Chris Rice Cooper

Chris Rice Cooper

Monday, October 17, 2016

EULOGY POEM for LYLE COOPER by Christal Rice Cooper

Christal Cooper

Poem attributed to Christal Rice Cooper
Copyright granted by Carole Cooper and Christal Rice Cooper


In Remembrance of Lyle Cooper
03/16/1943 – 10/08/2016

We are driving from Illinois
to Michigan, now in Indiana

The sky is deep violet on the verge of rain,
unlike Dad Cooper’s vivid blue eyes

full of clarity, and twinkling
but there is no storm.

It makes me think of Michigan weather
that Dad Cooper would describe to me

we see things that aren’t there
we don’t see things that are there.

He said:  “God has the infinite mind.
We have the finite mind.”

I sense something from above.
Is it my imagination?  I can’t tell

But I feel there is a message
Just for me, just for us

Still I feel restless, yet excited
like I’m on the cusp of a new encounter

of what Dad Cooper is experiencing
The enveloping of the Holy Spirit

The revealing of God’s face  
The caress of His Nail Scared Wrist.

Then I realize Dad Cooper’s not sending us a message.
He’s too busy living like he’s never lived before

Friday, October 14, 2016

Phantom of the Opera: Coming to A City Close To you!

Christal Cooper

Phantom of the Opera
At a Theater New You!

Are you looking for a place where you can buy tickets to attend many special events? You know, we have here at Main Event Specials. We are the home when you want to search for concert, sport, and theater tickets.  So, are you interested in watching a play at the theater? If so, you definitely should not forget to try watching Phantom of the Opera. This musical play is widely known around the world. Many people are satisfied with watching it. Have you known about this before?

If you are not that familiar with this musical play, we will tell you more about it in this opportunity. You see, the play of the Phantom of the Opera is based on a French novel called “Le Fantôme de l'opera”.

The plot goes on the story of a perfect soprano who becomes the mysterious musical genius. However, the play appears to offer more than that. Passion, desire, and ambition are shown splendidly.

Erik attributed to Chris Rice Cooper 

This play has what it takes to be a great classical musical play. Suspense, horror, love, and heartache are what you will get from watching it. This play had its premiere on October 9, 1986 at Her Majesty’s Theater, London. In that year too, it opened in London’s West End.

Phantom of the Opera in London 

It then immediately won an Laurence Olivier Award to Michael Crawford as best actor for his portrayer of Erik. 

 This play continued showing on Broadway in 1988. That year too, it gained another award called Tony Award for Best Musical. Soon, it becomes the most successful event financially.

An official 1983 publicity photo of the Antoinette Perry Award Medallion known as the Tony Award.

Well, it is not like the story remains the same all years long. The Phantom of Opera has experienced over 150 remakes of movies, television shows, books, comics, documentaries, children shows, translations, and radio broadcasts so far.

Left:  Poster for the 1925 silent movie version of the Phantom of the Opera.

1990 television miniseries Phantom of the Opera


First Sunday Strip may 28, 1939 attributed to Ray Moor

It just shows that Phantom of the Opera is worth play to see. This play has its music handled by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Charles Hart and Richard Stilgoe. Do you want to know more about its plot? Then, let’s talk more about it below.

Andrew Lloyd Webber in 2007

Charles Hart 

Richard Stile 

We have said before that this story has been remade over 150 times. The plot in Gaston Leroux’s novel and the musical play might be a bit different, though. Let us tell you the plot summary of this story from Gaston Leroux then.

Gaston Leraux 

The story is a love triangle between Erik, Christine, and Raoul. Ever since Christine’s parents died, she has been living with Mamma Valerius. She then started singing and dancing at the Opera Populaire. She makes her triumphant debut as Carlotta.

Soon, she meets with Erik, who becomes known to her as the “Angle of Music.” He gives Christine music lessons, and he falls in love with her. However, it is not mutual love since Christine falls in love with her childhood friend, Raoul.  That makes Erik so obsessive with her, and Christine hates it. Even so, after Erik brings her for a fortnight, she begins to have a feeling for him. Then, he releases her, and Christine tells Raoul what happens all along. Raoul promises to take her away.

Emily Rossum as Christine and Rauol

Knowing this, Erik kidnaps Christine and forces her to choose him or Raoul by saying that he will destroy the opera house with the explosives he has if she chooses Raoul over him. One day to make her choice seems to have driven her into a corner.

She agrees to marry Erik for the sake of saving the people in the opera house from the danger of the explosives. However, in the end, Erik lets her go to choose Raoul instead. Three weeks later, there is news that Erik is dead because of broken heart.
You see, there have been countless plays of the Phantom of the Opera in the theater since its premiere. 

Micheal Crawford and Sarah Brightman, 1986 

In 2009 for example, it was performed at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Champa St, Denver, CO. In that year too, it was performed at the Detroit Opera House, Detroit, MI

Denver Center for the performing arts 

Detroit Opera House 

It had also been on its national tour around the UK from February 27, 2012 to May 4, 2013.


Aside from that tour, the story was played at the theaters in London, New York, Las Vegas, Kyoto, and Budapest.  In 2014, this play made more shows in all sorts of locations too. Among them, there was Dallas TX, Tampa, Orlando, OKC, Milwaukee, Memphis, Chicago, Philadelphia, etc. Of course, there are all sorts of theaters used to perform this play, like Boston Opera House, Fox Theater Atlanta, DPAC, Orpheum Theater, etc.

Meanwhile, 2015 is the year you can expect for its US tour that will continue to the next year. Even before this tour, there had been various locations where this play was performed.  The locations included are Seattle, Portland Oregon, Pittsburgh, Tulsa OK, Phoenix, etc. The theaters used are like ASU Gammage in Tempe, AZ, Wharton Center for Performing Arts in East Lansing MI, Benedum Center for the Performing Arts in PIT, etc.

The Phantom of the Opera’s North American Tour has begun on June 11, 2015 at Hollywood Pantages in Los Angeles (LA). It will keep being performed in various locations and theaters until October 16, 2016 at Saroyan Theater in Fresno.  Those various locations in that tour are New York City (NYC), San Francisco, Omaha, Louisville, London, Houston, San Diego, Cleveland, Costa Mesa, Tucson, San Antonio, Toronto, Baltimore, Jacksonville, Miami, Nashville, and still many others.

As for the theaters used, there are Majestic Theater, Orpheum Theater, Princess of Wales, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Landmark Theater, Murat Theater, the Kentucky Center, State Theater, the Kennedy Center, etc.
Here, at Main Event Specials, we have listed the schedule for the upcoming live performances of the Phantom of the Opera this year. It includes the dates and the locations that the play will take place.

There are still many plays to see up ahead, although you might need to pick the location you can come to. So, are you interested in coming to see this play after reading these reviews?  Of course, we have provided the Phantom of the Opera tickets for each date right from the start of the tour to the end of it. We do offer a discount you can consider if you buy from our website.

By taking advantage of that, surely you will be able to get a cheap prize for the tickets. Would you ignore this? Come on, get the tickets now! Don’t miss your chance when the date and the location are just around the corner! Get them here, at our Main Event Specials!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


Christal Cooper

The “Introduction” and the poem “THE FENCE (that night)” is excerpted from:
SHEPARD. Copyright © 2012 by Lesléa Newman. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA. (

This  copyright will expire on 10/12/2019

Leslea Newman at the fence
Copyright granted by Leslea Newman

Excerpt from OCTOBER MOURNING:  A Song For Matthew Shepard

       On Tuesday, October 6, 1998, at approximately 11:45 p.m., twenty-one year-old Matthew Shepard, a gay college student attending the University of Wyoming, was kidnapped from a bar by twenty-one-year old Aaron McKinney and twenty-one-year-old Russell Henderson.  Pretending to be gay, the two men lured Matthew Shepard into their truck, drove him to the outskirts of Laramie, robbed him, beat him with a pistol, tied him to a buck-rail fence, and left him to die.  The next day, at 6:30 p.m. – eighteen hours after the attack – he was discovered and taken to a hospital.  He never regained consciousness and died five days later on Monday, October 12, with his family by his side.

Matthew Shepard.  Copyright granted by the Matthew Shepard Foundation 

Russell Henderson, left, and Aaron McKinney in Albany County court in Laramie, Wyo., Oct. 9, 1998.  Ed Andrieski, The Associated Press.  Fair Use Under the United States Copyright Law 

A basket of flowers at the fence . . . 

       One of the last things Matthew Shepard did that Tuesday night was attend a meeting of the University of Wyoming’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered Association.  

Matthew Shepard.  Copyright granted by the Matthew Shepard Foundation 

The group was putting final touches on plans for Gay Awareness Week, scheduled to begin the following Sunday, October 11, coinciding with National Coming Out Day.  Planned campus activities included a film showing, an open poetry reading, and a keynote speaker.
       The keynote speaker was me.

Web Logo photo of Leslea Newman

       I never forgot what happened in Laramie, and around the tenth anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s death, I found myself thinking more and more about him.  And so I began writing a series of poems, striving to create a work of art that explores the events surrounding Matthew Shepard’s murder in order to gain a better understanding of their impact on myself and the world.

Matthew Shepard.  Copyright granted by the Matthew Shepard Foundation 

       What really happened at the fence that night?  Only three people know the answer to that question.  Two of them are imprisoned, convicted murderers whose stories often contradict each other (for example, in separate interviews both McKinney and Henderson have claimed that he alone tied Matthew Shepard to the fence).  The other person who knows what really happened that night is dead.  We will never know his side of the story.
       This book is my side of the story.

       While the poems in this book are inspired by actual events, they do not in any way represent the statements, thoughts, feelings, opinions, or attitudes of any actual person.  The statements, thoughts feelings, opinions, and attitudes conveyed belong to me.  All monologues contained within the poems are figments of my imagination; no actual person spoke any of the words contained within the body of any poem.  These words are mine and mine alone.  When the words of an actual person are used as a short epigraph for a poem, the source of that quote is cited at the back of the book in a section entitled “Notes,” which contains citations and suggestions for further reading about the crime.  The poems, which are meant to be read in sequential order as one whole work, are a work of poetic invention and imagination:  a historical novel in verse.  The poems are not an objective reporting of Matthew Shepard’s murder and its aftermath; rather they are my own personal interpretation of them.    

       There is a bench on the campus of the University of Wyoming dedicated to Matthew Shepard, inscribed with the words He continues to make a difference.  

My hope is that readers of October Mourning:  A Song for Matthew Shepard will be inspired to make a difference and honor his legacy by erasing hate and replacing it with compassion, understanding, and love.

“Morning In  America” The death of Matthew Shepard, 
Gouache on paper 19 ½ X 20 ½
1998 Painting by Richard Taddei
Copyright granted by Richard Taddei

(that night)  

I held him all night long
He was heavy as a broken heart
Tears fell from his unblinking eyes
He was dead weight yet he kept breathing

He was heavy as a broken heart
His own heart wouldn’t stop beating
He was dead weight yet he kept breathing
His face streaked with moonlight and blood

His own heart wouldn’t stop beating
The cold wind wouldn’t stop blowing
His face streaked with moonlight and blood
I tightened my grip and held on

The cold wind wouldn’t stop blowing
We were out on the prairie alone
I tightened my grip and held on
I saw what was done to this child

We were out on the prairie alone
Their truck was the last thing he saw
I saw what was done to this child
I cradled him just like a mother

Their truck was the last thing he saw
Tears fell from his unblinking eyes
I cradled him just like a mother

I held him all night long.