Dashing Masked Young Phantom To Die for You

Floating in the Fog: Romance Seethes, Blossoms, Ignites, Inflames Hearts in Spooky  Paris Opera House(The WBT).  Matthew Billman and Kayleen Seidl are Westchester’s Leading Couple. All Photos, Courtesy, WBT by John Vechiolla

WPCNR STAGE DOOR. Theatrical Review by John F. Bailey. September 23, 2018:

Come my elegant friends to enchantment, mystery, glorious music  awaiting you at the Paris Opera House of La Belle Epoque at the turn of the 19th Century!

The mystique of its Corinthian gilded columns and elegant boxes, the ghostly secrets of its underground depths, magnificent, brooding atmosphere  rendered lovingly by Westchester Broadway Theatre.

 

Meet the Phantom of your dreams the swashbuckling, trademark cape-swishing intense and dynamic phantom Matthew Billman, (of Brooklyn,NY,USA),  he of the  irresistible baritone that sets women aflutter, that fills the WBT space with his longing, charisma, commitment, and magnetism.

His Phantom is smitten with his femme fatale, the divine ingénue, Christine Daee’ pitch-perfectly played in femininity, looks and soprano by Kayleen Seidl, as the chestnut tressed diva-to-be determined to make it in opera.

Ms. Seidl’s soprano exquisite’ dazzles, glistens ripples tender feelings and swells in splender into breathtaking waves towering, cascading over you powefully lingering in frothy foam of joy, tears, regret — creating in duets with Mr. Billman the jagged edged diamonds of outspoken devotion, anxiety, frustration, raw heartbreak of a love that can never be.

Ms. Seidl will make you weep.

I have to say the electricity the leads deliver makes you root for them.

 

This is the Phantom that should have been, ladies and gentlemen. Were it not for a quirk of timing this would have been the Phantom that made the Phantom famous on Broadway.

This production holds the  Westchester Broadway Theatre record for WBT’s longest run ever staged of all their 207 productions, nine months from 1992 to 1993. It lured people in because it is so good. Not a revival it is a survivor, hailed as a superior Phantom by critics including yours truly, Mr. and Mrs. White Plains.

That original WBT production  launched a national tour of the Arthur Kopit (Book) and Maury Yeston(music & lyrics) show. Kopit and Yeston were working on this show in  the early 1980s, trying to get financing for it when Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera secured financing first, and Kopit and Yeston abandoned the project in 1983.

Ironically, like the real Phantom, the K & Y musical was buried in the Yeston and Kopit vaults. It was produced out of town in Houston and Seattle and the public loved it.

Mr. Billman’s Phantom is more romantic and seductive, less dark in feel, and contains sensitive family matters, violence (gunshots, explosions) and action. The Phantom is not over-the-top deranged as the Phantoms of the movies.

If you want a Phantom to fall for, Mr. Billman is it. The Phantom is a composite of vampire, mystery man and Superman. Every woman wants a masked mystery man, (preferably in a cape)

If you want a Christine to take under your wing because you think she’s fabulous, well, sir, Ms. Seidl’s Christine is she.

You are familiar with the Webber songs of the Broadway hit, but this Phantom delivers  fascinating new ballads and arias to charm you. The musical placed in an opera house plays like an operetta.

If you like opera and thrive on its high hysteria and over the top drama and splendid tragic endings that uplift and hold out hope, this is the stuff your dreams are made of. If you like romantic musicals with an ending building to the future, well you’re going to cry but you will want to know what the real Matthew Billman looks like under the mask. And the only way you can see that is in the Playbill.

It’s the gilded age in Paris.

Here’s the situation. Phantom begins with a “Thump Thump Thump”  of the live orchestra trending with a doom beat the ill-fated romance of an overture as Parisians stream about the streets in front of the Paris Opera.

Ms. Seidl’s  Christine is singing in the streets of Paris like so many young actors with her marvelous  Melodies de Paris and is noticed by Count Philippe, a bon vivant (Larry Luck) a patron of the opera who gives her his card to introduce her to the new opera managers.

Cut to the opera house: the Phantom commands with his tall, broad-shouldered figure and his cape, which he uses like a sidekick and sings the ominous Paris Is a Tomb giving you an idea of the loneliness of this tortured young man who has lived his live in the catacombs of the Opera House for most of his 20-odd years. He is virile, isolated and all he knows is the opera.

Meanwhile, in the manager’s office, the wife of the new opera house manager,  Carlotta (Sandy Rosenberg) has fired the long-time manager of the House, Gerard Carriere played stylishly and sensitively by James Van Treuren.

Carriere has for years helped Eric (The Phantom) to live in the depths of the Opera Building and the answer why he has helped  him is not explained. Eric wears a mask.  Ms. Rosenberg does a malicious delicious This Place is Mine a prelude to the conflict to come.

Carlotta who wants to sing lead in her own opera house listens to Christine sing who has used her card of introduction and confines her to wardrobe.

Eric, the Phantom watching from  a place of concealment is smitten listening to her sing to herself. He is smitten. He offers Christine singing lessons.

Christine is equally intrigued with the tall,towering mystery man and especially his moody sensitive brown eyes.  In the first of their duets, Home solidifies the audience’s equally smitten relationship with the two leads.

When the two sing the audience bravos every time they finish with a flourish.

The Phantom brings down the house with his ode to Christine’s talent, You are Music. This is a blockbuster where Mr. Billman just makes the audience soar with the spirit of his caring for Christine.

As the Phantom (who has learned to sing from his mother) teaches Christine her Fa-la-la’s  stage left, their work is seamlessly staged by Director Tom Plum’s two scene-split with intrigue at the Opera House.

Nailing It! Eric prepares Christine for a singing competition at the Bistro which she (Ms. Seidel in white) of course, nails with her Christine Oligato and As You Would Love Paree.

Carlotta jealous of Christine’s talent has plans for her. She gives her a lead role, and after a suspenseful interlude in Christine’s dressing room, Christine makes a serious mistake.

The first act  flies by with the mounting drama, glorious songs and downright lurkiness of it, ending in an opera opening disaster. The audience left with a cliff-hanger for Act Two.

It’s the Phantom to her rescue. Has she lost her voice?  Will she live? What have they done to her?

Second Act: Plot deepens. The Phantom has carried Christine to safety with a marvelous boat  drifting romantically across the lagoon beneath the opera house. The boat with the Phantom poling to a secret refuge, the elegant Phantom’s Bedroom. And who is the mysterious woman on the headboard of the bed?

Mr. Billman and Ms. Seidl sing to each other with a duet to hear, Without Your Music and Where in the World. The WBT orchestra never intrudes, and lays a bed of melody letting the Phantom and Christine just enchant the audience with splendors of lyrics you will hear for the first time.

As the bedroom scene continues we go back into Eric’s past.

Carriere comes down into the bedroom, warning Christine she must leave.  Carriere tells of his past with the woman whose portrait appears on the bed. This backstory is elegantly rendered in a ballet of Carriere’s past with a young dancer,and it reveals the secret origin of The Phantom

Meanwhile the chase is on for Christine.

The drama heightens when Christine in her caring for Eric convinces him to reveal his mask.

What happens next will shatter you, uplift you and bring you to emotional empathy that you will take with you and always remember more than you know.

You will me moved to tears by the last duet of the two lovers, where Billman and Siedl play off each other beautifully and bond  together as they part.

James Van Treuren as Carriere, does a meaningful dramatic turn when he reveals his emotions of a lifetime with Eric in stirring duet with the Phantom which unravels the mystery and explores the regret and satisfaction of caring and standing for someone else when no one else would.

I love this staging. The opera house lives! Set Coordinator Steve Loftus, Set Coordinator/Scenic Artist Carl Tallent and Lighter Man, Andrew Gmoser capture the vaulting, haunting opera stage atmosphere. They especially have made a star in a leading role of the WBT stage transforming it into a bedroom, a boat that is believable visually and more fog than you’ll ever see in London.

The Phantom is playing through November 25, and returns from December 27 through January 27, 2019. Get on the phone (914) 592-2222 for tickets. Or go to www.BroadwayTheatre.com. Tickets will moving fast for this one just like the show.

If you’re fond of a caped mystery man in your life…If you’re enchanted by a wholesome soprano who’ll haunt your dreams,  this is the real Phantom to die for.

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WHITE PLAINS WEEK-THE AUTUMN SOLSTICE SHOW HITS THE INTERNET NOW ON WHITE PLAINS WEEK .COM AND YOUTUBE AND WPCOMMUNITYMEDIA.ORG

BAILEY BENEROFE & KATZ

YOUR TRUSTED NEWS SOURCES

OPINIONATED. SAVVY. FEARLESS. CLAIRVOYANT.

THE SEPTEMBER 21 PROGRAM

INSTANTLY

ON YOUTUBE

the whiteplainsweek.com link is
AND
www.wpcommunitymedia.org
CAR FREE WESTCHESTER
BUS RAPID TRANSIT SCALED DOWN
BUSINESS COUNCIL SPLITS WITH COUNTY EXECUTIVE ON AIRPORT PRIVATIZATION
THE SURPRISING DETAILS OF THE LATIMER SHARED SERVICES PLAN 
LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS REGISTRATION DAY
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WHITE PLAINS WEEK CELEBRATES CARFREE DAY–CAR POOLING TO CITY LIMITS

Who put 3 Big Time Newsmen into that little bitty tomato can?

Peter Katz, Jim Benerofe and John Bailey, Westchester’s Number 1 Newsteam celebrate Westchester’s Car Free Day by carpooling together all three in one of the White Plains Week show’s news patrol vehicles.

Did you carpool today or take the bus to try it out, go to www.westchestergov.com/beelinebus to check out the Beeline collection that’s right for your route.  It’s such a pleasure to take the county bus and leave the driving to them.

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SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE WITH KEN JENKINS AT 7 PM ON PEOPLE TO BE HEARD: DEPUTY COUNTY EXECUTIVE KEN JENKINS ON HIS MINORITIES AND WOMEN OWNED BUSINESSES REACH-OUT AT 7 SAT. ON FIOS CH 45 AND ALTICE IN WHITE PLAINS, CH 76

PEOPLE TO BE HEARD with  John Bailey and Jim Benerfore interviewing Mr. Jenkins has been posted the youtube link is
the whiteplainsweek.com link is

KEN JENKINS 

DEPUTY COUNTY EXECUTIVE

SAT NIGHT ON 

PEOPLE TO BE HEARD

ON

THE NEXT STEPS IN BRINGING IN MORE MINORITIES AND WOMEN OWNED BUSINESSES FOR COUNTY BUSINESS AND PRIVATE BUSINESSES

THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A DIRECTORY OF MINORITY-WOMEN OWNED BUSINESSES

LEVELING THE PLAYING FIELD

THE NEXT BIG EFFORT IN NOVEMBER

TUNE IN ON www.wpcommunitymedia.org YOUTUBE or WhitePlainsweek.com 

ANY TIME

OR WATCH AT 7

ALTICE WHITE PLAINS CH. 76

VERIZON FIOS COUNTYWIDE CH. 45

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Car Free Day in Westchester. Take Bus and Leave the Driving to Us. Route 119 discards exclusive bus lanes.

WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From the Westchester County Department of Communications. (Edited) September 20, 2018:

 Westchester County Executive George Latimer is asking that all drivers leave their cars at home on Friday, September 21 in celebration of “Car Free Day” in the Hudson Valley. The event, sponsored by the County Department of Public Works and Transportations SMART Commute Program, is designed to encourage alternatives to single occupant driving, such as the use of mass transit, carpooling, biking or walking to your destination.

Latimer said: “I know we are all in the habit of getting into our cars to drive to work each day. But on Car Free Day, I am asking that you try to find one small way celebrate sustainable transportation. Ride to work with a colleague, or take a walk to your local deli or coffee shop instead of using your car. For the first annual Hudson Valley Car Free Day in 2017 more than 1500 commuters traveled sustainably, and we are hoping for an even greater turnout this year.”

White Plains Mayor Tom Roach, who rode a Lime Bike to the press conference, discussed different ways the City of White Plains is embracing sustainable travel.

Roach said: “We are working very hard to increase pedestrian and bicycle activity throughout the city. We brought Lime Bike in and you can see those bikes all over the city. You can see the personal bikes in the bike racks. People riding bikes to the train station every day. There are a lot of people who walk to the train station every day. And many of the building we are putting up are transit-oriented, and we’re hoping that people won’t even need their cars.”

In an after press conference interview, Mayor Roach told the CitizeNetReporter at this point there are no plans for a cross county bus service improvement as part of the county bus rapid transit system that Mr. Latimer said should go into effect in 30 to 60 days. 

Mr. Roach also said that the exclusive bus lanes planned for Route 119 were not going to be buses only that they would be shared with cars with buses having the ability to turn redlights to green electronically to speed the traffic flow. Roach said the idea of exclusive bus lanes has been at this time eliminated because there is no room on 119 to include them.

Asked about locations of new promised bus stations in the various communities along Route 119 (Tarrytown Road), Mayor Roach said the engineers are still discussing the locations in White Plains and other key communities along the route. 

511NYRideshare Program Manager Heliana Verónica Higbie said: “511NY Rideshare is thrilled to partner Westchester County Government to promote sustainable transportation this Car Free Day. We applaud Westchester County’s efforts to make the County more bike, pedestrian and transit accessible, and for encouraging residents to try a more environmentally friendly commute.”

The Westchester County Department of Public Works and Transportation is also using Car Free Day to highlight the County’s Smart Commute Program, which provides information to increase the use of mass transit alternatives.

Commissioner of the Westchester County Department of Public Works and Transportation Hugh Greechan said: “There are a lot of ways that Westchester County commuters can reduce their carbon footprints, and Car Free Day is just one example. We have made several enhancements to the Bee-Line Bus System this fall, including adding service to various routes where ridership is strong and the demand is high. Commuters and seniors can also apply for reduced fare MetroCards.”

Join the SMART Commute team for Car Free Day in Mount Vernon’s Petrillo Plaza on Friday, September 21 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Stop by to learn more about how to travel sustainably by using the Bee-Line Bus System.  Pick up a system map or bus schedule, enter to win a free 2-Trip MetroCard and enjoy complimentary refreshments provided by local businesses.  Ultimate Juices and Edible Arrangements, both of Mount Vernon, will be providing free samples throughout the event, and Lowe’s of Yonkers has graciously donated turf to prove that there are “greener” ways to use your parking spot.

The MetroCard van will be making a special appearance at the Car Free Day event from 3 to 5 p.m. The van is a “one-stop shop” and is equipped to assist bus riders with all of their MetroCard business. Riders will be able to buy a regular MetroCard, apply for a Reduced-Fare MetroCard if they are 65 and older or have qualifying disabilities, and refill their existing MetroCards. MetroCard is the automated regional fare collection system managed by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Help make Car Free Day 2018 a great success, take the pledge to go car free on 9/21. For Bee-Line Bus information visit www.westchestergov.com/beelinebus or call the Bee-Line customer service center at (914) 813-7777, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Automated information is available 24 hours a day.

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WESTCHESTER TOWNS, CITIES APPROVE SHARED SERVICES PLAN–SUBMITTED TO THE STATE

WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-EXAMINER. From Westchester County Department of Communications. September 18, 2018 UPDATED 9/19:

In a unanimous vote, municipal leaders from all across Westchester County voted to approve the Latimer Administration’s “Update on the Westchester County Shared Services and Taxpayer Savings Plan.” The revised plan was submitted to the NYS Division of the Budget on September 14, 2018.

The 2018 plan, which includes eight new proposals on top of the one proposal from the 2017 plan, would begin in 2019 with matching funds made available by New York State in 2020.

The updated plan projects $7.5 million in 2019 savings, $9.3 million in 2020 savings, and $27 million in recurring savings which will benefit taxpayers, make government services and operations more efficient and enable the County and municipalities to receive state matching funds.

After three public hearings, input from local officials and outreach to a variety of stakeholders including labor and school district officials, the Shared Services Panel, which includes the Mayor/Supervisor of each municipality in Westchester County, voted unanimously (35-0 of the leaders who attended the vote, with 11 county leaders not present for the vote according to the detailed Amended Westchester County Shared Services and Taxpayer Savings Plan issued to the press)  to approve the 2018 County-wide Shared Services plan.

The Leaders and principals who were absent for the vote were from the City of Mount Vernon, City of New Rochelle, City of Peekskill,  Pelham, Rye, Yorktown,  Hastings-on-Hudson, Irvington,  Sleepy Hollow, Blind Brook-Rye School District, Yonkers Board of Education.

Those cities, towns and villages and school districts voting in favor of the plan who approved it were  City of Rye, City of White Plains, City of Yonkers, Bedford, Cortlandt, Eastchester, Greenburgh, Harrison, Lewisboro, Mamaroneck, Mount Kisco, Mount Pleasant, New Castle, North Castle, North Salem, Ossining, Pelham, Pelham Manor,Pleasantville, Port Chester, Rye Brook, Scarsdale,Tarrytown, Tuckahoe, Westchester-Putnam School Boards Association, Edgemont School District

 

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NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION DAY IN WHITE PLAINS NEXT WEEK TUESDAY SEPT. 25 AT

WPCNR VOTEAMERICA From Madeleine Zevon September 18, 2018:

The League of Women Voters of White Plains will be participating in National Voter Registration Day (NVRD), a nationwide, nonpartisan effort to register thousands of voters on Tuesday, September 25th.

The League will assist voters to register or update their registration if they have moved. October 12th is the last day to register or update your registration in New York. To volunteer go to the League’s NVRD volunteer signup site: https://bit.ly./2Qt6x5D .

We will be at the following locations:

Berkeley College 11 AM – 1 PM and
5 PM – 7 PM

College of Westchester 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM

Manhattanville College 12 noon – 2 PM and
6 PM – 8 PM

“This election is important, and every eligible American deserves
to weigh in,” said Stephen Cohen, President of the League of
Women Voters of White Plains. “Voter registration is the key to
helping shape the future of our country. We want to make sure
everybody who wants the opportunity to vote on Election Day,
has their registration up to date by October 12th.

To register to vote in New York State, you must have either a verifiable New York State driver’s license number or the last four digits of your Social Security number.

If you do not have either of these, and you are registering for the first time by mail, you may provide a copy of one of the following:

  • A valid photo ID
  • A current utility bill
  • A bank statement
  • A government check
  • Some other government documentation that shows your name and address

If you do not provide identification with this form, you will be asked for it the first time you vote. Forms of current and valid photo identification include but are not limited to:

  • Passport
  • Government ID card
  • Military ID card
  • Student ID card
  • Public housing ID card
  • Any ID specified by HAVA and New York State law as acceptable
  • Utility bill
  • Bank statement
  • Paycheck
  • Government check (Social Security, tax refund, military paycheck or paycheck stub)
  • Other government documents with your name and address including but not limited to: voter registration card, hunting, fishing, or trapping license or firearm permit.
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4 for TIGER HALL– WPHS HALL OF FAME 2018 INDUCTEES ANNOUNCED: BRUNI ’53, BARUCH ’56, ANDERSON ’65, SCHLESINGER ’72

WPCNR MILESTONES. From the White Plains High School Hall of Fame. September 18. 2018:

Four White Plains High School graduates have been selected for induction into the school’s Hall of Fame this fall.

The Hall of Fame pays tribute to White Plains High School alumni/ae who have distinguished themselves in their chosen careers and/or have significantly and positively impacted the lives of others.

The 2018 inductees are: Frank A. Bruni ’53, prominent businessman and community leader, Steven Baruch ’56, award-winning Broadway theatre producer, Lena Anderson ’65, President of the White Plains-Greenburgh Chapter of the NAACP, Richard Schlesinger ’72, award-winning broadcast journalist.

The honorees will visit the High School on Thursday, October 25 and will meet with students during the day.  The Induction Ceremony will take place in the Media Center at 3pm and will be followed by a reception.  The public is invited.

Profiles of the Inductees

FRANK A. BRUNI, Class of 1953 –For more than 50 years, Mr. Bruni has been a prominent community leader of many local organizations including the White Plains Hospital, the White Plains YMCA and the White Plains Board of Education.

STEVEN BARUCH, Class of 1956 – Mr. Baruch has produced more than 80 Broadway shows including Driving Miss Daisy, The Producers, Angels in America and Hairspray for which he has won multiple Tony Awards.

LENA ANDERSON-LEE, Class of 1965 – A former educator at Woodlands High School for more than 30 years, Ms. Anderson-Lee is President of the White Plains-Greenburgh Chapter of the NAACP.

RICHARD SCHLESINGER, Class of 1972 – As a broadcast journalist, Mr. Schlesinger has covered many high profile world events for CBS News for more than 30 years and has won 10 Emmy Awards.

This is the nineteenth class of distinguished alumni/ae selected since the Hall of Fame was established in 1996, bringing the total number of inductees to 82.  It is estimated that more than 30,000 students have graduated from White Plains High School in its 122 years of continuous operation.

The inductees were selected by a committee of representatives of civic and school groups from nominations submitted by the public.  New nominations are welcomed each year.

 

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WHITE PLAINS WEEK THE 9/11 RESTROSPECTIVE PROGRAM NOW ONLINE AT www.whiteplainsweek.com, www.communitymedia.org and YOUTUBE.

 

WHITE PLAINS WEEK ON THE WEEK OF 9/11

ON YOUTUBE AND WWW.WHITEPLAINSWEEK.COM 

the whiteplainsweek.com link is

 

and www.wpcommunitymedia.org

VOLUNTEERS LIKE LISA ORLOFF  WHO WERE THERE REMEMBER

BOB MORRONE OF WVOX RADIO 

AND JIM BENEROFE

REFLECT ON THE 9/11 MEMORY AND LEGACY 

GOVERNOR CUOMO ROLLS TO PRIMARY VICTORY

ALESSANDRA BIAGGI SWEEPS OUT JEFFREY KLEIN IN THE BRONX

ANDREA STEWART-COUSINS CLOSES OUT VIRGINIA PEREZ

COMPLETE PRIMARY ANALYSIS

THE NEW TAPPAN ZEE EAST BRIDGE OPENS FINALLY. WE’LL SHOW TRAFFIC TO PROVE IT.

AND THE SEIU 32BJ UNION VOTES TO STRIKE AT END OF THE MONTH

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TONIGHT AT 7 ON PEOPLE TO BE HEARD ON VERIZON FIOS 45 AND ALTICE CH. 76 AND www.wpcommunitymedia.org

JOHN BAILEY INTERVIEWS A VOLUNTEER WHO WAS THERE ON 9/11/01

LISA ORLOFF

FOUNDER OF

WORLDCARES

ON PREPARING YOUR COMMUNITY

TO FURNISH VOLUNTEERS IN THE AFTERMATH OF DISASTER

7 PM on FIOS CH. 45 AND ALTICE CH. 76

AND ANYTIME ON

www.wpcommunitymedia.org

(Scroll down the www.wpcommunitymedia.org VIDEO WALL  to White Plains Week–People to be Heard and Click)

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