Marni Raab to Resume Role as 'Christine' in PHANTOM on 7/29; Hugh Panaro as 'Phantom' on 8/26
Principal cast changes have been announced for the Broadway production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera, the longest-running show in Broadway history. Produced by Cameron Mackintosh/Really Useful Group, Inc. and directed by Harold Prince, the musical phenomenon this year celebrated an unprecedented 25 Years in New York, where it plays at The Majestic Theatre (247 West 44th Street).
International PHANTOM star Marni Raab will resume performances as the Principal Christine beginning the week of July 29. Ms. Raab has played the leading role of Christine Daaé across the country and around the world and is currently the New York Company's Christine Alternate. (The Principal Christine plays six performances a week with the Christine Alternate playing two.) Her first performance moving back to the Principal Christine will be Tuesday, July 30.
Ms. Raab has a long, unique history with the show, including numerous engagements with the U.S. Tour between September 2001 and 2008 and originating the role of Christine for the Asian World Tour between December 2004 and August 2006. She became the thirteenth actress to be cast as Christine in the Broadway production in August 2008. Since that time, she's played numerous engagements as both the Principal Christine and the Christine Alternate, which she's most recently played since March of this year. On Broadway, she has played the role of Christine over 750 times, making her the fifth longest-running Christine in the production's history.
Ms. Raab succeeds Samantha Hill, who will play her final performance as Christine on Saturday evening, July 29. Ms. Hill began as the Christine Alternate in November 2012 as part of the 25th Anniversary cast. She soon took over as the Principal Christine in March 2013, the seventeenth actress to do so, and which she has played to date. Since joining the NewYork production, she has played the role of Christine over 150 times. A Canadian actress and Ovation Award nominee for performances in that country, she departs the Broadway cast to appear as Cossette in Cameron Mackintosh's new production of LES MISERABLES that will open in Toronto this fall.
Joining the production in her PHANTOM debut is Mary Michael Patterson, who will play her first performance on Monday, July 29. Ms. Patterson made her Broadway debut in the recent revival of Anything Goes, including being seen as Hope Harcourt. Her other credits include Liesl in The Sound of Music at Carnegie Hall and leading roles in Regional productions of Sense and Sensibility - The Musical (Marianne Dashwood), White Christmas (Judy Haynes) and Singin' in the Rain(Kathy Selden), as well as seasons at Pittsburgh CLO and The St. Louis MUNY.
In other principal casting news, former PHANTOM-Toronto star Laird Mackintosh will join the Broadway production as Monsieur André beginning August 26. The Canadian-born performer made his musical theater debut in the original Canadian production of PHANTOM in 1993 playing the role of Raoul (the third romantic lead in the musical) for three years. He also covered the title role, giving numerous performances in the part. In total, he gave over 2000 performances of the show at Toronto's Pantages Theatre. He made his Broadway debut as George Banks in Mary Poppins and most recently appeared as John Utterson in the Broadway revival ofJekyll & Hyde. Extensive credits in his native Canada include The Drowsy Chaperone (Robert Martin), White Christmas (Phil Davis), Arcadia (Septimus Hodge),South Pacific (Lieutenant Cable), Hello, Dolly! (Cornelius Hackl), Into the Woods (Rapunzel's Prince), Anything Goes (Evelyn Oakleigh) and My Fair Lady (Freddy).