Broadway’s beloved musical, “The Phantom of the Opera,” marks its 25th anniversary on Broadway this year. The longest-running show in Broadway history and the winner of seven Tony awards, including best musical, the New York production has played more than 10,000 performances since it opened in 1988. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classic has been seen by nearly 15 million people and grossed over $850 million.
Hugh Panaro and Sierra Boggess star in the current Broadway production as the Phantom and the ingénue Christine, respectively. They’ll be appearing in the show this weekend when it celebrates its 25th year, and spend some time in the "Starting Point" studio today before the big curtain call.
Boggess feels the show owes its success to Webber’s score. “It’s one of the most gorgeous, most lush, most romantic scores ever written and everyone knows it. It’s amazing.” Boggess says. “People who haven't even seen a Broadway show know “The Phantom of the Opera’s” score."
Panaro, who has performed in the musical roughly 3,ooo times, says the audience makes the show different each time. “I think the beauty of live theater is that you have a brand new audience every single night and you have children who may have never seen a Broadway show before and it's their first, you know, foray into musical theater,” Panaro says. “I feel like we have almost a job to keep it fresh no matter what because we might be inspiring that future Phantom or Christine.”
I have seen Hugh Panaro as both Phantom and Raoul. I found myself weeping at the end of the show and was not the only one grabbing for a tissue. You can feel the emotions and the cast does a wonderful job of making it feel fresh, even if it is a Saturday matinee. In regards to the Les Miserables question–I enjoyed the movie for what it was and found it delightful. That being said, I have tickets for the April production at the Hippodrome in Baltimore. No movie can compare with live theater. There will always be room for both.
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