Ben Crawford Out Of Final Broadway Performance of PHANTOM; Laird Mackintosh Will Play The Title Role

Former cast member Laird Mackintosh has a long history with the show, stretching back to the Toronto production.

By: Apr. 16, 2023
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Ben Crawford Out Of Final Broadway Performance of PHANTOM; Laird Mackintosh Will Play The Title Role
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Current Phantom of the Opera star Ben Crawford will be out of the show for the final Broadway performance. Longtime Phantom Laird Mackintosh will step into the role this evening.

According to a representative: "Due to a bacterial infection, Ben Crawford has been on vocal rest, per doctor's orders. As a full recovery is expected in the coming days, Ben and The Phantom Company had hoped he'd be able to return for the closing performance. To our regret, he's required to take a little more time." Crawford has been out of the show since April 1st.

Former cast member Laird Mackintosh has a long history with the show, stretching back to the Toronto production from 1993 for 5 years (3 of them as Raoul and covering The Phantom). He later spent six years with the Broadway Company from 2013 (as Monsieur André and covering the Phantom).

He's played The Phantom over 200 times in New York, with his last performance in early March.

The longest-running Broadway show of all time, The Phantom of the Opera will play its final New York performance at The Majestic Theatre today, Sunday, April 16 at 5PM, after a record-breaking 35 years and 13,981 performances to 20 million people.

As much a part of the city landscape as the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty, The Phantom of the Opera has long been a New York City landmark. Widely considered one of the most beautiful and spectacular productions in history, the blockbuster phenomenon set the bar with its lavish sets and costumes, large cast and Broadway's largest orchestra - a perfect match for its sumptuous score and classic love story. Last Fall's closing announcement instantly resulted in sold out performances and lines around the block of The Majestic Theatre, in advance of the final performance, which will be its colossal 13,981st.

While Broadway prepares to bid farewell, The Phantom of the Opera continues to play around the world. The flagship London production, which celebrated its 36th anniversary on October 9, continues to play stronger than ever post-Covid, with no end in sight. PHANTOM is also currently playing in Japan, Greece and Sweden, and has productions opening this month in South Korea and Prague, as well as its highly anticipated premiere in Italy this July. Cameron Mackintosh's other reimagined production of The Phantom of the Opera has broken box office records across the UK and the U.S., most recently at the Sydney Opera House in Australia, and will open in Vienna in 2024.

The first Mandarin language version of PHANTOM, presented by SMG Live, with Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Really Useful Group and Troika Entertainment and based on the original production, will open in China at the Shanghai Grand Theatre in May 2023, which will be followed by a large-scale tour of China. Andrew Lloyd Webber has also created a new joint venture with Antonio Banderas to create new, high quality Spanish language productions for Hispanic audiences, with a new production of The Phantom of the Opera set to open in Spain soon. In 2023, PHANTOM will be playing across a total of 15 countries, in 8 languages and 4 continents.

The New York production currently stars Ben Crawford as 'The Phantom,' Emilie Kouatchou as 'Christine,' Paul Adam Schaefer as 'Raoul' (John Riddle returns to the role on April 3), Nehal Joshi as 'Monsieur André,' Craig Bennett as 'Monsieur Firmin,' Raquel Suarez Groen as 'Carlotta Giudicelli,' Maree Johnson as 'Madame Giry,' Carlton Moe as 'Ubaldo Piangi' and Sara Esty as 'Meg Giry.' At certain performances, Julia Udine plays the role of 'Christine.'

The Ensemble features Giselle O. Alvarez, Polly Baird, Janinah Burnett, Xiaoxiao Cao, Kanisha Marie Feliciano, David Michael Garry, Chris Georgetti, Kelly Jeanne Grant, Satomi Hofmann, Ayaka Kamei, Ted Keegan, Kfir, Kelly Loughran, Scott Mikita, Greg Mills, Trista Moldovan, Justin Peck, Richard Poole, Lindsay Roberts, Janet Saia, Paul Adam Schaefer, Carly Blake Sebouhian, Jeremy Stolle, Carrington Vilmont, Jim Weitzer, Elizabeth Welch and Erica Wong.

The PHANTOM Orchestra - Broadway's largest, with 27 members - performs under the musical supervision of David Caddick.

PHANTOM currently plays Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings at 8pm and Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7pm, with matinees Wednesday and Saturday at 2pm. Ticket prices range from $29-$169, with Premium tickets also available.

ABOUT The Phantom of the Opera

Broadway's blockbuster phenomenon, Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera, directed by the late Harold Prince, is one of the world's all-time most successful entertainment properties. Produced by Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Group, The Phantom of the Opera has been the longest-running show in Broadway history for well over a decade, and its astounding longevity in New York and around the world is unprecedented.

Since opening on January 26, 1988, the New York production has played an unheard of nearly 14,000 performances to over 20 million people at The Majestic Theatre (245 West 44th Street). Following the industry-wide shut down due to the Covid pandemic, the Broadway production reopened on October 22, 2021 with an outdoor block party that made headlines around the world.

Andrew Lloyd Webber's romantic, haunting and soaring score includes "The Music of the Night," "All I Ask of You," "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again," "Masquerade" and the iconic title song. It tells the tale of a disfigured musical genius known only as 'The Phantom' who haunts the depths of The Paris Opera House. Mesmerized by the talents and beauty of the young soprano Christine, The Phantom lures her as his protégé and falls fiercely in love with her. Unaware of Christine's love for Raoul, The Phantom's obsession sets the scene for a dramatic turn of events where jealousy, madness and passions collide.

Based on the classic novel Le Fantôme de L'Opéra by Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera, has music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Charles Hart with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe and book by Richard Stilgoe and Andrew Lloyd Webber. It is directed by the late Harold Prince. Musical staging and choreography is by the late Gillian Lynne. The Phantom of the Opera has production design by the late Maria Björnson®, lighting by Andrew Bridge and sound by Mick Potter with original sound by Martin Levan. Musical supervision and direction is by David Caddick and orchestrations are by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

During its New York run, PHANTOM shattered every possible record for advance sales, capitalization, total gross, total attendance and longevity. It became the longest-running show in Broadway history on January 9, 2006 - when it surpassed the nearly 18-year run of Cats - another Andrew Llyod Webber musical, also produced by Cameron Mackintosh -and has since almost doubled that figure. The production has grossed a staggering $1.3 billion. Indeed, PHANTOM has been the largest single generator of income and jobs in Broadway and U.S. theatrical history. In the New York production alone, an estimated 6,500 people (including 450 actors) have been employed during its more than three decades run.

The musical also changed the landscape for touring across the country - inspiring the renovation of theaters and opera houses across the country to house it and revitalizing the economies of countless U.S. cities. The three original U.S. national tours combined grossed over $1.5 billion, playing 216 engagements in 77 cities for an unprecedented total of 36.5 years and over 14,500 performances to 31 million people - making it the most successful and continuously-touring show in U.S. history.

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA has played to over 145 million people in 41 countries and 183 cities in 17 languages. The musical has celebrated over 30 years on both sides of the Atlantic, and has received over 70 major theater awards, including seven Tony Awards and four Olivier Awards.

Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy