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BWW TV: 'PHANTOM MEMORIES: Part One-Making It New'

October 31
3:07 PM 2008

The Phantom of the Opera continues to haunt the Majestic Theatre eight times a week. In celebration of the musical and its continuing hold over the hearts and minds of audiences across the globe, BWW TV took a trip "beyond the lake" to visit with the production's talented leads.

Howard McGillin, Marni Raab and Tim Martin Gleason have all had long and inspired histories with The Phantom of the Opera, portraying the haunted and romantic trio of characters for many years. Each has very special memories and emotions in regards to playing the roles and bringing the musical's passionate story to life in McGillin's case well over 2,200 times.

In this first "webisode", they discuss keeping it fresh and making each moment seem "new". In upcoming episodes you'll learn about how they won the roles and find truth in each performance. They'll also share with you the thrill of performing the show with the new improved digital sound system (added last summer) which was met with excitement from both the cast and show's many fans.

Produced by Cameron Mackintosh/Really Useful Group, Inc. and directed by theater legend Harold PrinceTHE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA is in its phenomenal 21st year in New York, playing at The Majestic Theatre (247 West 44th Street).

On Broadway, since its debut on January 26, 1988, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA has grossed over $700 million, making it the highest-grossing show in Broadway history.  The production has played over 8,600 performances and total New York attendance is over 12.5 million.  PHANTOM became the longest-running show in Broadway history on January 9, 2006 (surpassing Cats) and has now played  well over 1,000 performances and more than two and a half years since breaking that record - and all with no end in sight.
Its internationally success - equally staggering - is represented by a total worldwide box office gross of more than $5 billion, making 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 attendance is over 80 million people, having played over 65,000 performances in 25 countries and 124 cities.  It's won over 50 Theater awards including 7 Tonys, and there are currently 8 productions around the world. The next international opening will be Perth, Australia in February 2009.
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA has music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and is directed byHarold 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 Björnson, lighting by Andrew Bridge, sound design by Mick Potter and original sound design by Martin Levan.  Musical staging and choreography is by Gillian Lynne.  Orchestrations are by David Cullen andAndrew Lloyd Webber.
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA currently stars Howard McGillin in the title role, Marni Raab as ‘Christine' and Tim Martin Gleason as ‘Raoul.'  The musical also co-starsGeorge Lee Andrews (‘Monsieur André'), David Cryer (‘Monsieur Firmin'), Patricia Phillips (‘Carlotta'), Rebecca Judd (‘Madame Giry'), Evan Harrington (‘Piangi') and Polly Baird (‘Meg Giry').  At certain performances, Elizabeth Loyacano plays ‘Christine.'  Mr. Andrews has been with the production for its entire run. 

For a BWW story on THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA and it's new sound system, click here.
The regular performance schedule for THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA is Monday and Wednesday through Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. and Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m. with matinees Wednesday and Saturday at 2 p.m.  For tickets, go online at, call (212) 239-6200 or visit The Majestic Theatre box office (247 West 44th Street).  

Interviews by Eddie Varley

Shot by E. Matthew Cady and Eddie Varley

Edited by James Sims 

BWW TV: 'PHANTOM MEMORIES: Part One-Making It New'
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About the Author

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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