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Foreword by Stan Lerner: determined to not leave Las Vegas before writing a work of some literary merit I contacted Rob Goldstein, the President of The Venetian and Palazzo resorts, and asked if he could facilitate my seeing the Phantom Of The Opera and Jersey Boys. So impressive were these two shows, that I felt it necessary to divide my effort and write not one, but two separate blogs. The first blog of this diptych depiction of Sin City at its holiest is posted both on downtownster and blogsincity as the “Phantom Of The Opera – And I”. I’ll mention here that while I’ve received no reaction from the The Venetian with respect to this blog—many readers have commented that it is perhaps the most beautiful piece I’ve ever written. Well, now as I contemplate how to continue our story I have something to live up to I suppose.

 Last read from “The Phantom Of The Opera—And I”:

The dark figure with his face half-masked approached—The Phantom Of The Opera. To clarify, I am not speaking of the brilliant, Tony Award winner, previously seen on the most elaborate of stages. I speak now of the actual Phantom Of The Opera, risen from his chamber.

Seated next to me he said these words, “The lover of The Phantom Of The Writers, you are?”

“I am,” I responded, solemnly.

“A tragic state of being you’ve accepted—to be loyal,” his voice lowered to a whisper, “yes to be loyal to the giver of your talent and to not be seduced by those who love you for what is not yours.”

“I can’t live without what I’ve been given, so I am a slave to the giver…”

We sat in silence for some moments—waiting. Because there is a moment every day when there is pure truth in all-of-the world.

“Why does a man as handsome as yourself wear a mask?” I asked The Phantom Of The Opera who is perhaps the most handsome man I have ever laid eyes on.

A tear ran down his cheek, not for himself, but for I. “For the same reason, you great writer cannot look into a mirror. I wear the mask to hide not my face, but the ugliness that dwells in my heart…”

Our story continues:


The words of the phantom reverberated in parts of my soul that previous to our encounter I had not fathomed existed. Oh the complexity of the soul and the vexations it suffers. Why must I yearn for greatness? Why must I want for others to share my passion? Surely not from an evil, perplexed heart. You see it is indeed this goodness that continuously births the passion that feeds the darkness—and thus the infinite, alpha helix of my pained existence.

“There is another show, great writer, that you must see,” said The Phantom Of The Opera to I.

“No, this was enough. Should I see anything less it would diminish the euphoria I will forever experience when I think of the theatre, thanks to you.”

The masked face tilted towards I and slightly down, as the phantom is a few inches taller than my six-foot-one frame. “You won’t be disappointed. True there is no other performance that can equal my pageantry and my love of the feminine voice is universally known—still there is another voice in our time from the angels.” Pointing north towards the Palazzo. “And there is yet another question you must answer for yourself.”

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The awful question was with us now. “Why does the world resist that which would change it and make it better?” Continue reading THE JERSEY BOYS