Waterbury's Palace Readies For Refreshed 'Phantom'


Of course, there will be a crashing chandelier when the new tour of The Phantom of the Opera plays (for the first time) at Waterbury’s Palace Theater. But this time it won’t be a lumbering, slo-mo effect, but one that drops faster and is filled with sound effects, sparks, smoke and sizzle.

The new tour — overseen by Matthew Bourne and Cameron Mackintosh — now offers 21st-century, high-def projections, immersive sound and other spectacular touches to the musical, which is approaching its 30th anniversary on Broadway in January.

Frank Tavera, executive director of the Palace, says it will be an even more dynamic production than previous tours — and that his theater is the only venue in Connecticut which can accommodate the new version. It runs Nov. 15-26.

The show, performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, features new scenic designs and choreography by Scott Ambler, and staging by Laurence ConnorMaria Björnson’s spectacular costumes will be true to the original. The production will also feature the tour’s first black Phantom: Derrick Davis.

Tavera says the Palace, with its “European-classic feel,” is perfect for the show’s sense of grandeur.

For those fans who have seen the original, Tavera, who can’t mask — or even half-mask — his excitement, says, “you’ll now get to see the show in a different, more engaged way and from a different perspective because now the production envelops you.”