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Read about the glittering gala opening night in Robin Leach's AOL column...
Elizabeth Loyacano, Anthony Crivello, Sierra Boggess and Brent Barrett. Phantom the Las Vegas Spectacular opening night c. Ethan Milla.

It was a glittering gala and platinum premiere for Phantom – The Las Vegas Spectacular. Carol Burnett, Linda Lavin, Siegfried and Roy, and their longtime manager Bernie Yuman, Rita Rudner, Gordie Brown, Robert Goulet, Clint Holmes, designer David Rockwell, Venetian owner, Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, all added to the star-power of the night. Rival Cirque founder, Guy Laliberte, who has his new Beatles Love musical directly opposite at the Mirage was actually the first to RSVP to the gilt-edged invitation!!

Composer Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, director Hal Prince, choreographer Gillian Lynne and lyricist Charles Hart were on stage for rousing curtain calls with the entire audience on its feet for standing ovations from the moment the curtain came down. Anthony Crivelo (Phantom) and Elizabeth Loyacano (Christine) gave virtuoso performances and richly deserved their thunderous applause. Also attending were Brent Barrett (who shares the role of Phantom with Anthony) and Sierra Boggess (who shares the role of Christine with Elizabeth). Both had flipped a coin to determine who played opening night. Close Phantom watchers know the double-casting is to prevent ‘’Vegas throat’’ with the 10 gruelling weekly performances.

Earlier in the evening at a private reception, old friends Andrew Lloyd Webber reunited with Siegfried and Roy, the first time they had seen each other in more than a decade. It was also a night of triumph for Roy who walked most of the red-carpet to prove his recovery from near-death injuries is still progressing. They loved the show, and Roy was one of the first to his feet to lead the standing ovation; “It’s simply magnificent. Our congratulations to Andrew Lloyd Webber, Hal Prince and everyone involved with creating this amazing production,” said Siegfried. “We loved it,” said Roy. “Phantom is pure magic.”

After the show, guests at the after-party all agreed unanimously that Phantom

has a home in Vegas for years and years to come. They entered through a fog-filled entry similar to the Phantom’s underwater lair into a ballroom where they discovered a chandelier made from more than 20,000 red roses hung from the ceiling. Dancing was to Jack Mack and the Heart Attack and the favorite drink of the night: the Phantini.

Excerpt from AOL Column – Luxe Life with Robin Leach 6.26.06

Posted on: 6th July 2006

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