The Music of the Night

Tonight's screenings of Phantom of the Opera at Grace Cathedral has all the spoils of a rich kid's birthday party. The church wanted an accompanist to play live on its 1934 Aeolian-Skinner Great Organ, so someone picked up the phone and got Dorothy Papadakos, the woman who worked the pipes for the largest gothic cathedral in the world, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC, from 1990 to 2003. Papadakos has been playing along to silent films for years (she first did Phantom in 1997) and she works in the traditional theater-organ style, improvising as she watches the screen. The 1929 film also features the greatest phantom ever, Lon Chaney, who transformed himself into such a fearsome sight that 1929 audiences fainted. He liked do his own makeup, and what he did to his face -- using wire to push back his nose and pop out his eyes -- still terrifies. Jan Wahl hosts at 7 p.m. and Donna Sachet hosts at 10 p.m.
Mon., Dec. 31, 7 & 10 p.m., 2007

 
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