Think of Me lyrics - Phantom of the Opera, The
Think of Me
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Think of me
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Think Of Me [The Phantom of the Opera (Original London Cast)] Lyrics as written by Charles A. Hart Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
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" Think of Me " is a song from the Andrew Lloyd Webber 's 1986 musical The Phantom of the Opera . The song was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber , Charles Hart, and Richard Stilgoe. It is sung by Elissa in the fictional Hannibal opera. At first, Carlotta Giudicelli is cast as Elissa, but after a backdrop dangerously fell near her in a rehearsal, she quit after having had many similar experiences for several years. Managers Firmin and André almost cancel the show, but ballerina Meg Giry suggests her friend Christine Daaé to sing the part. Tentatively, Christine begins to sing, and soon she gains confidence and amazes the entire company with her voice. She is given the role, and at her performance that night, her childhood friend Raoul de Chagny attends and is particularly impressed when he hears her.
The lyrics of the song itself are asking someone to think of the singer, Elissa, even when they are "far away and free."
The song begins in the key of "D", and modulates to the key of "Eb," and is the third song in the show. It is the first time the audience hears Christine's voice.
[CARLOTTA] Think of me, think of me fondly When we've said goodbye Remember me, once in a while Please promise me you'll try When you find that, once again, you long To take your heart back— [As CARLOTTA is singing, a backdrop crashes to the floor, cutting her off from half the cast.] [MEG, BALLET GIRLS & ENSEMBLE] He's here: the Phantom of the Opera... He is with us, it's the ghost... He's here! The Phantom of the Opera... He is with us, it's the ghost... [ANDRE] Heavens! Will you show a little courtesy? (spoken) [FIRMIN (to MEG and the OTHERS)] Mademoiselle, please! [ANDRE (to CARLOTTA)] These things do happen [CARLOTTA] Si! These things do happen! Well, until you stop these things happening, this thing does not happen! [MEG] Christine Daaé could sing it, sir [FlRMIN] The chorus girl? [GIRY] Let her sing for you, monsieur. She has been well taught [CHRISTINE, sung] Think of me, think of me fondly When we've said goodbye Remember me, once in a while Please, promise me you'll try When you find that, once again, you long To take your heart back and be free If you ever find a moment Spare a thought for me We never said our love was evergreen Or as unchanging as the sea But if you can still remember Stop and think of me Think of all the things We've shared and seen Don't think about the things Which might have been Think of me, think of me waking Silent and resigned Imagine me trying too hard To put you from my mind Recall those days, look back on all those times Think of the things we'll never do There will never be a day When I won't think of you [RAOUL] Can it be? Can it be Christine? Bravo! What a change! You're really not a bit The gawkish girl that once you were She may not remember me But I remember her [CHRISTINE] We never said our love was evergreen Or as unchanging as the sea But please promise me that sometimes You will think... [CHRISTINE vocalizing.] —of me!
- David Archuleta covered this song on the April 22, 2008 episode from American Idol's 7th season .
References [ ]
- 2 Raoul de Chagny
- 3 The Phantom
The Meaning Behind The Song: Think of Me (From the Phantom of the Opera) by Andrew Lloyd Webber
When Andrew Lloyd Webber composed the song “Think of Me” for his renowned musical “The Phantom of the Opera,” he craftily created the perfect combination of melody and lyrics that have enthralled audiences worldwide since its debut in 1986. The breathtaking and heartbreaking tune, which the character Christine Daaé sings, is so powerful that it continues to strike a chord with every listener who hears it. In this article, we’ll explore the meaning behind this timeless classic and understand why it’s still relevant three decades after Lloyd Webber first put pen to paper.
Table of Contents
What is the origin of the song?
“Think of Me” is the fourth song in Act One of “The Phantom of the Opera,” introducing the character Christine Daaé and highlighting her exceptional vocal abilities. The song’s music and lyrics were composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber and co-written by lyricists Charles Hart and Richard Stilgoe. The concept of the song was inspired by the true-life story of legendary singer Maria Callas, who faced adversity and rejection before becoming the world’s most celebrated operatic soprano.
What is the meaning of the lyrics?
“Think of Me” is a love song in which Christine Daaé professes her love for her childhood friend Raoul. The core message of the song lies within the chorus, where she implores Raoul to think of her “when we’ve said goodbye.” The song suggests that although they will have to part ways, Raoul must always remember her. The lyrics also highlight Christine’s vocal abilities, which she displays to impress the Opera House’s managers.
What is the significance of the song in the musical?
“Think of Me” is the first time Christine sings solo in the musical and presents her as the angelic voice behind the mysterious Phantom’s muse. The song sets the stage for the love triangle between Christine, Raoul, and the Phantom. The song’s climax represents the turning point in the story, where the Phantom realizes Christine’s love for Raoul when she refrains from wearing his mask and almost reveals his true identity.
How did the song become so popular?
With its powerful yet gentle tune and an emotional depth that tugs at one’s heartstrings, “Think of Me” remains a favorite among Broadway musical lovers. The song has been covered by numerous artists and appears frequently in countless television shows, movies, and awards ceremonies. It’s also been performed in countless languages, making it a global sensation.
What emotions does the song evoke?
The song inspires emotions of love, longing, and loss. It successfully captures Christine’s feelings of love for Raoul, as well as the fear of losing him. The song also emphasizes the fleeting nature of time and the importance of cherishing each moment spent with loved ones.
What role does the song play in shaping Christine’s character?
“Think of Me” establishes Christine’s character as gentle, kind, and possessing a magnificent voice. The song also highlights her transformation from a timid girl to a confident singer.
What is the meaning behind the repetition of “think of me” in the chorus?
The repetitive chorus emphasizes the importance of the message Christine is trying to convey, which is to always remember her even if they have to part ways. The repetition also makes the song more memorable and catchy.
What is the significance of the song’s placement in the musical?
Several brilliant songs precede “Think of Me,” including the musical’s opening number and iconic songs like “The Phantom of the Opera” and “Angel of Music.” The song’s placement right after “Angel of Music” emphasizes the importance of Christine’s role in the Phantom’s life and introduces her as the object of his affection.
What is the musical style of the song?
“Think of Me” is a melodious and romantic song with an operatic tone that suits the context of the musical. The song features a traditional orchestral arrangement that complements Christine’s impressive vocal range.
Why is the song’s melody so memorable?
The song’s memorable melody is due to the combination of the soaring high notes, gentle phrasing, and repetitive chorus. The melody’s simplicity is also an essential factor in it being well-remembered.
What is the impact of the song on the audience?
“Think of Me” resonates with the audience, creating an emotional connection by making them feel Christine’s longing and vulnerability. This resonation based on her emotional state is felt by the audience, even if they haven’t personally gone through a similar situation.
What message does the song convey?
The song’s message is that even if we have to part from our loved ones, they should always remember how much they mean to us. It also teaches us that love is unconditional and pure, as embodied by Christine’s love for Raoul.
What is the longevity of the song?
“Think of Me” has stood the test of time, being performed for over three decades now since the musical’s debut. The song’s longevity is due to the powerful and relatable emotions it inspires in listeners.
Frequently Asked Questions
What other songs are in the musical “phantom of the opera”.
“Phantom of the Opera” has several other iconic songs, including “Angel of Music,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Music of the Night,” and “All I Ask of You.”
What other adaptations have been made of the musical?
The musical has been adapted into a movie, a miniseries, and a countless number of international productions.
What are some other popular love songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber?
Some of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s popular love songs include “Love Changes Everything” from “Aspects of Love,” “Tell Me on a Sunday” from “Song & Dance,” and “Crazy Cafe” from “Starlight Express.”
What are the other musicals that he composed?
Andrew Lloyd Webber has composed numerous musicals, including “Cats,” “Evita,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “Sunset Boulevard” and “School of Rock.”
Is there a real-life equivalent of the Phantom?
There is no real-life equivalent of the Phantom. However, some people believe that the character was inspired by the real-life figure of Erik who appeared in the novel “The Phantom of the Opera” by Gaston Leroux.
What is the story behind the musical?
The musical tells the story of the Phantom, a reclusive musical genius who lives beneath the Opera Garnier in Paris and becomes obsessed with a young soprano named Christine Daaé.
What is the Phantom’s real name?
The Phantom’s real name is never mentioned in the musical and remains a mystery.
Who played the role of Christine Daaé in the original Broadway production?
The role of Christine Daaé was originated by Sarah Brightman, who was also Andrew Lloyd Webber’s wife at the time.
What makes “Phantom of the Opera” a timeless classic?
“Phantom of the Opera” has become a timeless classic due to its captivating storyline, masterful composition, and memorable songs that continue to enchant audiences worldwide.
What is the story behind the Maria Callas inspiration?
Andrew Lloyd Webber was fascinated by the story of Maria Callas, who struggled to gain recognition as an artist before becoming one of the most respected vocalists of the 20th century. This inspired him to create a character like Christine Daaé, who rises to fame from humble beginnings and showcases her remarkable vocal abilities.
What are some other musicals that have stood the test of time?
Some other musicals that have stood the test of time include “Les Miserables,” “The Lion King,” “West Side Story,” and “Wicked.”
What is the meaning behind the name of the musical?
The name “Phantom of the Opera” refers to the mysterious figure who appears to haunt the Opera Garnier in Paris and becomes obsessed with Christine Daaé.
What are some other famous love triangles in literature and music?
There are several famous love triangles in literature and music, including “Romeo and Juliet,” “Twilight,” “Gone with the Wind,” and “The Great Gatsby.”
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Andrew Lloyd Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber, Baron Lloyd-Webber Kt. (born 22 March 1948) is an English composer and impresario of musical theatre. more »
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Written by: Andrew Lloyd Webber, Charles Hart, Richard Stilgoe
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Think of Me by Cast of Phantom of the Opera
- This song from Act I of the blockbuster Andrew Lloyd Webber musical The Phantom of the Opera is performed principally by the heroine/damsel Christine Daaé. In the 2004 film version she begins singing during a rehearsal of an imaginary opera which morphs quickly into the actual performance backed by the full orchestra. Seeing her perform it, a surprised Raoul sings a verse, but as he is not on the stage and his presence is fairly fleeting, this can hardly be called a duet. >> Suggestion credit : Alexander Baron - London, England
- Sarah Brightman, then Andrew Lloyd Webber's wife, originated the role of Christine Daae in the musical. For the 2004 film adaptation, Emmy Rossum played the heroine and earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a musical or comedy.
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Hear Andrew Lloyd Webber's New 'Think of Me' for 'Phantom of the Opera's Broadway Close (Exclusive)
Ahead of The Phantom of the Opera 's final Broadway show this Sunday, Andrew Lloyd Webber created a new trio arrangement of the song "Think of Me"
Phantom of the Opera is going out with a spectacular new twist.
Back in September it was announced that the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical would be taking its final bow in 2023 after 35 years on Broadway, making it the longest-running show in Broadway history. By November, Phantom got a two-month extension, and the final performance is set for this Sunday, April 16, at the Majestic Theatre.
In honor of the end of an era, Webber, 75, arranged a trio version of the song "Think of Me," which is usually a solo.
The special new version has been recorded by the three final Broadway stars: Ben Crawford as the Phantom, Emilie Kouatchou — who made history as the first Black actor to play Christine on Broadway — and John Riddle as Raoul. "Think of Me" will be released as a single, and PEOPLE has an exclusive look at the music video before its official debut Friday.
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Based on the 1910 French novel by Gaston Leroux, Phantom of the Opera opened on the West End in 1986 before making its Broadway debut in 1988. It won the Tony Award for best musical and later inspired a 2004 Joel Schumacher –directed movie adaptation, which starred Emmy Rossum , Gerard Butler , Patrick Wilson and Minnie Driver . The Broadway show is directed by the late Harold Prince .
Kouatchou previously told PEOPLE back in December 2021 about the responsibility she felt in becoming the first Black actress to portray Christine on Broadway.
"I've had a lot of girls reach out and say, 'Hey, this is a dream role of mine, and you're making it possible for me to achieve that goal.' At times when I'm just so in my head about what I'm doing in the show, it's a great reminder that this is something," she said at the time. "No matter what I do on stage, me in that costume and me wearing that wig and me singing those songs and just my face as a face of Phantom [is] so important."
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Phantom Of The Opera - Think of Me Lyrics
Artist: Phantom Of The Opera
Phantom Of The Opera Miscellaneous Think of Me REHEARSALS FOR "HANNIBAL" BY CHALUMEAU (We have reached the great choral scene in which HANNIBAL and his army return to save Carthage from the Roman invasion under Scipio. HANNIBAL is UBALDO PIANGI; ELISSA, Queen of Carthage (his mistress) is CARLOTTA GUIDICELLI. The two leading SLAVE GIRLS are played by MEG GIRY and CHRISTINE DAAE. MME. GIRY is the ballet mistress. M. REYER, the repetiteur, is in charge. We join the opera towards the end of ELISSA's (CARLOTTA's) great aria. She is alone, holding a pre. from the approaching HANNIBAL, a bleeding severed head) CARLOTTA (at the climax of an extravagant cade) This trophy from our saviours, from the enslaving force of Rome! (A STAGE HAND carries a ladder across the stage. OTHERS are seen still constructing parts of the scenery) GIRLS' CHORUS With feasting and dancing and song, tonight in celebration we greet the victorious throng, returned to bring salvation! MEN'S CHORUS The trumpets of Carthage resound ! Hear, Romans, now and tremble! Hark to our step on the ground! ALL Hear the drums - Hannibal comes! (PIANGI enters, as HANNIBAL) PIANGI (HANNIBAL) Sad to return to find the land we love threatened once more by Roma's far-reaching grasp. REYER (interrupting him) Signor . . . if you please: "Rome". We say "Rome' not "Roma" PIANGI Si, si, Rome, not Roma. Is very hard for me. (practising) Rome . . . Rome . . . (Enter LEFEVRE, the retiring manager of the Opera, with M. FIRMIN and M. ANDRE, to whom he has just sold it) REYER (to PIANGI) Once again, then, if you please, Signor: "Sad to return . . ." LEFEVRE (to ANDRE and FIRMIN) This way, gentlemen, this way. Rehearsals, as you see, are under way, for a new production of Chalumeau's "Hannibal". (seeing a hiatus in the rehearsal, LEFEVRE attempts to attract attention.) LEFEVRE Ladies and gentlemen, some of you may already, perhaps, have met M. Andre and M. Firmin ... (the new managers are politely bowing, when REYER interrupts) REYER I'm sorry, M. Lefevre, we are rehearsing. If you wouldn't mind waiting a moment? LEFEVRE My apologies, M. Reyer. Proceed, proceed ... REYER Thank you, monsieur (turning back to PIANGI). "Sad to return..." Signor ... LEFEVRE (sotto voce to ANDRE and FIRMIN) M. Reyer, our chief repetiteur. Rather a tyrant, I'm afraid. (the rehearsal continues) PIANGI (HANNIBAL) Sad to return to find the land we love threatened once more by Rome's far-reaching grasp. Tomorrow we shall break the chains of Rome. Tonight, rejoice - your army has come home. BALLET GIRLS begin their dance. LEFEVRE, ANDRE and FIRMIN stand centr-stage watching the ballet. They are in the way. The ballet continues under the following dialogue.) LEFEVRE (indicating PIANGI) Signor Piangi, our principal tenor. He does play so opposite La Carlotta. GIRY (exasperated by their presence, bangs her cane angrily on the stage) Gentlemen, please! If you would kindly move to one side? LEFEVRE My apologies, Mme. Giry. (leading ANDRE and FIRMIN aside) Mme. Giry, our ballet mistress. I don't mind confessing, M. Firmin, I shan't be sorry to be rid of the whole blessed business. FIRMIN I keep asking you, monsieur, why exactly are you retiring? LEFEVRE (ignoring this, calls his attention to the continuing ballet) We take a particular pride here in the excellence of our ballets. (MEG becomes prominent among the dancers) ANDRE Who's that girl, Lefevre? LEFEVRE Her? Meg Giry, Madame Giry's daughter. Promising dancer, M. Andre, most promising. (CHRISTINE becomes prominent. She has absent- mlndedly fallen out-of-step) GIRY (spotting her, bangs her cane again) You! Christine Daae! Concentrate, girl! MEG (quietly, to CHRISTINE) Christine . . . What's the matter? FIRMIN (to LEFEVRE) Daae? Curious name. LEFEVRE Swedish. ANDRE Any relation to the violinist? LEFEVRE His daughter, I believe. Always has her head in the clouds, I'm afraid. (The ballet continues to its climax and ends. The CHORUS resumes) CHORUS Bid welcome to Hannibal's guests - the elephants of Carthage! As guides on our conquering quests, Dido sends Hannibal's friends! (the ELEPHANT, a life-sized mechanical replica, enters. PIANGI is lifted, in triumph, onto its back) CARLOTTA (ELISSA) Once more to my welcoming arms my love returns in splendour! PIANGI (HANNIBAL) Once more to those sweetest of charms my heart and soul surrender! CHORUS The trumpeting elephants sound hear, Romans, now and tremble! Hark to their step on the ground hear the drums! Hannibal comes! (At the end of the chorus LEFEVRE claps his hands for silence. The elephant is led off. Two stage-hands are revealed operating it from within) LEFEVRE Ladies and gentlemen - Madame Giry, thank you - may I have your attention, please? As you know, for some weeks there have been rumours of my Imminent retirement. I can now tell you that these were all true and it is my pleasure to introduce to you the two gentlemen who now own the Opera Populaire, M. Richard Firmin and M. Gilles Andre. (Polite applause. Some bowing. CARLOTTA makes her presence felt) Gentlemen, Signora Carlotta Giudicelli, our leading soprano for five seasons now. ANDRE Of course, of course. I have experienced all your greatest roles, Signora. LEFEVRE And Signor Ubaldo Piangi. FIRMIN An honour, Signor. ANDRE If I remember rightly, Elissa has a rather fine aria in Act Three of "Hannibal". I wonder, Signora, if, as a personal favour, you would oblige us with a private rendition? (Somewhat acerbic). Unless, of course, M. Reyer objects . . . CARLOTTA My manager commands . . . M. Reyer? REYER My diva commands. Will two bars be sufficient introduction? FIRMIN Two bars will be quite sufficient REYER (ensuring that CARLOTTA is ready) Signora? CARLOTTA Maestro. (The introduction is played on the piano) CARLOTTA Think of me, think of me fondly, when we've said goodbye. Remember me once in a while - please promise me you'll try. When you find that, once again, you long to take your heart . . . (As CARLOTTA is singing a backdrop crashes to the floor cutting her off from half the cast) MEG/BALLET GIRLS/CHORUS He's here: the Phantom of the Opera . . . He is with us . . . It's the ghost . . . PIANGI (looking up, furiously) You idiots! (He rushes over to CARLOTTA) Cara! Cara! Are you hurt? LEFEVRE Signora! Are you all right? Buquet! Where is Buquet ? PIANGI Is no one concerned for our prima donna? LEFEVRE Get that man down here ! (to ANDRE and FIRMIN) Chief of the flies. He's responsible for this. (The drop is raised high enough to reveal upstage an old stagehand, JOSEPH BUQUET, holding a length of rope, which looks almost like a noose) LEFEVRE Buquet! For God's sake, man, what's going on up there? BUQUET Please monsieur don't look at me: as God's my witness, I was not at my post. Please monsieur there's no one there: and if there is, well then, it must be a ghost . . . MEG (looking up) He's there; the Phantom of the Opera ... ANDRE Good heavens! Will you show a little courtesy? FIRMIN (to MEG and the OTHERS) Mademoiselle, please! ANDRE (to CARLOTTA) These things do happen. CARLOTTA Si! These things do happen! Well, until you stop these things happening, this thing does not happen! Ubaldo! Andiamo! (PIANGI dutifully fetches her furs from the wings) PIANGI Amateurs ! LEFEVRE I don't think there's much more to assist you, gentlemen. Good luck. If you need me, I shall be in Frankfurt . (He leaves. The COMPANY looks anxiously at the NEW MANAGERS) ANDRE La Carlotta will be back. GIRY You think so, messieurs? I have a message, sir, from the Opera Ghost. (The GIRLS twitter and twirl in fear) FIRMIN God in Heaven, you're all obsessed! GIRY He merely welcomes you to his opera house and commands you to continue to leave Box Five empty for his use and reminds you that his salary is due. FIRMIN His salary? GIRY Monsieur Lefevre paid him twenty thousand francs a month. Perhaps you can afford more, with the Vicomte de Chagny as your patron. (Reaction to this from the BALLET GIRLS. CHRISTINE takes hold of MEG nervously) ANDRE (to GIRY) Madame, I had hoped to have made that announcement myself. GIRY (to FIRMIN) Will the Vicomte be at the performance tonight, monsieur? FIRMIN In our box. ANDRE Madame, who is the understudy for this role? REYER There is no understudy, monsieur - the production is new. MEG Christine Daae could sing it, sir. FlRMIN The chorus girl ? MEG (to FIRMIN) She's been taking lessons from a great teacher ANDRE From whom ? CHRISTINE (uneasily) I don't know, sir . . . FIRMIN Oh, not you as well! (turning to ANDRE) Can you believe it? A full house - and we have to cancel ! GIRY Let her sing for you, monsieur. She has been well taught. REYER (after a pause) From the beginning of the aria then, mam'selle. CHRISTINE Think of me think of me fondly, when we've said goodbye. Remember me once in a while - please promise me you'll try. FIRMIN Andre, this is doing nothing for my nerves. ANDRE Don't fret, Firmin. CHRISTINE When you find that, once again, you long to take your heart back and be free - if you ever find a moment, spare a thought for me (Transformation to the Gala. CHRISTINE is revealed in full costume) We never said our love was evergreen, or as unchanging as the sea - but if you can still remember stop and think of me . . . Think of all the things we've shared and seen - don't think about the things which might have been . . . Think of me, think of me waking, silent and resigned. Imagine me, trying too hard to put you from my mind. Recall those days look back on all those times, think of the things we'll never do - there will never be a day, when I won't think of you . . (Applause, bravos. Prominent among the bravos, those of the young RAOUL in the MANAGERS' box) RAOUL Can it be? Can it be Christine? Bravo! (he raises his opera-glasses) What a change! You're really not a bit the gawkish girl that once you were... (lowering his opera-glasses) She may not remember me, but I remember her... CHRISTINE We never said our love was evergreen, or as unchanging as the sea - but please promise me, that sometimes you will think of me!
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Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote a new song ahead of final ‘Phantom of the Opera’ performance
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“The Phantom of the Opera,” the longest-running Broadway musical, gives its final performance this Sunday,
And its creator is asking fans to think fondly of the show with the release of a new song.
Andrew Lloyd Webber, 75, penned a new arrangement of “Think of Me” as a trio between the musical’s main characters, Christine (Emilie Kouatchou), Raoul (John Riddle) and the Phantom (Ben Crawford), and the song was released Friday as a single.
Entertainment & Arts
‘Phantom of the Opera’ to close on Broadway as pandemic fallout continues
Broadway’s “The Phantom of the Opera” will close after a record-breaking 35-year run. With the pandemic keeping audiences away, the iconic show is among many unable to stage a lasting comeback.
Sept. 16, 2022
The original version of the ballad takes place within the musical’s first act as a duet between Christine and Raoul. In the musical, Christine has just earned a leading role in a fictional musical. As she performs the song on stage, Raoul, who is in the audience, recognizes her as a childhood friend and begins to swoon over her, joining in the song.
Webber wrote the song with updated lyrics to include the Phantom. And even though the cast members are out of costume in the video of the recording session, the new lyrics seemingly fit within the show’s love triangle narrative, offering viewers a completely original moment within “The Phantom” universe.
“Though it was always clear / that this was never meant to be, / if you happen to remember / stop and think of me,” sings Crawford alone as the Phantom, who at the end of the play disappears after his romantic love for Christine goes unfulfilled.
Later, Kouatchou and Riddle join in with Crawford as the trio sings in harmony, “There will never be a day when I won’t think of you.”
Kouatchou , who grew up in Chicago, is the first Black actor to play the role of Christine. In October 2021, she first performed the role as an understudy, but by the start of 2022, she became the primary lead.
“I put so much pressure on myself up until then that that day I was like, ‘You know what? I’m just going to forget about it and live my best life up there,’” Kouatchou told the Associated Press in 2021, referring to her debut performance. “That night was like the most fun I’ve had in a long time.”
In-person theater is back. A lost generation of artists chose not to return with it
The pandemic’s collective pause over the last two years had many reconsidering their commitment to the theater industry. Here are 10 of their stories.
March 24, 2022
“The Phantom” started its historic run of nearly 14,000 performances on Jan. 26, 1988. Its final performance will take place April 16 at the Majestic Theater in New York City.
Last September, “The Phantom” announced it would give its final performance in February, after the musical, like many theater shows, struggled to regain its audiences following the pandemic closures. However, as ticket sales rebounded in the lead-up to the February finale, the show announced it would extend its final run at the Majestic Theater for another eight weeks. In a single week in November, the show raked in $2.2 million in sales.
Times staff writer Jessica Gelt and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
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Jonah Valdez is a reporter at the Los Angeles Times on the Fast Break entertainment news team. Before joining The Times as a member of the 2021-22 Los Angeles Times Fellowship class, he worked for the Southern California News Group, where he wrote award-winning features. His work can also be found at his hometown newspaper, the San Diego Union-Tribune, Voice of San Diego and San Diego Reader.
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"The Phantom Of The Opera" 2023 Broadway Cast
- 21 APR 2023
- Think Of Me (Broadway Trio 2023) [feat. Ben Crawford, Emilie Kouatchou & John Riddle] - Single
- Think Of Me (feat. Ben Crawford, Emilie Kouatchou & John Riddle) [Broadway Trio 2023]
- Think Of Me (Broadway Trio 2023) [feat. Ben Crawford, Emilie Kouatchou & John Riddle] - Single · 2023
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Phantom of the Opera - Think Of Me Lyrics Part 2
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- What are the lyrics that Christine sings in the song Think of Me?
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Dove Cameron drops new spiky banger, ‘Lethal Woman,’ ahead of debut album ‘Alchemical: Volume 1'
FILE - Dove Cameron poses for photographers upon arrival at the Vogue World event on Sept. 14, 2023 in London. Cameron’s latest album “Alchemical: Volume 1,” releases Dec. 1. (Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP, File)
This cover image released by Disruptor Records/Columbia Records shows “Alchemical: Volume 1,” releasing Dec. 1. (Disruptor Records/Columbia Records via AP)
FILE - Dove Cameron, winner of the award for video for good for “Breakfast”, poses in the press room at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sept. 12, 2023, in Newark, N.J. Cameron’s latest album “Alchemical: Volume 1,” releases Dec. 1. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)
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NEW YORK (AP) — Dove Cameron’s latest single starts with the sound of maniacal laughter and then a piano riff that could have been swiped from “The Phantom of the Opera.” She’s just getting started.
“Lethal Woman” is a club banger about a woman “sharp as a knife under the table” that includes sounds of banging on a door, a gun being cocked and heavy production elements. The lyrics include the playful rhyme: “Game recognizes game/By the way, what’s your name?”
“We threw everything including the kitchen sink into that song,” Cameron tells The Associated Press ahead of its release, the latest track from her debut album due Dec. 1, “Alchemical: Volume 1.”
“Alchemical: Volume 1,” releasing Dec. 1. (Disruptor Records/Columbia Records via AP)
“I think my favorite thing about the song actually is that we switch keys like six times and you hardly really notice,” she says, laughing. “It just adds this kind of unhinged quality that to me just really takes us over the top.”
“Alchemical: Volume 1” contains six new songs and two previous hits, “Boyfriend” and “Breakfast.” The second volume could come as early as the top of next year. The title is inspired by the transformation of matter.
“In this first half, it’s very much about exploring all the different sort of versions and avenues of yourself as you’re growing and changing and transmuting into something else,” she says.
“Lethal Woman” may be a bit unhinged but it’s the sound of a young artist enjoying herself, embracing naughtiness, adding a sprinkle of her beloved Broadway and strutting away with a switchblade on her hip.
“Music should be always like an ever-changing grand adventure. You’re doing it because you’re having way too much fun or because it’s scratching some emotional itch,” she says.
“It’s like when you’re a kid,” she adds. “What would I do if I just had no rules? And that’s kind of like what a lot of the album ended up sounding like.”
Cameron has had a heady few years, winning new artist of the year honors at the 2022 American Music Awards and being named Best New Artist at the 2022 VMAs. She also was s scene-stealer in season two of “Schmigadoon!” playing a parody of Sally Bowles in “Cabaret.”
The album breaks Cameron’s rule about ballads. She has hated them for herself and wasn’t willing yet to go to any vulnerable places. If she heard a sad song, her day was over.
“I wake up in the morning and I listen to the most loud, aggressive, someone’s-working-in-a-car-body-shop that you’ve ever heard,” she says. “If I don’t feel like I’m being thrust out of a cannon, I just won’t get out of bed.”
But as she’s matured, that stance on ballads has shifted. On the new album is “Sand,” a slow-burning, wistful track about an ex that contains the lovely lines: “You have more pieces of me than the desert has sand/And I have less pieces of you than I can hold in my hand.”
Cameron at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)
“I’ve sort of learned to reclaim what actually has happened and learn how to be able to talk about it in a way that feels vulnerable and that feels more honest. A lot of the album started going in that direction,” she says.
Cameron first gained fame on Disney’s children’s show “Liv and Maddie” from 2013 to 2017, which earned her a Daytime Emmy Award in 2018. She also starred on Disney’s “Descendants: Wicked World” from 2015 to 2017, while juggling the launch of her music career.
Cameron debated about whether or not to include her queer anthem “Boyfriend,” which reached No. 16 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in the summer of 2022. She added it because it is such an important song for her, a milestone in her evolution.
“I always knew I was queer, but that’s a challenging thing to talk about, even in your own small social sphere, your family,” she says. “When ‘Boyfriend’ came about, it was one of those things that had been boiling, bubbling up in me that felt like something I needed to address and express.”
“Boyfriend” — with the sly, witty lyrics “Up all night, I won’t quit/Thinking I’m gonna steal you from him/I could be such a gentleman/Plus all my clothes would fit” — was the announcement of Cameron’s real self. She says she had until then felt the need to be small, chaste and palatable.
“I wasn’t taking up any space. And in my own life I was really diminishing myself because it felt like the right thing to do as someone who had never done anything different,” she says.
“It really did feel like I stepped into a new reality where I was actually allowed to be myself — because I allowed it.”
Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits
Episodes We Love: Listener beware… it’s ‘Goosebumps The Musical’
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- Amory Sivertson
- Quincy Walters
This episode originally aired on December 23, 2022.
When producer Quincy Walters came to an Endless Thread episode ideas meeting talking about Goosebumps The Musical, Amory had two questions: 1) “That’s a thing?!” and 2) “Is it good?”
Yep and YEP! So why haven’t more people heard of it? And what might it take to get the show to Broadway? Amory and Quincy set out to learn more and meet some surprising people along the way.
Listener beware... you’re in for a scare.
Ben: Hello, Annnnnne Marieeeeeeee. I need a musical theater-themed one here.
Amory: Yeah, that was pretty good. Helllloooooooo, Ben.
Ben: Oh, that was very, like "Ahmal and the night visitors." That's very operatic.
Amory: Yeah, that was like in the key of Z, I don't know what that was.
Ben: Well, you know, something sounding slightly off in your musical production is spooky in its own way.
Amory : Yeah, we'll go with that. And with that, we have one of my favorite episodes that we made last year that is just perfect for spooky season. And, I think this is gonna be the episode that truly takes some people by surprise. It's the thing that you didn't know you needed in your life that once it's there, everything's a little bit better.
Ben: But be warned, you know, this episode of Endless Dread might give you some Goosebumpsssss.
- Petition: Help get Goosebumps The Musical to Broadway! (Change.org)
- About Goosebumps The Musical
- About Danny Abosch
- About John Maclay
- About R.L. Stine
- About Rupert Holmes
This content was originally created for audio. The transcript has been edited from our original script for clarity. Heads up that some elements (i.e. music, sound effects, tone) are harder to translate to text.
Megan Cattel: So I'm standing outside the Majestic Theater at 44th and seventh. This is where the Broadway musical Phantom of the Opera is performed.
Ben Brock Johnson: Last month, Endless Thread producer Megan Cattel was on Broadway. New York City baby!
Amory Sivertson: She went with tap shoes and a dream! AKA, an audio kit and a question.
Megan: I'm going to talk to some people to see if any of them would be interested, if anyone has heard of it.
Ben: Megan was there to ask people waiting in line outside of various Broadway theaters if they’d heard of another show that isn’t on Broadway yet.
Megan: I'm trying to talk to some people about Goosebumps The Musical . Have any of you heard of Goosebumps The Musical ?
Anonymous group of people: No, no.
Ellis West: Uhhhh, I have not.
Anonymous man: The musical?
Jessica Parker: Yeah. I didn't know there was one.
Amory: Goosebumps The Musical ? I didn’t know there was one either.
Ben: Big same.
Amory: Until producer Quincy Walters …
Quincy: Hello, everyone.
Amory: … Showed up to one of our story idea meetings with tap shoes and a dream! OK, he actually came with a curious social media discovery…
Quincy: Yeah, ya know, I think this is one of the few jobs where it pays to get lost in the internet. So I was watching my friends’ Instagram stories and was shown an advertisement for a poster for Goosebumps The Musical.
Ben: Like a fan poster? That you would hang on your bedroom wall?
Quincy: Exactly like that.
Amory: And not a poster for Goosebumps , but for Goosebumps The Musical …
Ben: Which, at the time, you had never heard of and I most definitely had never heard of …
Quincy: Yeah, the musical part also confused a lot of the theater patrons Megan spoke to in the Big Apple ...
Megan: Have you all heard of Goosebumps ?
Anonymous teenager: No, I know about the books.
Amory: Ben, were you a Goosebumps books boy?
Ben: I was definitely a books boy but I was more of a Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books boy.
Amory: Also very good. Well I was definitely a Goosebumps gal, by way of my older sister, the curator of cool in my childhood. And Goosebumps was cool. It was also huge. There were 60-something books — all a product of the mind of the mysterious R.L. Stine — and they told stories about haunted masks, cursed clocks, and shrunken heads. Some of them were choose-your-own-adventure style …
Ben: Weren’t they also coming out like, crazy fast?
Quincy: Yeah, from 1994 through ‘97, there was a new one every month. At one point, they were selling at a rate of 4 million books a month.
Ben: I mean I can say this, because I read lots of books to my son. Wow, kids really love creeping themselves out. Anything creepy or spooky, they are so in.
Amory: 90s kids, man. We were freaks. And it only got better in 1995 …
[ Goosebumps television show theme song ]
Amory: This is the theme song to the Goosebumps TV show. And Ben and Quincy, when I fired up an episode recently and heard this music … I was instantly transported back to elementary-aged Amory, who wanted to watch the episode that was coming on, but didn’t want to watch it because I knew it would be creepy, but also wanted to watch it because I knew it would be creepy …
[Ryan Gosling from Goosebumps television series : Don’t you get it? It predicts the future. And it makes it bad.]
Amory: If that voice sounds familiar, that was a 15 year-old Ryan Gosling in the episode “Say Cheese and Die.”
Ben: I like to call him Hot Goss.
Quincy: Then in 2015, there was a Goosebumps movie starring Jack Black as author R.L. Stine ...
[Jack Black from Goosebumps movie : You go home, you put on your PJs, you get your blankie, you go nap nap. In the morning, this’ll all just feel like a bad dream.]
Amory: So in three decades, Goosebumps has gone from the page …
Ben: To the small screen …
Quincy: To the big screen …
Amory: And now, to the stage.
Amory: So, confession. Quincy, when you first told us that there was a Goosebumps The Musical, I was expecting it to be hot garbage. Because, while I was a theater kid, I actually don’t like a lot of musicals. I’m not someone who listens to cast recordings for fun — I find them kinda cringey out of context. I also don’t love the commercialization of Broadway we’ve seen over the last decade — like, do we need Shrek The Musical and Spongebob The Musical ?
Ben: Humph! How dare you, how dare you?
Amory: And now Goosebumps The Musical on top of all that? But to my fellow musical skeptics out there, like they say in the theater … suspend your disbelief … for the length of this episode, at least. Because I did, and …
[“ Goosebumps ” from Goosebumps The Musical: Goosebumps, goosebumps. You’re covered head to toe in goosebumps. And yet you feel a strange delight. Muahahaha.]
Ben: Did you feel a strange delight, Amory?
Amory: I freaking loved it. I listened all the way through, and when I was done, I immediately texted Quincy and was like, how is this not on Broadway?
Quincy: Yeah, and what will it take to get it there?
Ben: Well since you learned about Goosebumps The Musical online, Quincy, maybe the Internet can help?
Quincy: Maybe so.
Amory: And trying to answer these questions, Ben, led Quincy and me to some interesting characters …
R.L. Stine : I just like to scare kids.
Rupert Holmes : And it's about a wonderful university where you learn to murder.
John Maclay : I've been in theater for so long, I never assume anything good is going to happen.
Amory: Yeah, hahaha.
[“ Goosebumps ” from Goosebumps The Musical: Then follow if you dare, but all who do, beware. For you may find a scare that fills your soul with fright and gives you goosebumps in the night.]
Amory: I’m Amory Say-Cheese-and-Die Sivertson
Ben: I’m Ben The-Beast-from-the-East Brock Johnson.
Quincy: I’m Quincy Welcome-to-Camp-Nightmare Walters. And we’re coming to you from WBUR, Boston’s NPR station.
Amory: Today’s episode? Goosebumps …
Ben: … The Musical.
Amory: Listener beware …
Quincy: You’re in … for a scare.
[“ Goosebumps ” from Goosebumps The Musical: (Singing.) So follow if you dare, but all who do, beware. For you may find a scare that fills your soul with fright and gives you goosebumps in the night. And gives you goosebumps in the night.]
Quincy: One reason, at least, that most people haven't heard of Goosebumps The Musical – other than on Instagram – is because it’s really only been performed by community theaters.
In places like Paris, Kentucky. Netcong, New Jersey, shout out to our listeners there. And Newburyport, Massachusetts.
[Newburyport cast rehearsal: (Singing.) You’re going numb and growing goosebumps. And yet you feel a strange delight, hahahaha!]
Quincy: And that’s where I go to catch a glimpse of this elusive thing. It’s about an hour drive north of Boston.
The entire cast learned that this show existed through Facebook. That’s where the calls for the auditions were posted.
The guy directing this production is John Moynihan at Firehouse Center For the Arts. And he grew up with Goosebumps .
John Moynihan: But yeah, I mean Goosebumps was a big part of my childhood.
Quincy: But the real muse behind this production? His wife. Johns thinks she found out about it online as well, on Playbill.com or something in October of 2021. That’s when the cast album came out.
John: So my wife is a big, like a huge Goosebumps and R.L. Stine fan. So she was just like looking around one day and said, “Hey, did you see this? This new Goosebumps The Musical ?” And I was like, No, I haven't seen it. But, you know, I'm going to listen to and listen to a couple of songs and just like the music is just so good.
Quincy: The musical is an adaptation of Goosebumps book number 24, Phantom of the Auditorium , which is loosely based on Phantom of the Opera . But in the book, a phantom haunts a middle school production of a play called, wait for it, The Phantom . And the phantom doing the haunting is trying to avenge the role he never got to play in his middle school production of a play called, wait for it…
Ben: The Phantom !
Quincy: The Phantom ! That’s right.
[That is so meta, man!]
Quincy: This is from that cast recording John’s wife discovered. And it didn’t take much for their 7 year old daughter Avonlea to be evangelized.
Quincy: How much of a fan are you? Avonlea Moynihan: This much. John: Use your words. Avonlea: 100% much.
Quincy: Ask her what her fav songs are and …
Avonlea: “Whodunit?” ; “The Legend” ; “The Phantom …” John: "The Story" … Amory: "The Story of the Phantom."
Ben: So like, basically the entire musical. Which is how I felt about Phantom of the Opera. Quincy: Exactly.
Avonlea: “Super Scary Play” and “Watch Your Step.”
Quincy: Could you sing any of them for us?
Quincy: And Avonlea looks like she almost malfunctions, trying to figure out which one to sing, probably a calculation of which song is her favorite and which one she sounds best on and what will also be enjoyable for the audience, and John helps her out.
Avonlea: (Singing " The Story of the Phantom .") 'Cause though he was pretty, yes, and a keeper, the phantom's love was so much deeper. A loss that nothing could console.
Quincy: And because John knows the musical so well rehearsal didn’t miss a beat when the person playing Ms. Walker, the drama teacher in the story, is running late.
John: (Singing " The Legend .") The principal closed the production and demanded the script’s destruction, but one survived right underneath his nose! And though it was forbidden, Ms. Walker kept it hidden …
Quincy: All amusement aside, John says this is an important work. Because it comes at a time when the theater world is trying to appeal to broader audiences in order to stay relevant. And he thinks Goosebumps The Musical could accomplish that and endure.
John: I think that a show like this deserves the opportunity–the opportunity to be out there to a wider audience. It should be for everybody so that theater can continue to continue to live on after, you know, after this generation and the next generation passes away.
Quincy: Oh man, that got so dark John.
John: But, I mean, like I said. This is one of those shows that hits that nostalgia. But it also is so relatable to kids.
[Newbury cast rehearsal singing the lyrics of “ Super Scary Play ”: Because we’re the leads in a super scary play!]
John Maclay: We really have, like, different pockets of audience for this show.
Amory: This is another John. John Maclay. He wrote the book for Goosebumps The Musical.
John: There’s like musical theater fans who love it. And then there's goosebumps, folks who are like, what? A musical? Oh, wait, it's good!
Amory: I’m firmly in both camps. But musicals and Goosebumps were pretty different parts of my childhood. So I wouldn’t have thought to put them together. And neither did John. The idea for Goosebumps The Musical actually came from his agent.
John: She said, Do you think Goosebumps would be a good show? I was like, Yes, I bet it would. She said, Well, I know this composer who's so great and I think you guys would be friends and really work well together.
Quincy: That composer was Danny Abosch. And, conveniently …
Danny Abosch : Like, in fact, one year I actually dressed up as Curly, the goosebumps skeleton for Halloween. Second grade. My mom has the pictures.
Amory: Danny was in, and Goosebumps The Musical was officially commissioned by two children’s theaters: one in Wisconsin, another in Oregon. It debuted in both places in 2016, and from there, it kinda did the equivalent of going straight to VHS …
Ben: That’s a very OG- Goosebumps -era way to put it, Amory. VHS does anyone know what that is?
Amory: Alright, it did the equivalent of going straight to streaming platforms.
Ben: Video high systems …
Ben: No. (Laughs.)
Amory: Instead of becoming a smash success on Broadway and then having every theater in the country want to put on its own production, as Quincy said, Goosebumps The Musical stayed in the community and youth theater zone.
Ben: No neon lights.
Quincy: Maybe some little ones? But yeah, no.
Amory: But then, last year, that cast recording was released a full 5 years later!
[ Goosebumps The Musical cast recording, " A Super Scary Play ": This is our time, this is our day. ‘Cause we’re finally doing a super scary play.]
Quincy: The cast recording made it possible for the music of Goosebumps The Musical to reach a national, and even international, audience.
John: I'll get this text from Danny saying, Hey, we have two songs charting in the Republic of Malta. What, what, what?
Amory: And this cast recording has a pretty dreamy line-up.
How did the cast recording come to be? Because this is a Broadway star studded cast that you have here.
John: Danny willed it to happen. It was just a year of his life where he just lived and breathed and ate and slept the Goosebumps album. And I just sat at my house outside Chicago getting these amazing updates like, Hey, here's Sheryl Lee Ralph singing a song. It sounds brilliant. I like. That's great.
Quincy: Sheryl Lee Ralph, by the way, just won an Emmy for the ABC show Abbott Elementary.
[( Emmy award acceptance speech ) Sheryl Lee Ralph: I am here to tell you that this is what believing looks like.]
Amory: But she’s also a Tony-nominated Broadway star who sings what I think is Quincy’s and my favorite song in the whole show?
Quincy: For sure.
Amory: It’s called “The Legend.”
[Sheryl Lee Ralph singing " The Legend ": The play was called The Phantom , it was the scariest of shows. Is that how it started? No one knows, but that’s how the legend goes.]
Amory: Also on the cast recording is Alex Brightman, who’s currently playing the title role in Beetlejuice the musical on Broadway — yes, that’s a thing — And then there’s Krystina Alabado from Mean Girls the musical — also a thing — and Noah Galvin from Dear Evan Hansen …
Danny: Broadway stars that I really did not even expect to say yes. And the fact that they did is amazing. I'm still pinching myself about it.
Amory: And, we should say, it is not normal to release a cast recording stacked with Broadway actors before the show is on Broadway. Or in this case, before it’s even a twinkle in the eye of a Broadway producer! And yet …
Stephanie Styles: I was so happy when they asked me and just like it’s also truly my like, childhood dream show, the concept of it.
Quincy: Stephanie Styles is known for the Broadway revival of Kiss Me Kate, but on the cast recording for her “conceptual childhood dream show” — as she described it on “The Theatre Podcast with Alan Seales” — Stephanie plays Tina, the understudy and jealous classmate who thinks she should have gotten the female lead instead of Brooke.
[Stephanie Styles singing " Understudy Buddy ": Your cover’s got it covered, so take all the time you need, like a week. Or a month. Or a year. Or the rest of your life. Just kidding!]
Quincy: And then I listened to the songs and I was like, these are unbelievable songs. Like they’re so good.
[Stephanie singing " Understudy Buddy ": Hey Brooke, hope you’re doing fine. Figured I'd drop a line. Not literally, ’cause I totally know all your lines!]
Amory: But despite its clever lyrics, sophisticated music and a killer cast, Goosebumps The Musical still hasn’t garnered the kind of attention its creators – or, honestly, I – would have hoped for.
Quincy: So what will it take? Composer Danny Abosch actually has a pretty good idea.
Danny: Broadway musicals can cost upwards of ten, $20 million to produce.
Danny: So it takes a lot of, you know, capital to mount a Broadway production.
Amory: Whew! OK, let’s call this ingredient #1 for getting a show to Broadway: Someone with sights as high as their pockets are deep.
Danny: And it's, you know, for that reason alone, even if you have connections and an amazing script and amazing cast and amazing music, sometimes just for that reason, it doesn't it doesn't come together. And I mean, the people who invest in a Broadway musical need some hope that, you know, that this is going to recoup their investment. And especially right now, it's just it's a very hard time for Broadway shows.
Ben: Ok so it sounds like ingredient #2 is an audience? Like, you need to be pretty confident you can get those butts in those seats?
Quincy: Yeah, which with a brand like Goosebumps and a cast of big Broadway names like the one on the recording shouldn’t be as much of a hurdle, I wouldn’t think.
Amory: Maybe not, but then there’s ingredient #3, which is honestly one I hadn’t considered before, even though, in some ways, it’s the most obvious: You need an available theater, in one of the most competitive theater hubs in the world.
Danny: Phantom of the Opera just announced it’s closing; the longest running Broadway musical of all time.
Amory: I know. So wouldn't this just slot in perfectly? Phantom of the Opera closes, Goosebumps goes right in its place...?
John: I'm a big fan of you continuing to ask that question at every opportunity.
Amory: When one show closes, another one opens. But, spoiler alert, I don’t have 20 million dollars. Ben and Quincy, I’m guessing you don’t either.
Ben: I’ll tell you what I do have... Tap shoes and a dream!
Amory: I should have known that was coming. And we don’t have access to a Broadway theater …
Amory: But you know? Most people have only heard about Goosebumps The Musical online at this point, and I think we can harness the power of the internet to help it find an even bigger audience.
Amory: Do I need to start a Change.org petition? What do I need to do? You're laughing. I'm not. I'm serious.
Danny: I'm laughing because if I wasn't laughing, I'd be crying.
Quincy: Crying because Danny and John not only put a lot of work into Goosebumps The Musical, but they’ve also been its biggest cheerleaders — attending local productions, making an appearance at BroadwayCon this summer, running social media accounts for the musical, running ads through those social media accounts, like on Instagram for, say, posters …
Danny: We take the attitude that like, you know, no one's doing this for us. If we want to get this show to Broadway, it's on us to get it there. And so we're pounding the pavement and really, you know, doing everything we can to get the word out about this show. And it never seems like enough. It seems like, you know, with everything competing for eyeballs on social media and and the like. But yeah, we're trying our best.
Amory: Well Quincy? Did you buy that poster for Goosebumps The Musical?
Quincy: Umm, no. But it got me to listen to the cast recording, which, one, is probably a better outcome anyway. And two, it got you to listen to it.
Ben: Which might get me to listen to it, and maybe some Endless Thread homies, too?
Amory: And there’s even more reason to have faith. Maybe Goosebumps The Musical is just on a similar trajectory to Goosebumps the books…
R.L. Stine: They just sat there on the shelf. They didn't do anything for months. No one bought ‘em.
Amory: And this guy would know. He wrote them.
Amory: Can you give us kind of the brief origin story of how Goosebumps began for you?
R.L. Stine: You want me to go back to primordial times.
Quincy: Coming up, the architect of age-appropriate spooktacular page-turners himself… R.L. Stine.
[" Stay Away " from Goosebumps The Musical: (Instrumental.) (Gong rings.) (Screams.)]
Amory: R.L. Stine, as his somewhat mysterious-sounding name would suggest, is kind of an elusive guy. He doesn’t really do media interviews, but our request was coming at a special time.
Amory: How are you personally celebrating the 30th anniversary of Goosebumps.
R.L. Stine: By talking to you.
Amory: Love it.
Amory: We were under the careful supervision of his mini-me: an R.L. Stine ventriloquist dummy, positioned just over the real R.L. Stine’s left shoulder.
Ben: Oh God.
Amory: I'm expecting it to open its eyes and they will be red and upset.
R.L. Stine: Yeah, well.
Amory: Not into it. But really, it’s all R.L. Stine’s fault. Any of my fellow Goosebumps kids read his book Night of the Living Dumm y? Or watch the episode of the TV show featuring Slappy the ventriloquist dummy?
[ Slappy : Let me go right now! Help! (Screams.) Ahhhh! (Laughs.)]
Ben: The actual stuff of nightmares.
Amory: Right? And so imagine my surprise when I heard R.L. Stine say this …
R.L. Stine: I don't really want to terrify kids. Amory: So but that's, but you've made... You've done that for 30 straight years.
R.L. Stine: They're not terrified. I hate it when kids come up to me at a book signing say, oh, you gave your book gave me nightmares. I hate that.
Amory: Then why write it? Why write it?
R.L.Stine: It's to get them reading! You know, the most satisfying part for me is all these parents who come to me and said, "My kid never read a book in his life. And I caught him reading with a flashlight under the covers," or people who come up to me and say, "I wouldn't be a librarian today if it wasn't for you," or "You got me through a bad time." You know, that's really what it's about.
Amory: But as Stine himself said, the Goosebumps books weren’t an automatic hit when the first ones came out in 1992.
R.L. Stine: Because there was no advertising. There was no hype. No one really knew me at the time But somehow, after four months or so, somehow, kids discovered them and took them to school and show them to others. There was a secret kids network of kids telling kids.
Ben: Kids telling kids, huh? So do you need to start a “secret” Goosebumps The Musical network? Like, “Yeah yeah everyone knows about Wicked , but have you heard about Goosebumps the Musical ?!”
Amory: Honestly, I kinda already have. I’ve told just about all my theater-loving friends about it.
Ben: That’s not secret. That’s not a secret.
Amory: This is the goal, Ben. We’re trying to make it not a secret, but in a sneaky way.
Ben: This is like the opposite of a whisper campaign, it’s like Amory-singing-at-the-top-of-her-lungs-campaign.
Amory: But you know who I didn’t think I’d need to sing its praises to? Mr. Goosebumps himself!
R.L. Stine: I don't know anything about it. I've never seen it.
Amory: You've never seen it?
R.L. Stine: No, I don't know.
Amory: R.L. Stine has never listened to the cast recording of Goosebumps The Musical.
Amory: Even though he made a cameo on it!
[" Whodunit? " from Goosebumps The Musical :
Ms. Walker: Principal Stine and I will be discussing this with your parents.
Brooke: Cancel the play? No!
Principal Stine: We may not have a choice. We also discuss what other punishments might be appropriate.]
Ben: Principal Stine. Good stuff.
Amory: This is ridiculous to me, because can I just say it is fantastic.
R.L. Stine: And it is? It is.
Amory: It is!
R.L. Stine: You're kidding.
Amory: I'm not kidding, Mr. Stine!
R.L. Stine: Are you sure? Are you sure?
Ben: Are you sure, Amory?
Amory: You know what? R.L. Stine doesn’t have to take it from me. Because Quincy and I spoke to someone who may as well be president of the secret Goosebumps The Musical network…
Kristen Stickley: I have a specific memory of listening to the title track, the song "Goosebumps," for the first time. And immediately afterwards I texted my friend who was also listening to it, and I told her, "This sounds exactly the way that Halloween used to feel when we were kids."
["Goosebumps" from Goosebumps The Musical : What keeps you up ... is meeting up with a ghost? (Screams.)]
Quincy: This is Kristen Stickley. She loves musical theater, and she loves all things spooky . Goosebumps in particular. So Goosebumps The Musical ?
Kristen: This is right up my alley. And the first time I ever heard about it, I was like, there's no way this can be real. Because this sounds like they wrote it specifically for me.
Quincy: “No way it could be real” is exactly how I felt when I saw that Instagram ad. I found this certified superfan through Danny, the composer, who met Kristen this summer at BroadwayCon. She poured her heart out about the music — to him, and to us.
Kristen: The fun and the innocence and the spookiness and the nostalgia of the original series. Just in the music alone, I'm like, "What do you mean this music didn't play every time you opened a Goosebumps book! I could have sworn!"
Amory: Unlike us, who just learned about Goosebumps The Musical a couple months ago, Kristen has been rooting for it since she found the cast recording online last year. And she’s not alone — let’s not forget the Republic of Malta — but Goosebumps The Musical clearly still feels like a secret.
Quincy: Yeah, even in the heart of Broadway, our colleague Megan found exactly one person who had heard of it, and he didn’t seem to know that much …
Megan: In like a sentence, how would you describe it?
Michael Haber: Thrilling.
Megan: In a sentence ...
Michael: Oh, oh. The show is crazy, high energy and thrilling.
Kristen: I really think that once this show reaches a wider audience, it's, it's inevitable that it's going to end up blowing up in popularity, because everybody I've come across who's listened to it has said the same thing: "I cannot believe no one told me about the show, like, it's actually so good."
Amory: There’s something else Goosebumps The Musical might have going for it: timing. Because the music was written and recorded by people who grew up reading the Goosebumps books. And so did some of the folks producer Megan encountered on Broadway. People like Ellen and Jason from Detroit.
Ellen: Now we're in the demographic where we grew up with that stuff as kids and now we're adults with, you know, a little bit of money to spend, you know, not too much, but enough to have a nice night out. So I would be down to see it.
Jason: Yeah, I'm thinking nostalgia.
Amory: Goosebumps fans like Ellen and Jason and me, we are ready for more Goosebumps .
Quincy: This is a lesson that R.L. Stine and some collaborators learned the hard way back in 1996. Even if they remember it fondly.
R.L. Stine: You know, back in the day, we had a wonderful Goosebumps musical.
R.L. Stine: And it had traveled. It was produced by Ken Feld, who owned Ringling Brothers and Disney on Ice, and it was written by a wonderful composer, Rupert Holmes.
Amory: A Goosebumps musical before Goosebumps The Musical ?! Not exactly. There was a traveling Goosebumps stage production, but it wasn’t a musical as R.L. Stine remembers. Although the play was written by the musician, Rupert Holmes. Ben, do you know who Rupert Holmes is?
Ben: Is it Sherlock’s misanthrope great-great-great-grandson? Nope.
Amory: That’s pretty good. He was born in England. I’ll ask you another question. Do you like piña coladas?
[“ Escape ” by Rupert Holmes: (Singing.) And getting caught in the rain. If you’re not into yoga, if you have half a brain.]
Ben: Rupert Holmes is the piña colada song guy?
Amory: He sure is! And it was the success of The Piña Colada Song, AKA “Escape,” that made it possible for Rupert to pursue his theatrical ambitions and write the musical, The Mystery of Edwin Drood . And by write, I mean he wrote the book, the music, and the lyrics, and won Tony Awards for all three.
Rupert: They didn't have a category that year, but I also did the orchestrations. That took three years out of my life, and that was all funded by a song that went, if you like, piña coladas and getting caught in the rain. So, yes, that was a very that was a very good thing for me in terms of expanding what I do.
Amory: Rupert’s maybe also taken after R.L. Stine and written some spooky novels, including a forthcoming one titled, Murder Your Employer , about a university where students learn how to murder people.
Rupert: My theory is there are people who will leave the book on their desk at work just so that their employer will see that what you're considering doing
Amory: As for his work as a playwright, Rupert Holmes has had many highly-acclaimed shows performed at many prestigious theaters, but when he talks about the Goosebumps: Live on Stage touring production, you can hear the childlike delight in his voice.
Rupert: The entire stage was outlined in kind of horrifying, scary figures [...] And in the attic turned out to be a kind of alien invasion of creatures. [...] And they had fallen to their death on stage, and now it's haunted. [...] Which is set in a funhouse, which Slappy controls and, and owns and, and taunts the children. So it was a lot of fun.
Amory: But the fun only lasted for a matter of months.
Rupert: What happened was that there was a lag. The generation that had been reading R.L. Stine, and watching all the TV shows that they did as well, had gotten to be about 16 or 17. And what happens is, when you're a teenager and you're in those mid-teens, you start to say, "I want to move on to adult things now." It's only when you're an adult, you get nostalgic for your youth and then you go back to those things.
Amory: So here we are, fellow adults. 30 years into Goosebumps . The nostalgia is palpable. Even R.L. Stine is finally ready to welcome Goosebumps The Musical into his life and see a production somewhere …
R.L. Stine: I have to go. I have to go. You talked me into it.
Quincy: Or maybe, since R.L. Stine is based in New York City, Goosebumps The Musical will come to him.
Amory: Ooh, I like where your head’s at, Quincy. And since our piña colada-loving, Tony Award-winner Rupert Holmes has some experience with this, maybe he can help answer the question …
Amory: What does it take to get something to Broadway?
Rupert: A miracle these days. A miracle. A miracle.
Amory: Alright I grant you that that doesn’t sound very hopeful, but pulling those ingredients together — the money, the cast, the audience, the timing…
Rupert: You need to be lucky enough for some show to completely collapse right when you're ready to go.
Amory: All of that is the miracle! And there are, like, two dozen of them on Broadway right now!
Ben: And you said Phantom of the Opera is closing soon, right? Boomshacka.
Quincy: It would be superfan-approved...
Kristen: Oh my gosh! That's simply poetic. And going from one phantom haunting the theater to the next one? It's only the natural order, I think.
Rupert: You know what? I'm going to I'm going to support you in that belief and just know that there's 50 other musicals all vying for that same theater right now.
Ben: Oh go get caught in the rain, Rupert!
Amory: So what can we do to give Goosebumps an edge? I floated my online petition idea by superfan Kristen, who said, basically, “Hey, it’s worked in the past!”
Beetlejuice the musical was supposed to close on Broadway a couple years ago. But you know what helped save it?
Ben: Saying Beetlejuice Beetlejuice Beetlejuice?
Amory: You know, kind of. It was the more than 36-thousand signatures on the “Save Beetlejuice the Musical” online petition!
Kristen: It eventually found a new home in the Marquee Theater on Broadway, and they are constantly attributing it to the passion of the fans and, and making it known very loudly that there was a really huge desire for the show to continue to run. And so I don't know if what needs to be done as a petition similarly, but I will be the first one to start that petition.
Amory: Kristen, WAY ahead of you. In the show notes of this episode, you will find a link to a petition to get Goosebumps The Musical to Broadway. Is it going to take a miracle? Yes. Most definitely. But who knows that better than the guy whose wildly successful book franchise almost never launched?
R.L. Stine: And if it was today, the bookstores would have yanked them off the shelf. They wouldn't be around.
Quincy: And the guy who’s been able to reinvent himself over the course of his career — from piña coladas, to Tonys, to murderous novels?
Rupert: The year that Babe Ruth hit the most home runs in baseball, he also led baseball in strikeouts. Why? Because you can't hit a home run unless you're willing to make a big swing. And if you make a big swing, the odds are in favor of you looking like an idiot. But give it your best shot and, and know what you'll do if you fall slightly short of that. How you can capitalize on that? Because you'll get another at bat.
[" Opening Night " from Goosebumps The Musical instrumental.]
Amory: So swing with us, sing along with us, sign the petition to get Goosebumps The Musical to Broadway, and who knows …
Kristen: I don't think it's farfetched to say it's only a matter of time before it gets the major production that it deserves. And I will be front and center when that happens.
Megan (on Broadway): If you had the chance to get tickets to see Goosebumps The Musical , would you go?
Rose Pizanka: Of course.
Rebecca: Absolutely. Yes.
Megan: If it came on to Broadway, would you be interested in seeing it?
Anonymous teenager: Probably. I'm not gonna lie, I liked Goosebumps. (Laughs.)
Ellen: We like horror, we like musicals. Sign us up!
Michael Shea: Absolutely.
Megan: Okay! Thank you so much.
Amory: Curtain call!
Ben: Endless Thread is a production of WBUR in Boston.
Amory: This episode was produced by Quincy Walters, our web-producer and Broadway-correspondent-with-tap-shoes-and-a-dream Megan Cattel, and by me. It was written and co-hosted by Quincy, me, and ...
Ben: Ben Brock Johnson. Mix and sound design by Emily Jankowski. Goosebumps The Musical music by Danny Abosch, lyrics by Danny Abosch and John Maclay.
Amory: Yeah, and big thanks to them for letting us spookily serenade you with it throughout this episode. The rest of our team is Dean Russell, Nora Saks, Grace Tatter, and Paul Vaitkus.
Ben: Endless Thread is a show about the blurred lines between digital communities and the ventriloquist dummy that I hid in Amory’s house for her to find one day and FREAK THE F OUT. If you’ve got an untold history, an unsolved mystery, or a wild story from the internet that you want us to tell, hit us up. Email Endless Thread at WBUR dot ORG.
Amory Sivertson Senior Producer, Podcasts Amory Sivertson is a senior producer for podcasts and the co-host of Endless Thread.
Quincy Walters Producer, WBUR Podcasts Quincy Walters is a producer for WBUR Podcasts.