The Cameron Mackintosh/Really Useful Theatre Company, Inc. production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, directed by Harold Prince, will begin its 15th year on tour on 13th December during its current return engagement at the Forrest Theatre in Philadelphia, PA.
A gala celebration hosted by the producers for the entire touring company will take place in Philadelphia following the performance on Sunday evening, 17th December to commemorate this milestone.
John Cudia heads the 36-member company as the Phantom, with Marni Raab as the young soprano, Christine, and Michael Gillis as Raoul. Also featured is Kim Stengel as Carlotta Giudicelli, Bruce Winant as Monsieur Firmin, D.C. Anderson as Monsieur André, Patti Davidson-Gorbea as Madame Giry, John Whitney as Ubaldo Piangi and Kate Wray as Meg. At certain performances, Sarah Lawrence plays the role of Christine.
With worldwide box office sales of over $3 billion, The Phantom of the Opera is the most successful entertainment venture of the 20th century, surpassing such blockbuster films as Titanic, Lord of the Rings, Jurassic Park and Star Wars. The winner of seven 1988 Tony® Awards, including Best Musical, The Phantom of the Opera is currently in its 18th year on Broadway. Worldwide, The Phantom of the Opera consistently plays to larger audiences and in longer engagements than any other musical in history. On 9th January, 2006, The Phantom of the Opera became the longest-running show in Broadway history surpassing Cats’s record-holding run of 7,485 performances.
Worldwide, The Phantom of the Opera has had over 65,000 performances and has been seen by over 80 million people in 25 countries and 124 cities. There are currently 11 productions around the world: London, New York, Budapest (Hungary), Tokyo (Japan), Sao Paolo (Brazil), Essen (Germany), Las Vegas, Hong Kong (China), Pretoria (South Africa), Cape Town (South Africa), and this National Tour.
Based on the classic novel by Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera tells the story of a masked figure that lurks beneath the catacombs of the Paris Opera House, exercising a reign of terror over all who inhabit it. He falls madly in love with an innocent young soprano, Christine, and devotes himself to creating a new star by nurturing her extraordinary talents and by employing all of the devious methods at his command.
The Phantom of the Opera had its world premiere on 9th October 1986 at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London, winning every major British theatre award including the Olivier and Evening Standard Awards. The New York production opened on 26th January, 1988 with a then-record advance of $18 million. The musical went on to sweep the 1988 Tony Awards, winning seven, including Best Musical. The Phantom of the Opera also won seven Drama Desk Awards and three Outer Critics Circle Awards. The original London cast recording was the first in British musical history to enter the charts at number one. It has since gone both gold and platinum in Britain and the US, selling over 25 million copies worldwide.
The Phantom of the Opera has music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and is directed by Harold Prince. Lyrics are by Charles Hart (with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe) and the book is by Richard Stilgoe and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Production design by Maria Björnson, lighting by Andrew Bridge and sound by Martin Levan. Musical staging and choreography is by Gillian Lynne. Orchestrations are by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
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