Jade Gordon

Mt. St. Helens

Mt. St. Helens! Generally I’m always on the wrong side of the plane, so it has been hard to see it.

Sunset

We touched down right about sunset.

Stratosphere

View from The Stratosphere. I do love viewing places from way up high!

If you were curious as to how I fared during the trip… well, I spent the last day in a wheelchair. I paced myself, got rides when I could, applied first aid and maintenance and medicated appropriately, yet still I got to a point where spasms brought me down (which means my right side balled up and my right leg stopped working) – thankfully I’d planned enough that I wasn’t far from a seat, I can only hop so far. It’s a little sad when old ladies in walkers can move faster and more reliably than you can. This is oddly better than the last trip a few years ago, when I ended up just flopping down and crying because I didn’t know what was happening or what to do about it. I’m trying not to let the disability stop me from having a life, but it sure can be a challenge.

 

Best part of the trip? Phantom of the Opera!

Phantom of the Opera

(Some years ago, this is what I drew after seeing the movie.)

We were in the center of the 3rd row for Phantom of the Opera. SPOILERS AHOY! If you haven’t ever seen it, or the movie, and don’t want to be spoiled, skip to the next paragraph! When you go sit down, the first thing you notice is that everything it covered in tarps, and looks like an out-of-commission opera house. At the end of the Prologue, it “flashes back” starting with 4(?) chandeliers that crash down to the audience, and then sort of dance overhead, pulling up to the center (for the Phantom to fall out of later!!), and all the tarps get yanked off, revealing a rich and gorgeous theater, and all the little box seats going up the sides… hooked up with Madame Tussauds, perhaps? The costumes, the layering of the sets and details, jeeze Louise! The alternate Christine, Kristen Hertzenberg, was frickin’ spectacular, the only time she seemed at all off was when she was completely engrossed in her acting, making real tears and such – I can’t sing with a lump in my throat, either (and even without a lump I’m still all frog)! It was pretty powerful, though, to see that passion spilling out. The Phantom, Anthony Crivello… sweet bee’s knees!! He has a sort of vocal arrangement that makes him distinct, and what it did was give him a depth of character, aging him a bit, giving him greater range and nuance… just… BOY OH BOY. And let me tell you how Andrew Ragone could kick the behind of any sparkly, spooky, romantic lead (If Sean Maher were musically inclined, there could be similarity there.). The scene with the boat in the sewers? Because of our seats, it was like we were submerged in the fog and the boat was coming at us. That’s one of the things about the staging and the theater, you really felt like you were inside the show somehow. So amazing. Not many dry eyes at the ending. I’ve always had a bit of trouble with the excessive back and forth at this point, but this Phantom really makes you feel it, even if at the very last that dude was probably slightly overacting from exhaustion – I was out of breath just trying to keep an eye on him!

Days later, I’m still saying “Let’s go see Phantom again!” I finally have an answer to the question “What would you do if you won the lotto?” The typical answer is bills, medical stuff, safe, decent house… but after that? 2 weeks of this show front and center. Especially for this Phantom and this Christine. I am so sad that there is no soundtrack with these two (and really, everyone was amazing!), and all I can find is a sort of iffy morning show demo song from the show. This Phantom is so, so enchanting, his ability to go from the most delicate, trepidatious whispering to absolutely brutal, booming energy. I feel like I’m totally spoiled by the Creative Common License that the w00tstock crowd has, allowing me to re-watch shows I went to so I can remember every little detail, and keep up with shows I cannot get to. I wish Broadway and Vegas, etc. shows would let you buy the evening’s recording the next day or something- really, how likely is it to be able to go back and see it many times right away so you won’t miss seeing your favorite cast?

 

Anyway, in conclusion: OMG GO SEE PHANTOM IN VEGAS. It will give you the will to live!! :)

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