Beginning Thursday evening, 27th March, Kim Stengel, the actress who has played the role of the outrageous opera diva ‘Carlotta’ in The Phantom of the Opera more than any other actress worldwide, will join the Broadway production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, directed by Harold Prince, at The Majestic Theatre (247 West 44th Street). This will mark Ms. Stengel’s Broadway debut.
Ms. Stengel has played the role over 4,500 times in several productions, playing across the USA, Canada and Asia. Her first experience with the show was on the Canadian National Tour, which she joined in 1994. This production took her across Canada, to Alaska and Hawaii and became the musical’s first Asian Tour, taking her to Singapore and Hong Kong in 1995. She joined the Toronto Company in October 1995, playing the role for four years (including with Kiss rocker Paul Stanley in the title role). She joined the US national tour in July 2002 and has played the role for nearly six years, up until earlier this month.
Ms. Stengel is the 12th actress to be cast in the role on Broadway, and replaces another history-maker, Patricia Phillips, who was the first person of African-American descent to play the role in the New York production. Ms. Phillips will play her final performance on Saturday evening, 22nd March, and return on Monday, 19th May. (Understudies will cover the role 24th-26th March.) Ms. Stengel’s two-month engagement with the Broadway cast will run through Saturday, 17th May.
Ms. Stengel joins the New York production direct from the national tour, and follows another touring cast member who recently joined the Broadway cast. Rebecca Judd, who originated the role of Madame Giry when the third national tour premiered in December 1992, assumed the role in New York on 20th February 2008. She’s also played the role in the San Francisco Company and previously played it on Broadway last summer (from 25th June to 28th July 2007), filling in for longtime Broadway Madame Giry Marilyn Caskey, while she played the role of Electra in the City Center production of Gypsy. Ms. Judd’s return to the Broadway cast again enables Ms. Caskey to play in Gypsy, this time at a Broadway revival across the street from The Majestic Theatre at The St. James. Ms. Caskey will return to the New York Company at a later date to be determined.
A native Texan, Kim Stengel comes direct from the current national tour. Her credits include London productions of The Gondoliers and Princess Ida. In New York, she’s appeared in productions of Carousel, Kismet, The Most Happy Fella, The New Moon, The Creation, Mass in C, War Requiem and Carmen. Nationally, she’s been seen in The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, Sweeney Todd, Camelot, The Music Man, Uncle Vanya, Agnes of God, Pygmalion, Death of a Salesman and The Elephant Man.
Originally from California, Rebecca Judd created the role of Madame Giry on the Third national tour and has also played the role in the San Francisco and New York companies. She recently joined the New York cast direct from the current national tour. Other Broadway credits include the role of Claire in The Secret Garden and Sweeney Todd, where she was a standby for Mrs. Lovett. Internationally, she toured as Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls and Rizzo in Grease. Regionally, Rebecca has played Lizzie in 110 in the Shade, Charlotte in A Little Night Music, the Beggar Woman in Sweeney Todd, Aldonza in Man of La Mancha, Aunt Nettie in Carousel, and the title role in Evita.
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