maria Björnson, lighting design by Tony Award®-winner Paule Constable, new choreography by Scott Ambler, and new staging by director Laurence Connor, the production boasts many exciting special effects including the show’s legendary chandelier.
This production’s beloved story and thrilling score, with songs like “Music of the Night,” “All I Ask Of You” and “Masquerade,” are performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this Phantom one of the largest productions currently on tour.
Recently, Free Fun in Austin had the pleasure of getting to know Phantom cast member Emily Ramirez, who plays the character of Meg Giry. Emily grew up in Katy, TX, and was a professional ballerina for 10 years before taking the plunge and transitioning into musical theatre. Her notable roles include “Sugarplum Fairy” in The Nutcracker and “Odille” in Swan Lake; regional credits include The Addams Family (Morticia Addams), Cabaret (Sally Bowles) and Rock of Ages (Ensemble/Dance Captain). Emily is also a dance instructor, choreographer, writer and voiceover artist.
Q&A with Emily Ramirez:
FFIA: What are you most excited for Austin audience members to experience at the show?
Emily: It’s hard to pick just one thing to be excited about sharing with the great city of Austin! What I love about this show is that there really is something for everybody. There’s brilliant music, gorgeous sets and lush costuming, and of course my incredibly talented cast mates singing their faces off! There are many dramatic moments, but also a ton of clever comic relief. And of course, let’s not forget about that chandelier. All I’m saying is be ready for it!!
The Broadway production of The Phantom of the Opera is the longest-running Broadway show in history, with well over 10,000 performances to date. Some audience members at the Austin show may have seen it before on Broadway. What about this traveling production feels fresh and new to you?
I think our 25th-anniversary version of Phantom makes wonderful use of our most current theatrical technology to make the audience’s experience completely immersive. The characters in the show have also been reinterpreted in small ways, which I think makes this show feel very fresh and genuine.
The story of The Phantom of the Opera deals with themes about true love, prejudice, and appearances (masks) vs. reality (our true selves). Is there any theme or other aspect of the story that is personally meaningful to you?
One of my favorite themes from this show is empathy. Throughout the production many characters put themselves in other people’s shoes and let their empathy inspire positive actions. I think that’s an incredibly important theme to keep alive in the world, now more than ever. We don’t have to come from the same place or share the same beliefs, but we must always have empathy for one another.
The Phantom of the Opera was originally a novel written in the late 1800s; over 120 years later, the story is still popular and riveting for audiences. What do you think it is about the story that is so timeless (or timely) and relevant?
Love. There are so many displays of love in The Phantom of the Opera. Some are simpler and some are incredibly complicated, and it’s thrilling to see how each character’s dynamic with another shifts and grows throughout the show. The beautiful score written by Andrew Lloyd Weber is also a timeless work that perfectly captures the emotions felt by each character in their most passionate moments.
Thank you so much, Emily, for your thoughtful insights and answers to our questions!
Purchase Tickets to the Show—and Enter to Win our Free Tickets Giveaway!
Tickets starting at $34 are available at BroadwayInAustin.com as well as at the Bass Concert Hall box office, at all Texas Box Office outlets, or by phone at (512) 477-6060. For groups of 10 or more, call (877) 275-3804 or email Austin.groups@BroadwayAcrossAmerica.com.
Enter for a chance to win a pair of tickets to The Phantom of the Opera for Opening Night, Wednesday, April 19, 2017, at Bass Concert Hall on the University of Texas campus! To enter this giveaway, simply fill out the form below. The contest closes at 11:59 PM on Thursday, April 13, 2017. One winner will be selected at random and notified by email by Friday, April 14, with ticket pick-up instructions. Official Giveaway rules.