The Phantom of the Opera – Show Review

SLARF is going to take a little break for the moment and do a review on something quite different; a theatrical performance of “The Phantom of the Opera” with an all-furry cast from the Ravenswood Theatricals group.

A bit about the company:

We are the premiere All Furry Theatrical company in Second Life, performing live shows with lights, costumes and effects in front of a live audience.

Mission

To provide live theater done by a entire furry cast to the general public of Second Life.

Company Overview

Second Life’s premiere furry Theater Company

Description

We are a group of animals who all love theater and want to do theater, why not try it all in a place that allows for almost infinite possibilities in terms of scale and design, and above all, why not do it and invite people to come?

Last Sunday, I had the opportunity to see a feature presentation of “The Phantom of the Opera” inside of Second Life. I had no clue at the time how someone could attempt to put on a play in Second Life, what with its little quirks and quibbles that would make productions near impossible. Curious, and in need of a break from my hectic real life schedule (More Avatar Reviews are still coming after a brief hiatus), I decided to take a few hours’ break.

Arrival at the theatre meant that a number of avatars stood outside at the external doors, waiting to be let into the atrium and then seat themselves inside. While myself and my friends had resolved to dress our avatars a little formally, we ended up seated in an array of anything from beautiful dresses and top-hats to a gentleman with no shirt, featuring very oiled pecs.

The way that this production works was apparent at the start, with pre-recorded arrangements and voice acting from a production in the past played over the music stream. Meanwhile, an array of well-done special effects, neatly constructed stage props, well-dressed avatars and custom animations would tell the story.

The avatar species matched the characters that were intended to be played; Erik (The Phantom), for example was a lion. Moreover, it was clear from the start that each of the actors knew exactly where there places where, when to move to centre stage, when to get up, play the necessary animation, and when to get off the stage.

It really goes without saying that the experience was an interesting and entertaining one, with a lot of thought having been put into giving each of the voices in the recording a face and personality that not only matches the voice, but provided a strong visual for the audience Additionally, even though Second Life made the performance difficult on the actors with a few unfortunate crashes, within mere minutes the show picked right back up where it left off. To do that would require a lot of dedication and perserverence.

Pushing the boundaries of Second Life’s limitations is done every day by different content creators, especially as Linden Lab gives us new tools or mistakenly creates bugs that can be useful. I believe Ravenswood Theatricals is one of the groups of people that pushes back against the boundaries of what you can and cannot do in SL with their plays. This production of “The Phantom of the Opera” received permission from the office of Andrew Lloyd Webber, and they have plans to cover other classics, like Les Miserables.

I also had the opportunity to chat with the Founder and Artistic Director, Alexiel (alexiel.czaczkes) about their performance and my wish to offer SLARF’s support. To find out more information about their shows, please visit their Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/RavenswoodThtrSL

They’re always looking for more and more people to help them out in any which way they can, and the more actors they have, the more often they can put these plays on!

Alexiel and his friends seek to provide ways for which furs and the people who love them can contribute to the culture and growth of the arts in Second Life. Even if plays in Second Life aren’t your cup of tea, please support Ravenswood as they strive towards their goal!

– Forepawz



Forepawz is a sneaky shapeshifter - if you see him around taking pictures for SLARF, say 'hello!'