Saturday, January 5, 2013

Phantom Phlashback!

By Chris Alexander with Tim Sullivan

Story from KISS: MONSTER - The Official Album and Tour Magazine #2

Paul Stanley wore a different kind of disguise on stage as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

The year is 1999: a significant year in KISStory as it saw the release of the feature film DETROIT ROCK CITY itself coming hot on the heels of the band’s 19th studio album PSYCHO CIRCUS and several sold out world tours. But for Paul Stanley, 99 marked an even great personal achievement, that of his starring role as the Phantom in the long running Toronto production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s smash stage musical THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA.

Stanley’s turn as The Phantom played out night from May to August, returning in September to October on the stage of the historic Pantages Theatre (now the Cannon) on Toronto’s Yonge Street and as this writer can attest, no previous incarnation anywhere of the play commanded such a unique response. Show after show, a diverse group of Phantom-philes, curious tourists and most uniquely, hardcore KISS fans in full make-up, many of whom flew in from all corners of the globe to see their hero sing The Music of the Night, descended upon the Pantages. It was the ultimate hybrid of higher culture and flamboyant rock and roll.

How do I know? Well, I was an usher in that very theatre. A KISS fan thrilling to this bizarre and brilliant turn of events, every evening. Years later, myself and filmmaker/DRC co-producer Tim Sullivan ventured to Paul’s Hollywood home to discuss KISS, the success of SONIC BOOM, the planning of MONSTER…and here, in this portion of our chat, his memorable turn as the tragic, disfigured genius committing murder in the name of love in the bowels of a Paris opera house.

KISS Magazine: How did your role in PHANTOM come to pass?

PAUL STANLEY: Well, I can tell you that I had to audition like anyone else, personally, for Andrew Lloyd Webber.

KISS Magazine: Really?

PAUL STANLEY: Of course! What…do you think Lloyd Webber was like “get me Bozo the Clown”? No…I had to prove I could do it.

KISS Magazine: After your first run, your contract ended and the next Phantom, Canadian actor Jeff Hyslop, entered. Then suddenly, a mere month later, it was announced that you would return.

Read the rest at