For years, I avoided hearing the soundtrack, wanting to experience it live and untasted. But you couldn't get away from it. I remember my brother Joe, in mask and cape, performing a medley of numbers from it in a high school show. I was overwhelmed when visiting a former college girlfriend – a soprano – a week before she married, while her hands brushed across her keyboard as she sang "Think of Me" as a sort of goodbye to our past. But never did I get the chance or have the money to see an actual performance. Finally, at Notre Dame, I gave in one night, borrowed the soundtrack from Kate Fagan, and sat on my floor letting all the themes rage through me. And yet, the years passed by and never an opportunity seemed to work out. Even among the Freeks, the music reared its head, with Doug singing a strange intro one night, channeling the Phantom's betrayal into the frantic obsession of "Bittersweet Highway."
When the movie adaptation came out last year, I rejoiced that some studio had finally done the obvious and taken advantage of the extra embellishment that film could give to a production already so purposefully overlush, and I thought I finally had my chance. But over my break, visiting Mom in Verona and thinking it would be great fun to treat her to the film, I had to suffer the fact that it didn't open in Madison. Finally, tonight, on a rented DVD, it happened.
Channel the above into the story and that will save me having to try to describe my pleasure.