One of the best Phantom costume exhibitions to date was at the North Star Mall in San Antonio, Texas, in 2001.
Rather ironic that a “random” mall would be the setting for one of the highlights for us costume nerds, and not a museum like V&A or during a special event like the 25th anniversary worldwide or the 25th anniversary on Broadway. It tells something of the neglect of the powers-to-be. But I disgress…
The exhibition was special for two reasons. One, it featured a LOT of costumes, including five Christine ones, Red Death, two Carlotta costumes and multiple others - 18 in total. I think that is the largest number of Phantom costumes to be exhibited at one place. Two, some of these were the original Broadway costumes worn by Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman.
The Aminta dress on display was Sarah Brightman’s for sure. The wedding dress also looks very much like hers. It’s old school, anyway. Ditto for the Star Princess costume, with it’s very pink, short bodice and pale skirt (but it’s not as old as Brightman’s). According to one seeing the exhibition, the plaque in front of the Wishing dress claimed the one on display was also Brigthman’s. It doesn’t match the one she wears in photos, as the lace on her sleeves didn’t have the blue trim, and the cuffs were different too. In general the one here looks more modern (as in, having a lot of later details not seen in the first dresses). But for all I know she had two dresses on Broadway, this being one of them.
The Red Death one was Michael Crawford’s original Broadway costume. It can be recognized by its swirly velvet pattern, and by the narrow and rounded tabs in the waist.
I would give a LOT to be able to turn back time and see this exhibition in Texas (and go see Phantom afterwards, cast being Ted Keegan, Rebecca Pitcher (Kathy Voytko) and John Cudia, for those interested…). It’s only due to the generosity of a fellow phan I’ve gotten decent photos from it.
The full list of items on display were: Christine’s dressing gown, Sylvan Glade, Carlotta’s Countess, Il Muto Jeweler, Star Princess, Red Death, Flower Girl, Butterfly, Rigoletto, Fall Lady, Christine’s Wishing dress, Don Juan Rehearsal Lady, Christine’s Aminta, Meg’s Gypsy, Innkeeper, Carlotta’s Innkeeper’s Wife, Don Juan, and Christine’s wedding dress.