The Phantom of the Tiny Little Theater

A guy named Ramin Karimloo tears up the London
stage as The Phantom of the Opera
I once played the lead role in "The Phantom of the Opera," but unfortunately it was all in my head.

This is because I had dreamt it.

There I was, swirling my cape around and making grandiose gestures in front of about a hundred people who sat in awestruck wonder, which was more likely due to the fact that I can't sing than anything else.

I sing about as well as actor Gerard Butler, which isn't saying much because he can't sing worth a lick either. Who in their right mind would cast someone like me or Mr. Butler in the lead role of a musical like that, I ask you? Might as well cast Russell Crow, who also can't sing worth a lick.

Gerard Butler looks all menacing as the phantom, but sounds like a wet mop
in the film version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's famed musical.
Wet mops are not very menacing, most of the time.
So it's a good thing it was only a dream and therefore the only person who really heard my pathetic rendition of "The Music Of The Night" was me, aside from the dream people who were present in my head that night. There were only about a hundred of them because the dream took place at a tiny little theater I used to work at as company house manager, which only had ninety-nine seats. I guess someone must have been standing in an aisle.

In the dream I gave it my best shot, belting out every line of all the songs while prancing about the stage like I owned the damned place. If I recall correctly, Christine Daae was played by Scarlett Johansson. No, my dreams are not in the least bit Freudian.

The PERFECT "Christine Daae," Scarlett Johansson,
who, oddly enough, can't sing worth a lick either.

In reality we never would have staged something like "The Phantom of the Opera" at that little theater; it just wouldn't have worked. It didn't work very well in my dream either, as we got a smattering of lukewarm applause at the curtain call and the audience seemed like they couldn't get out of there fast enough.

But the really strange thing occurred about a week later, which was.. are you ready for this? A sequel dream! I believe this is the only time this has ever happened to me. I've had recurring dreams before, where you dream the same thing or almost the same thing over a period of time, but in this instance my follow-up dream a week later was in real time and picked up where the other one had left off.

After having dreamt about performing as the phantom I later dreamt I was back at the little theater in my position as company house manager, and we were just finishing up one of the regular shows we did like "Spoon River Anthology" or something. You know.. regular community theater type stuff.

In this dream we'd just finished the curtain call so I was standing in the lobby wishing patrons a good night as they slipped out through the front door, just like I did after each show in my real life job there.

Suddenly an old man had a heart attack right there in the lobby and collapsed in front of me. He'd clutched his chest while going down, so I leapt forward to help him, cradling his head in my arm and yelling for someone to call 9-1-1. Luckily, he was a "dream old man," and wasn't based on anyone I knew in real life.. I'd never seen him before.

He was still conscious as he managed to ask me a question while gasping for breath..

"Say, aren't you the young fella who played the phantom last week in 'The Phantom of the Opera?"

"Yes sir, I am" I reluctantly admitted to him.

"Well, what do ya know about that!" His slight grin turned into a frown.. "that sucked too!"

Then he died.

I'm not sure what Freud would say about the first dream or that follow-up "sequel dream" a week later, but upon reflection I think the universe was encouraging me to stay out of musicals.

I wish it would encourage Gerard Butler and Russell Crow to do the same.

Russell Crow as Inspector Javert in the film version
of Les Miserables.
..................W-E-T M-O-P................

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