By Michael Tatasciore
As a lucky grand prize winner in the MasterworksBroadway.com “You Gotta Get A Gimmick” Sweepstakes, I chose to see The Phantom of the Opera on July 17th in New York City. I was amazed by our cool hotel which was the Renaissance in Times Square. It was right in the heart of the theatre district so we could walk everywhere. We had a great day and went to the evening performance. Being a huge fan of Phantom and seeing it for the third time, I was thrilled that my seats were so close to the stage! Phantom is still my favorite show, so having a personal tour backstage and meeting John Cudia (who plays the Phantom) was the highlight of the weekend. The conductor, David Lai, gave us a tour through the backstage areas and took us to John’s dressing room. John was very nice and he let me observe his costumes, and of course, the famous mask. Afterwards, Scott Farthing from Sony Masterworks kindly took us out to dessert. I’d like to say thank you to all those at Sony Masterworks who helped make this possible including Mr. Farthing and Ms. Suji Song, and to those at the Majestic Theatre where Phantom will hopefully be playing for years to come. It was a weekend I’ll never forget.