Based on Gaston Leroux's potboiler of the same name, Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical The Phantom of the Opera is a solid hit in London and a box-office success in New York. Perry's volume, which serves essentially as a souvenir of the stage production, includes the musical's libretto, a fascinating account of the show's genesis, and spectacular color photographs and drawings. Introductory material covers the Paris Opera House, Leroux, the original novel, and its various film versions. The book's plum is the show's libretto, which, even devoid of its evocative score, is the finest adaptation to date of Leroux's original idea. A memento of a highly creative musical; for theater buffs. Eric W. Johnson, Univ. of Bridgeport Lib., Ct.
YA A lavishly illustrated book that surveys the background and theatrical treatments of the Phantom story. Perry has included a discussion of the Paris Opera building, the 1911 novel by Gas ton Leroux, the films, and Andrew Lloyd Webber's current stage hit (which comprises two-thirds of the book). The entire libretto, but none of the score, is included. The composer, cast, and production staff appear in text and pictures. There are some fascinat ing behind-the-scenes tidbits about makeup, costuming, and stagecraft techniques. Reasons for certain pre- production decisions are discussed by Lloyd Webber, Hal Prince, and others in positions of artistic direction. Many color photographs show the production itself. This book will be enjoyed by teenagers who love the theater from ei ther side of the proscenium. Rita G. Keeler, St. John's School, Houston