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Exclusive: Michael Crawford's Special Message from PHANTOM's 25th Anniversary!

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Exclusive: Michael Crawford's Special Message from PHANTOM's 25th Anniversary!Original 'Phantom' star Michael Crawford couldn't make it to last night's mega-celebration for The Phantom of the Opera's 25th Anniversary in New York last night, BUT the Tony-winner was certainly well-represented in his absence, with hordes of screaming fans in attendance, on-screen and on-stage mentions from the creative team and former co-star Sarah Brightman, and a letter he sent, read by the legendary Hal Prince.

Here's what Crawford had to say in a brief note, introduced by Hal Prince as "someone who we wish was here" that received much applause:

Dear Hal,

Just a note to congratulate everyone on this wonderful 25th Anniversary of Phantom. Hal, I remember the night before we opened, when you told me that my life would change from that day on. And, sure enough, I had the most exciting period of my career during that first year of Phantom - working with the great company, crew and orchestra. So many wonderful memories. My love to you all and to the many subsequent company members through the years and most of all - thanks Hal for a being a great captain of the team.

With love,

Michael Crawford

Most recently seen on the West End stage in The Wizard of Oz, and long overdue for a Broadway return, Crawford had established himself as one of London's finest leading men long before he opened as "the Phantom" in Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera beginning one of the most widely acclaimed and memorable performances in theatre history. Few stars are as widely connected to a single role as Crawford is to "the Phantom." His Los Angeles and Broadway performances earned an astonishing catalogue of critical recognition including the Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards, and the Los Angeles Dramalogue Award and Drama Critics Award.

Since leaving "Phantom" after nearly four years in the role in London, New York and Los Angeles; Crawford has become a multi-platinum recording artist and one of the worlds's most sought after concert and stage performers, playing to sold-out venues around the globe. In addition to his recent concert work, stage credits in London and on Broadway include Billy, Flowers for Algernon, Black Comedy, Dance of the Vampires and Barnum.

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