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BWW TV: 'PHANTOM' 9000 - Up Close & Personal!

The longest-running show in Broadway history, Andrew Lloyd Webber's THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA reached another new milestone as the musical became the first Broadway show ever to reach 9,000 performances. Now in its phenomenal 22nd Year, the Cameron Mackintosh/Really Useful Group, Inc. production, directed by Harold Prince, continues to play at The Majestic Theatre (247 West 44th Street), with no end in sight.

On Broadway, since its debut on January 26, 1988, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA has grossed $740 million, making it the highest-grossing show in Broadway history. Total attendance is over 13 million. Its international success - equally staggering - is represented by total worldwide grosses estimated at over $5 billion. This colossal figure makes PHANTOM the most successful entertainment venture of all time, surpassing not only any other stage production, but also far surpassing the world's highest-grossing film Titanic (at $1.2 billion) and such other blockbusters as The Lord of the Rings, Jurassic Park and Star Wars. Worldwide, over 65,000 performances have been seen by 100 million people in 27 countries and 144 cities. The Broadway production is the winner of 7 Tony Awards including Best Musical.

There are currently ten productions around the world: London, New York, Budapest (Hungary), Nagoya (Japan), Warsaw (Poland), Copenhagen (Denmark), Seoul (Korea), Buenos Aires (Argentina), the U.S. National Tour and a revised production in Las Vegas at The Venetian.

Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber is working on his sequel to the show, Phantom: Love Never Dies.

Based on the classic novel 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 stars John Cudia in the title role with Jennifer Hope Wills as Christine and Ryan Silverman as Raoul. The musical also co-stars George Lee Andrews (Monsieur Andre), David Cryer (Monsieur Firmin), Patricia Phillips (Carlotta), Cristin J. Hubbard(Madame Giry), Evan Harrington (Piangi) and Heather McFadden (Meg Giry). At certain performances, Marni Raab plays Christine. Mr. Andrews has been with the production for its entire run and in 2006 was recognized by Guinness World Records as the inaugural record-holder for the performer with the longest time in the same Broadway show - a record he still holds and continues to add to with each performance.

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 byRichard 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 Potterwith original sound by Martin Levan. Musical staging and choreography is by Gillian Lynne. Orchestrations are by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

BWW TV: 'PHANTOM' 9000 - Up Close & Personal!
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Eddie Varley was most recently seen as one of the stars of the Lifetime Television Series, MATCHED IN MANHATTAN.

On the New York stage he was a cast member of the long running hit musical revue INTO THE WEEDS: The Bill Weeden Songbook at the Laurie Beechman Theater. Eddie received critical acclaim for his role of Jameson in the New York and Los Angeles Productions of Joe Mortimer's GRAPEFRUIT. As a cast member of the New Vic Theatre of London, he toured both the UK and US in their productions of DRACULA, HUNCHBACK and THE CANTERBURY TALES. He spent several Holiday seasons at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino's Showroom Theater headlining with performers such as the legendary Mickey Rooney, Andrea McArdle and John Byner. An accomplished illustrator, his work can be found in the recent McGraw Hill release, WHY HASN'T HE CALLED?

He is the Creative Director of BroadwayWorld.com