You should all know by now how very much I am in love with this musical/opera. Phantom of the Opera was the first Broadway show I ever witnessed. My love for the play has sparked and fueled my desire to write about Broadway and become obsessed with that beautiful dream of being on one of its glorious stages…
Back to the reality of the news at hand.
John Cudia and Jennifer Hope Willis are stepping down from their roles as the phantom and Christine. In their places will rise Hugh Panaro and Sara Jean Ford. Panaro has played the phantom and Raoul (which he has played 1,000 times). His impressive credits include Les Miserables, Showboat and Side Show. Sara Jean Ford will play Christine which she played on the national tour for over a year. She premiered on Broadway as Christine and the Mirror Bride in 2007. The change of the titles will happen September 7.
Phantom of the Opera was adapted from the book written by Gaston Leroux. The talented Andrew Lloyd Webber and Charlie Hart were the masterminds of the music and lyrics. The play is about a facially disformed man who lives in the basement of the Paris Opera House. He sets his heart on Christine Daae, a Swedish soprano singer, and assists in her ascent as the new prima donna. Daae is immediately trapped in a thrilling love triangle as her childhood sweetheart, Raoul, comes on the scene. Both men plead “love me that’s all I ask of you” to Daae and she is faced with a heart-wrenching choice: love the phantom in exchange for Raoul’s life or love Raoul who would lose his life. If you have yet to see the longest-running show on Broadway, it is a play just waiting to be adored and obsessed over.
I wish all the best to the new/experienced actors and pay a silent au revoir to the wonderful Cudia and Willis. We will all think of you every so often.