The Three Phantoms Concert

November 5
10:41 PM 2003

On October 18, 2003, The Queensborough Community College Performing Arts Center in Bayside, New York was host to the premier of a very special concert. For the first time onstage three Broadway performers who have shared the same role of the Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera, joined forces for an evening of incredible song and music.

Kevin Gray, Cris Groenendaal and Craig Schulman have collectively worn the mask a few thousand times over a 10-year period. Each tenor brings an average of 20 years of Broadway experience to the stage as well as numerous regional roles, TV roles and opera.


 

Kevin Gray, a versatile performer has played Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar, Thomas Andrews, in Titanic, The King in the King and I, Ravenal in Showboat and the Engineer in Miss Saigon, where he won the Dora Mavor Moore, (Toronto Tour) and the Dramalogue. Mr. Gray was the youngest actor to play the title role of Phantom.

Cris Groenendaal, whose Broadway credits include Anthony Hope in Sweeney Todd, the role of George, in Sunday in the Park with George, Rizzolli in Passion and Miles Gloriosus in the 1996 revival of A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum. Mr. Groenendaal originated the role of Andre in the Broadway Production of Phantom and went on to play the role of the Phantom for 860 performances.


Craig Schulman, is the only actor in the world to have portrayed three of the greatest musical theatre roles: The Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera, Jean Valjean in Les Miserables and the title role in Frank Wildhorn's Jekyll & Hyde. Mr. Schulman holds the world record for his role of Valjean; nearly 2,000 performances. Regional roles include Che in Evita, Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, Archibald in The Secret Garden and Father in Children of Eden.

Each performer treated the audience to an evening of solo, duet and trio selections. The performance highlights were Fugue For the Tinhorns, (Guys and Dolls) Standing on the Corner (Most Happy Fella) Heart (Damn Yankees) as trio selections.

A duet of "In Lilly's Eyes" (Secret Garden) was offered by Cris & Craig. Kevin Gray's solos included Guido's Song (Nine), American Dream (Miss Saigon) and Impossible Dream (Man of La Mancha). Cris Groenendaal shared his tenor talent with Begin The Beguine (Jubilee), Ya Got Trouble (Music Man) and a medley of Joanna and Pretty Woman (Sweeney Todd). Craig Schulman shared his signature song Bring Him Home (Les Miserable), Soliloquy (Carousel) and This Is The Moment (Jekyll & Hyde).

Piano accompanist Sue Anderson, wife of Cris Groenendaal, delighted the audience with a stirring medley from Jesus Christ Superstar and lovely selections from Phantom of the Opera.

Each performer entertained us with brief stories from their roles, and humorous experiences onstage. Each actor took turns attempting to persuade Ms. Anderson to play personal renditions of "Music of the Night", which was quickly halted by the remaining two actors who bolted from stage right. This tickled the audience who wondered just when would these Phantoms sing the famous song.

As their finale, all three Phantoms came together to share "Music of The Night", each taking a verse and blending their powerful tenor voices in harmony throughout this hauntingly beautiful song. Ms. Anderson added her talent to create this special arrangement to produce a truly amazing rendition of this classic number.

"The Three Phantoms" is produced by Craig Schulman, who also is the producer and creator of the Broadway Nights Concert series as well as solo concert programs, "Craig Schulman On Broadway" and "Heroes, Monsters and Madmen"

For more information visit www.craigschulman.com or www.pbspotlight.com

 

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