Media Courtesy of broadwayspotted.com
According to ABC News
, Norm Lewis has been selected to be Broadway’s newest Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical The Phantom of the Opera
. This makes Lewis the first African-American to take on the famous role on Broadway.
Producers announced Thursday that Lewis, “who brought his deep and rich voice as Porgy to the recent Porgy and Bess
revival,” will take the stage opposite Sierra Boggess as Christine starting May 12.
"I'm overwhelmed. The idea of doing something that I've always wanted to do and it coming to fruition is amazing,” said Lewis. “I love the show but also to have hopefully set a precedent to see more diversity in casting.”
Lewis is no stranger to taking on challenging roles such as the Phantom. He has played John in Miss Saigon
, Jake in Side Show
, Javert in Les Miserables
, Sweeney Todd in Sweeney Todd
, and King Triton in The Little Mermaid
photo courtesy of playbill
Boggess is, “an old hand with ‘Phantom’—she played Christine in both the musical's London 25th anniversary production at Royal Albert Hall and Broadway 25th Anniversary cast last year.” Boggess also originated the role of Ariel in Disney’s The Little Mermaid
Adapted from Gaston Leroux’s novel of the same name, Phantom
weaves a tale about a disfigured musical genius that haunts the Paris Opera House and falls in love with young ingénue, Christine. The show includes decadent songs such as “Angel of Music,” “Masquerade,” “Music of the Night,” and, of course, “Phantom of the Opera.”
Lewis joins a long list of Phantoms that includes Steve Barton, Kevin Gray, Hugh Panaro, Mark Jacoby, Howard McGillin, and Michael Crawford. Lewis said he cites McGillin and Panaro as inspirations.
“Even behind the masks, they were so debonair and sexy and handsome,” Lewis said. "I hope to bring that same sort of mystique and class and elegance to the role. It's an actor's dream to play a character that's so misunderstood and to try to make him a character who is understood.”
The Phantom of the Opera
has played to, “over 130 million people in 27 countries and has grossed over $5.6 billion worldwide— more than any film in history including Avatar
, Gone with the Wind
, and Star Wars
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