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Theatre News Wire

The Phantom Of The Opera Gets a New Masked Man
Jan 12, 2015


Phantom of the Opera BroadwayProducers Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Group announced today a new leading man for the Broadway production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, directed by Harold Prince. The longest-running show in Broadway history, and one of the most successful stage productions of all-time, PHANTOM will welcome Broadway star James Barbour when he takes over the title role beginning Monday, February 9, 2015.

Having last year surpassed 11,000 performances - an unprecedented feat achieved by no other Broadway show - the New York production of PHANTOM is approaching an unheard-of 27 Years. It will celebrate this milestone on Monday, January 26 at The Majestic Theatre (247 West 44th Street), the musical's home for all 27 record-breaking years.

James Barbour has starred on Broadway in Carousel, Beauty & the Beast, Jane Eyre (Drama League nomination), Urinetown, Assassins and A Tale of Two Cities, for which he received Drama Desk, Drama League and Outer Critics Award nominations for Best Actor in a Musical. He made his Broadway debut in 1993 in Cyrano - The Musical and also appeared in the national tour of The Secret Garden, as well as opposite Jeremy Irons in Camelot. Most recently, Mr.Barbour received the LA Ovation Best Actor Award for playing Jean Valjean in LES MISERABLES. In addition to numerous film and television credits, his many recordings include his solo albums The Gift of Christmas and his most recent release, the acclaimed Bring Me Giants, as well as the cast recordings of the shows in which he has appeared.

Mr. Barbour is married to PHANTOM alumna Dana Stackpole, who has appeared as a member of the Ballet Chorus in both the Broadway and national touring companies.

Mr. Barbour will succeed the Broadway production's current star, Tony Award nominee Norm Lewis. Mr. Lewis made history last May when he became the first African-American to star in the title role in the Broadway production. (In 1990, Tony Award nominee Robert Guillaume played the role when he succeeded original star Michael Crawford in the Los Angeles production.) As previously announced, Mr. Lewis will play his final performance on Saturday evening, February 7.

Mr. Barbour will become the 15th man to officially take over the role in the Broadway production. He follows (in order): original star Michael Crawford, Timothy Nolen, Cris Groenendaal, Steve Barton, Kevin Gray, Mark Jacoby, Marcus Lovett, Davis Gaines, Thomas James O'Leary, Hugh Panaro, Howard McGillin, John Cudia, Peter Joback and Norm Lewis. In addition, there been five limited engagement replacements: Jeff Keller, Ted Keegan, Brad Little, Gary Mauer and Laird Mackintosh.

Based on the classic novel Le Fantome de L'Opera by Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera tells the story of a masked figure who 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 is produced by Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Group, 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. The Phantom of the Opera has production design by the late Maria Bjornson, lighting by Andrew Bridge and sound design by Mick Potter with original sound by Martin Levan. Musical staging and choreography is by Gillian Lynne. Orchestrations are by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA currently stars Norm Lewis in the title role with Julia Udine as Christine and Jeremy Hays as Raoul. The musical co-stars Laird Mackintosh (Monsieur Andre), Tim Jerome (Monsieur Firmin), Michele McConnell (Carlotta), Linda Balgord (Madame Giry), Christian  ebek (Piangi) and Kara Klein (Meg Giry). At certain performances, Kaley Ann Voorhees plays Christine.