By Kenneth Jones
26 Feb 2013
Cameron Mackintosh and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group announced on Feb. 26 the coming American premiere (to play more than 20 engagements so far) of this newly reinvented staging, which has a new scenic design and direction. This reimagining was first seen in March 2012 in Plymouth, England, and has been popular on a U.K. tour.
Meanwhile, director Harold Prince's original smash Broadway and London productions (as well as international engagements) continue. The Broadway production celebrated its 25th anniversary in January. Prince is not attached to the new staging, which is directed by Laurence Connor (the 25th Anniversary Les Misérables now on tour and headed for Broadway). The new show will retain the late Maria Björnson's original Tony Award-winning costume design.
The North American tour begins in November at Providence Performing Arts Center in Providence, RI. A complete tour schedule will be announced in the coming weeks.
The production is "overseen" by Matthew Bourne and Cameron Mackintosh.
Producer Cameron Mackintosh said in a statement, ''After a glorious celebration last month of 25 phenomenal years on Broadway with no end in sight, I'm delighted to be able to bring this dazzling new production of Phantom — which has been phenomenally well-received by both audiences and critics in the U.K. this past year — to America. With an exciting new design and staging, retaining amazing costumes, I am confident American audiences will fall in love with the Phantom in his new guise — for the first time or all over again."
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, based on the Gaston Leroux novel about a deformed musical genius who lives in the bowels of the Paris Opera House and tutors a young soprano.
Orchestrations are by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Since its debut, The Phantom of the Opera has grossed more than $890 million on Broadway. The musical's worldwide gross is estimated at over $5.6 billion.
In September 2010, student productions of Phantom started being licensed through R&H Theatricals, and so far have been performed at hundreds of high schools and colleges across the U.S. and in Canada.
For more information, visit thephantomoftheoperatour.com.