Phantom | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Andrew Lloyd Webber's vastly popular treatment is heavy-handed and manipulative, but Arthur Kopit and Maury Yeston's lesser-known version of Gaston Leroux's ruthless romance is too lightweight. Their phantom, basically a deformed music teacher longing for his lost mother, is neither sinister nor seductive enough to rise to any operatic occasion. Neediness doesn't cut it. Porchlight Music Theatre, which specializes in saving shows from themselves, can't quite breathe fire into Yeston's fusion of tortured lyrics and boilerplate ballads. Lara Filip is a matronly Christine not that different in voice or looks from Naomi Landman as her nemesis, Carlotta, but Peter Oyloe makes an ardent, contagiously charismatic fiend. If only he got to do more than sulk in the cellar. --Lawrence Bommer a Through 11/11: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Sun 2:30 PM, Theatre Building Chicago, 1225 W. Belmont, 773-327-5252, $34-$35.

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