The other day I was listening to Billy Joel and the song “Pressure” came on, in which he sings about how not having scars on your face means you can’t really handle life (paraphrase).
Immediately, my mind went to Phantom of the Opera, and then naturally things spiraled out of control. What follows is a somewhat ridiculous pitch (though I would DEFINITELY pay to see it) about what would happen if the Phantom of the Opera were actually Billy Joel, and if the Broadway show were rewritten as such.
- Open relatively the same, but with “We Didn’t Start the Fire” playing as the chandelier lights up, as much of the show is about communal responsibility/the shirking thereof and results.
- Christine becomes popular singing “Say Goodbye to Hollywood,”
- Raoul comes to visit Christine and the Phantom is naturally upset, singing “Everybody Loves You Now.”
- Christine agrees to go through the mirror, and Phantom sings “The Longest Time” to talk about their love.
- Replace “Music of the Night” with “River of Dreams.”
- Christine passes out, and on waking hears the piano part of “Piano Man” as Billy plays at the organ.
- Christine wants to know who he is, and after ripping off his mask, she pursues knowing his story. He sings “The Entertainer” by way of explanation of his being an incredible musician struggling for recognition from unsympathetic humans/the struggle of his creative genius vs. human ideals of beauty.
- Christine returns, and after performing in “Uptown Girl” on stage, retreats to the roof with Raoul.
- Raoul sings “An Innocent Man” to try to convince her to love him.
- The Phantom is crushed by Christine’s betrayal, but still loves her, singing “She’s Always a Woman.”
- As the Phantom’s grief turns to anger, end the first act with “Pressure.”
- Instead of Masquerade, start with “Why Should I Worry” medley and transition into “You May Be Right/Pressure” when the Phantom returns.
- Replace “Don Juan” with “I Go to Extremes,” as the Phantom tries to convey his roller coaster existence.
- Replace “Point of No Return” with “Just the Way You Are.”
- As Raoul chases them down, the Phantom tries to convince Christine one last time that their love can make it with “A Matter of Trust.”
- When Christine kisses the Phantom, have some kind of reprise, possibly of “Just the Way You Are” or “Always a Woman.”
- When the Phantom decides to let them go, he sings “Tell Her About It” to make sure Raoul takes his new love seriously/treats Christine right.
- End with bits and pieces “Piano Man” as he disappears.
Anyway, I know some of the songs would have to be tweaked some or shuffled around, and that ultimately the whole thing is a little silly, but hopefully next time you hear a song from either, you can get a smile.
Oh, and I definitely created the playlist on Spotify (listen here), if you want to think about it some more. Let me know what you think, folks. Songs you would add, change, shuffle or move? Tell me in the comments!