Is this Box set worth $150.45 or in general, $100+? In short...sadly, no.
I say this as someone who vastly Loves---Absolutely ADORES Phantom of the Opera, not just Webber's rendition, and I spend a lot of time on youtube being a geek. So I will tell you things as I see it about this, and inform you just what the Interviews and Archive footage is, so you can be INFORMED before buying, unlike myself with only a few 'guesses' false ones at that.
As many of you may have guessed, this DOES NOT have anything to with Filming of Phantom in Royal Albert Hall(Karimloo, and Boggess)
Let me start with the DVD, the main reason why I bought it. Interviews...Rare Archive Footage---okay cool, there's a lot of that which never has been really released in detail. Let's see what they have right? I pop in the DVD, select the Singles first, which has the Complete Footage of Promotional videos:
1. Phantom of the Opera with Steve Harley and Brightman,
2. All I Ask of You(the painfully corny one, In my Opinion) With Brightman with Cliff Richard.
3. Music of the Night with Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman
4. Wishing You Where Somehow Here Again with Sarah Brightman. (Okay, I haven't watched this one entirely on Youtube)
All these can be found on youtube, and by some uploaders...in better quality. But Okay. good to have on the DVD.
Next, the Interviews/News
These I haven't seen before, probably because I haven't Looked for them.
1. ALW Interview with Terry Wogan, 12/27/1985
2. ALW and Saran Brightman Interview on Breakfast Time 10/8/1986
3. News Report with Sue Lawley, BBC News, 6/6/1988 (This is interesting as it Talks about the Award sweep Phantom did, and Crawford's brief history before Phantom, with footage of his comedic acts I haven't seen elsewhere.)
And that's it? Really? Seriously? No Present Day Interviews of Sarah and Michael with other Original Casts looking back, or present cast members noting how this all inspired them someway somehow? C'mon, there's more Information on Phantom in the '04 Movie Special Edition DVD with "Behind the Mask, The Story of the Phantom of the Opera" or the Youtube's "Behind the Mask Documentary - Phantom of the Opera" has information, interviews etc that should have made it to this DVD! Especially the Youtube version, that's good!
But we're not through with this DVD Yet, we have two more sections.
ALW 50th Birthday Celebration--Need I point out a website again? No? Okay
This section features A Phantom 'playing' the Overture, then Brightman Singing POTO with Antonio Bandaras, then All I Ask with Michael Ball, and her then singing Music of the Night---that's it. Literally.
The last Section is the 10,000 Performance and 24th Anniversary(on the West End)
Okay, maybe we'll get something good here, that I haven't seen. Something...clips of that show, interview with the cast--- and the video quality is worse then an amateur boot legger with a good seat. It's starts after final bows where the Phantom(Who I can't Identify beyond Crawford calling him "Steve" because the image is THAT bad) informs the audience of the occasion, and introduces Webber, who says the usual stuff of "this wouldn't have happen without etc" and then introduces Michael Crawford. They bring out cake, cut it then graffiti falls to the audience. The amusing part was the Phantom that night commented that the show was almost as old as he is, and raised his hand as a joke when Webber asked how many(the audience) weren't even born yet.
As for the other contents of the boxset, you get a Coin to which there are only 15,000 of, Full Original Cast Recording of Both POTO and LND(NO 25th Royal Albert Hall Recording in this), A Reproduced Playbill of the POTO Premier, and a Book that documents the History of Phantom(including the various Notable Adaptions) from the original book up to LND.
I suppose this would be good if you weren't as researched as I. To me, it just isn't worth it, though the book might prove interesting, and the Coin would have some worth some years from now. the PlayBill will probably not be worth much, as it IS reproduction. As for the CDs, the design is cool, but for a $150, you'd think you would at least get a REAL CASE instead of the cardboard ones. Same for the DVD.
I would say this is worth maybe $70-$80, Maybe. If I were putting this out for as much as they're asking for, I would have put more Documentaries, behind the scene footage that I know they have, interviews with the Remaining Original Cast Members, and the Current/Popular casts. Ask Phantoms Like McGillin, JOJ, Panaro, Cudia, Karimloo, Carpenter ---all these people who MADE Phantom last as long as it as---why they've left the role, only to come back a few years later to play it again! Heck, Mention all the repeat Cast Members, because this show, would not have lasted without their dedication. Not to mention putting the Royal Albert Hall CD and DVD in Here since they are the 25TH! This should be the Ultimate Phantom Bundle! This Boxset was not particularly made for Hardcore "Phans" or remotely dedicated to the people of the show---the hundreds that put so much into this story. This box is about Webber, and Sarah---with an small pat on the back to Michael---and forgetting the rest.
So, If you've read this far, you've been informed of what you're getting in it entirety.