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Breaking: Ben Crawford Will Be the New Man in the Mask in THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA on Broadway

The Phantom of the OperaProducers Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Group announced today a new leading man for the Broadway production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera, directed by Harold Prince.

The longest-running show in Broadway history, and one of the most successful worldwide stage productions of all-time, PHANTOM will welcome Broadway's Ben Crawford when he takes over the iconic title role beginning Monday, April 16, 2018 at The Majestic Theatre (247 West 44th Street).

Cameron Mackintosh said, "It is always thrilling to find an exciting new 'Phantom,' and in Ben Crawford, we have a real find. He will take this legendary musical into its fourth triumphant decade on Broadway, after its recent spectacular 30th Anniversary celebrations that were headed by acclaimed international star Peter Jöback, who will play his last performance as 'The Phantom' at the end of this month."

Ben Crawford has appeared on Broadway in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Mr. Salt), the title role in Shrek The Musical, Big Fish (Edward Bloom u/s, Don Price), Les Misérables (Javert and Valjean u/s) and On the Twentieth Century (Bruce Granit u/s). He has also starred in over twenty regional productions, including such leading roles as Che in Evita, Starbuck in 110 in the Shade, Luther Billis in South Pacific, Jud Fry in Oklahoma! and Frederick Barrett in Titanic. Ben also performs with symphonies and orchestras across the U.S. and Canada and his recordings include the movie soundtrack for Frozen. He was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona and earned a BFA in Music Theatre from The University of Arizona.

Mr. Crawford will succeed the musical's current leading man, Peter Jöback. One of Sweden's most prolific and respected artists, the international stage star and Platinum-selling recording artist was invited to rejoin the Broadway production earlier this year to lead the 30th Anniversary cast. His strictly-limited engagement is through Saturday, March 31 only. During the two weeks between Mr. Jöback and Mr. Crawford (April 2-15), the role of 'The Phantom' will be played by principal cast member Laird Mackintosh, who plays the role of 'Monsieur André.'

Mr. Crawford will become the 16th man to officially take over the role in the Broadway production. He follows (in order): original star Michael Crawford, Timothy Nolen, Cris Groenendaal, Steve Barton, Kevin Gray, Mark Jacoby, Marcus Lovett, Davis Gaines, Thomas James O'Leary, Hugh Panaro, Howard McGillin, John Cudia, Peter Jöback, Norm Lewis and James Barbour. In addition, there have been five limited engagement replacements: Jeff Keller, Ted Keegan, Brad Little, Gary Mauer and Laird Mackintosh.

Mr. Crawford joins current principal cast members Ali Ewoldt as 'Christine,' Rodney Ingram as 'Raoul,' Laird Mackintosh as 'Monsieur André,' Craig Bennett as 'Monsieur Firmin,'Raquel Suarez Groen as 'Carlotta,' Carlton Moe as 'Piangi,' Maree Johnson as 'Madame Giry' and Kara Klein as 'Meg Giry.' At certain performances, Kaley Ann Voorhees plays the role of 'Christine.'

Based on the classic novel Le Fantôme de L'Opéra by Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera tells the story of a masked figure who lurks beneath the catacombs of the Paris Opera House, exercising a reign of terror over all who inhabit it. He falls madly in love with an innocent young soprano, Christine, and devotes himself to creating a new star by nurturing her extraordinary talents and by employing all of the devious methods at his command.

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA is produced by Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Group, has music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and is directed by Harold 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 and sound design by Mick Potter with original sound by Martin Levan. Musical staging and choreography is by Gillian Lynne. Orchestrations are by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy

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