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Photo Flash: The Phantom of the Opera Nears Record Performance

On January 9th, The Phantom of the Opera will make Broadway history by becoming the longest-running production ever. The lavish musical, which will also reach its 18th anniversary on January 26th, will reach its 7,486th performance on January 9th; it will overtake Cats, the previous record-holder.

Howard McGillin, who has played the title role on Broadway more than any other performer, will play the Phantom for the record-breaking performance. Sandra Joseph, who has played the role of Christine throughout the country including over 1,000 times on Broadway, will co-star. Joining them are Tim Martin Gleason as Raoul, George Lee Andrews (who has been with the show for the entire run) as Monsieur André, Tim Jerome as Monsieur Firmin, Anne Runolfsson as Carlotta, Marilyn Caskey as Madame Giry, Larry Wayne Morbitt as Piangi, Heather McFadden as Meg. (Currently on maternity leave, McFadden will return the first week in January. Until then, the role of Meg is being played by Kara Klein, direct from the national tour in her Broadway debut). At certain performances, Rebecca Pitcher, most recently Christine with the current national tour, plays the role of Christine.

The Phantom of the Opera,
based on the classic novel Le Fantôme de L'Opéra by Gaston Leroux, features 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 Stilgoe and Lloyd Webber. The musical has production design by the late Maria Björnson, lighting by Andrew Bridge and sound by Martin Levan, with musical staging and choreography by Gillian Lynne. Orchestrations are by David Cullen and Lloyd Webber.

The Phantom of the Opera
had its world premiere on October 9, 1986 at Her Majesty's Theatre in London, winning every major British theatre award including the Olivier and Evening Standard Awards. The New York production, starring London stars Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman, opened on January 26, 1988. The musical won seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

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The cast of Broadway's (soon-to-be) longest-running musical, The Phantom of the Opera

Sandra Joseph (as Christine) and Howard McGillin (as The Phantom)

Howard McGillin and Sandra Joseph

Howard McGillin and Sandra Joseph

Howard McGillin

Howard McGillin

Sandra Joseph and Howard McGillin


"Paper faces on parade..."

Sandra Joseph and Tim Martin Gleason (as Raoul)

Members of the Phantom company

The company performing in the Hannibal scene

Ann Runolfsson (as Carlotta) and Larry Wayne Morbitt (as Piangi)

Howard McGillin

Howard McGillin and Sandra Joseph

Sandra Joseph

Sandra Joseph

Sandra Joseph

Tim Martin Gleason, Sandra Joseph and dancers

Tim Martin Gleason and Sandra Joseph

Tim Martin Gleason

Marilyn Caskey (as Madame Giry) and Tim Martin Gleason

Tim Jerome (as Monsieur Firmin) and George Lee Andrews (as Monsieur Andre)

George Lee Andrews

Ann Runolfsson

Tim Jerome, George Lee Andrews and Ann Runolfsson

Sandra Joseph and Heather McFadden (as Meg Giry)

Heather McFadden and Marilyn Caskey

The girls of the Paris Opera Ballet

The fabled Phantom chandelier...

...and the infamous crash

Cast members Richard Poole, Mary Leigh Stahl, David Gaschen and Kara Klein

The Phantom of the Opera, opening night curtain call, January 26th ,1988--Steve Barton (Raoul), director Harold Prince, Michael Crawford (The Phantom), composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and Sarah Brightman (Christine)
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