Cooper Grodin Takes Over Starring Role in New Tour of The Phantom of the Opera
By Adam Hetrick
Cooper Grodin has assumed the title role in the new national tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera. He begins performances as the masked leading man Jan. 9 at Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre.
Originally part of the Phantom ensemble, Grodin (Into the Woods, The Golden Land, Les Misérables) replaces original cast member Mark Campbell, who departed the production for personal reasons, according to representatives for the musical. Julia Udine stars as Christine.
Laurence Connor, who is also directing the returns of Miss Saigon and Les Misérables, stages this new production of Phantom that was first seen in March 2012 in Plymouth, England, and has been popular on a U.K. tour. The tour retains the late Maria Björnson's original, Tony Award-winning costume design.
The tour launched Nov. 27 in Providence, RI.
The company also features Ben Jacoby as Raoul, Jacquelynne Fontaine as Carlotta Giudicelli, Craig Bennett as Monsieur Firmin, Edward Staudenmayer as Monsieur André, Linda Balgord as Madame Giry, Frank Viveros as Ubaldo Piangi and Hannah Florence as Meg Giry.
Completing the company are Adam Bashian, Nick Cartell, Dan Debenport, Amy Decker, Mark Emerson, Michael Thomas Holmes, Celia Hottenstein, Christopher Howard, Merritt David Janes, Amy Justman, Edward Juvier, Dustin Layton, Luke Lazzaro, Jay Lusteck, Katie McCreary, Grace Morgan, Christy Morton, Quinto Ott, Eric Ruiz and Marguerite Willbanks. The Corps de Ballet includes Morgan Cowling, Anjelica Bette Fellini, Ramona Kelley, Abigail Mentzer, Lily Rose Peck, Tara Sweeney and Micki Weiner.
This new Phantom has choreography by Scott Ambler, set design by Paul Brown, lighting design by Paule Constable, sound design by Mick Potter and musical supervision by John Rigby.
The production is overseen by Matthew Bourne and Cameron Mackintosh.
"It's wonderful to have a new production of Phantom touring America in the same year that the show celebrates 25 years on Broadway. Director Laurence Connor has done an amazing job and this production has received huge critical acclaim in the UK," Lloyd Webber said in a statement.
The current tour itinerary for Phantom follows:
Chicago, IL, Cadillac Palace Theatre (Jan. 9-March 2)
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 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 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.
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