Help Me Make the Music of the Night


  • Aaron Von Allmen as Raul.
  • Lauren Mallie as Christine Daae.

What can I say? Madonna University in Livonia, MI nailed the production of The Phantom of the Opera. I was completely blown away. I saw the original cast in Toronto, Ontario Canada. I have to say, I’ve never seen anything like it. I was five months pregnant with Megan. She was so active during the damn show, I knew she was going to be a diva. Sure enough, I was right. She wasn’t a lead in this show, but was still involved. Her friends, they were fantastic. She talked them, and the show up so much that I knew it was going to be good.

Aaron was Raul. His tenor voice lilts on my shoulder like a butterfly. It kisses me gently and lifts my heart with its pure tone. He is a delight to listen to and a joy to see also. His portrayal as Raul was spot on. His burgeoning love of Christine is apparent as he kisses her gently at the end of their duets.

Lauren Mallorca as Christine. Now that young woman is an ingenue. Think of Me, and Angel of Music set me on the edge of my seat. I think my heart burst as she hit the high notes at the top of her register. She most definitely wins her place as the new diva in the opera company. Her insecurity in her ability wanes as the show progresses. Christine learns she is so much more than her voice, even though the phantom holds her in his heart and mind.

Andrew Lee Neer portrayed the Phantom. He’s a man with a garish face, but the mad genius to create such a voice that the opera world had never heard. The constant metamorphasis of his personality is frightening and then, heart wrenching. You want to hate him, but you love him, as he caresses the young Christine’s face. He breaks and molds her with his madness and almost drags her into his abyss. Ultimately, love wins and Raul and Christine make their way back from peril. The music of the night, the chandelier, or the paper mache music box that dredges up memories long dead along with the withering of the Paris opera house.

I was impressed with the ensemble during such songs as Masquerade. Barbara Wiltsie, the director, did a fabulous job of casting and blocking talented singers and dancers. Their voices blended perfectly, and the ballet company was exquisite. They weren’t perfect, but they weren’t supposed to be. It was fun to see them perform, and blunder. Also Kelly Ryan who was cast as Madame Giri was perfect. When she rapped her walking stick on the stage even I felt I needed to pay attention.

Thank you cast and crew of Madonna University’s production of The Phantom of the Opera. I hope next weekend is also sold out.

Bravo, bravo, bravissimo.

It Ain’t so Funny Being a Funny Girl…


Did you hear that?
Yeah, the guy said
Honey, you’re a funny girl.
That’s me
I just keep them in stitches
Doubled in half,
And though I may be all wrong for a guy,
Im good for a laugh,
I guess it’s not funny,
Life is far from sunny,
When the laugh is over
And the jokes on you,
A girl oughta have a sense of humor
That’s one thing you really need for sure
When you’re a funny girl
The fella said a funny girl
How it aint so funny,
Funny girl

Matthew Felkey, My Other Son and Future Broadway Star

I have known this young and talented man since he was 12 years old. He and my Meggie were boyfriend and girlfriend for a short time. But even though their twitterpation didn’t last, their friendship did. So much so that he will be her Man of Honor at her wedding in December. He’ll sing at the wedding too. I know it will move me to tears. The rawness of his tenor voice does me in every time I hear him sing. You can feel the lyrics as they pour from his heart, lungs, and mouth. It just blows me away. Brings me to my knees.

I’ve heard him sing in my living room. I’ve heard him sing in almost every damn show that Tecumseh Youth Theater has ever put on during his middle and high school years. I’ve heard him sing in every damn choir that Tecumseh High School has. And I’ve even heard him sing original music in a smoky bar with his band. He’s stuck right now. He wants so badly to be in New York City. He wants to be a star. He has the potential to be just that. I believe it with every fiber of my being. This man, this beautiful young man. With the voice of an angel, will be a star. He can act, he can dance, he writes stories, he writes lyrics and music, he plays piano, and guitar. Hell, I think he can do anything.

In the comments section of his first blog entry I told him this:

I still remember sitting in the theater watching you sing this song. The tears came and streamed down my face. Roger Darling looked over at me and smiled. He knew that I wasn’t only crying because the song was so beautiful, and I love your voice, but it’s also because I’m so proud of you. I know your talent. Roger, Meg, Adam, and I are your family. Your family is our family and we love each other. Can’t imagine not having all of you in our lives. Honey get the hell out of here and go to NYC. You’re going to make it! Love you my dear other son.

The video  isn’t the best quality but you can hear the feeling in his voice. You can feel the pain in his heart as he sings of his love for Aida. This woman he can never be with. Because of war, slavery of a people and hate. She is a princess and he a prince but because of war there is no future for them. Radames and Aida are sentenced to death and placed in a tomb together. They are deprived of light and air, but not of  their love.  He vows to look for her over 100 lifetimes to find her. So that he can love her again. At the end of the musical, we are transported back to the present in a museum and a young man and woman viewing the artifacts of the ancient time of Aida and Radames. It turns out that they really did find each other after many lifetimes of searching. In a museum displaying ancient artifacts of an incredible love. A love that didn’t die even when the two lovers suffocated in a tomb.

What resonates with me most is not Matt’s singing during the show, which was heart wrenching and exemplary. But it was his dialogue when he and Aida were in the tomb preparing to die. His words tore my heart out. It was the way he said them that made them feel so incredibly real. He transformed into Radames. He was no longer Matt, but a prince vowing undying love to his princess.

I pray for him. I pray for him to find his way. I know he will. I know I will sit in the audience on the opening night of his first starring role. I know we will be there with his family and we will be in awe of him again. As will the rest of the audience. I know in my heart of hearts, he will win the hearts of millions. I feel it in my bones.

It’s so dark.

Give me your hand. I’m right here with you. There is another world waiting 
for us, Aida. I can feel it. The way I always knew there was a world beyond 
every bend in the Nile. Just waiting to be discovered.

You will find me in that world?

If I have to search for a hundred life times, I will find you again, Aida.

One Song Glory (RENT)