(Adam Hetrick’s article appeared in Playbill, 1/27; via Pam Green.)
The creatives of The Phantom of the Opera share secrets and cool Phantom-facts from the hit Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. Do you know all of these?
The New York production cost a record $8 million in 1988. The same production today would cost $20 million.
The creative team originally wanted the conductor of Phantom in the pit to wear a white wig during the gala performance of Hannibal while Christine sang “Think of Me,” so that he or she matched the conductor that appears onstage in the moment after the gala when Christine takes her bow facing upstage through the reverse tab curtains.
Over 400 actors have appeared in the New York production.
But, 15 actors have been cast as The Phantom on Broadway: 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 Jöback, Norm Lewis and James Barbour. (There have also been five additional temporary replacements: Jeff Keller, Ted Keegan, Brad Little, Gary Mauer and Laird Mackintosh.)
With over 2,500 performances, McGillin holds the record for playing the title role on Broadway more than any other performer.