A new tune for the music of the night

By Andrew Coan

Arizona Daily Wildcat

The Gaslight Theater is a Tucson tradition dating back to its opening in 1977. Their fortĒ is gut-busting, hilarious, melodrama, and the theater has done it again with their version of "Phantom Of The Opera".

"Phantom" is a revival of one of Gaslight's greatest hits. While it does have a serious conclusion, it's very much a comedy.

"The Phantom was adapted by Peter Van Slyke for the Gaslight stage. He adapted it from the novel by Gaston Leroux. Our Phantom is a musical melodrama, which is a comedy drama put to music. It is not the New York (Broadway) version and is definitely a comedy," says Nancy Laviola, who plays Madame Giry and also choreographed the production.

"Phantom" is the only Gaslight show which has a dramatic ending rather then a comedic one," emphasizes Armen Dirtadian, the play's Phantom.

Dirtadian has been acting in Gaslight shows since 1983, as well as numerous other productions all over town. Tim Gilbert, another Gaslight veteran-"the Eyes"- plays Buget and the Persian. Gilbert has the manic energy of Robin Williams combined with the acting skill of Jackie Gleason. He can take on almost any part and keep you rolling in the aisles throughout.

While "Phantom" is not the Andrew Lloyd Weber version (probably a good thing), it promises to be both funny and a good time.

"Phantom Of The Opera" playing at The Gaslight Theater (7010 E. Broadway Blvd.) Running until Nov. 4th. Starring: Armen Dirtadian, Samantha Dunn, David R. Fanning, Cameron Martin, David Sullivan, and Glenda Young. Directed by Richard Hanson, Adapted by Peter Van Slyke. $10.95 for students. For reservations and additional information call 886-9428.

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