A new Phantom for the US tour…

On Tuesday, May 26, Tim Martin Gleason will return to the U.S. National Tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera and, for the first time, slip behind the mask as the elusive Phantom who lurks beneath the stage of the Paris Opera House, exercising a reign of terror over all its occupants. The international award-winning musical, directed by Harold Prince, is currently at the Music Hall in Kansas City through April 19.

Also featured in the cast are Trista Moldovan as the young soprano, Christine Daaé; Sean MacLaughlin as Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny; Kim Stengel as Carlotta Giudicelli; D.C. Anderson as Monsieur André; Michael McCoy as Monsieur Firmin; John Whitney as Ubaldo Piangi and Jessi Ehrlich as Meg. At certain performances, Kelly Jeanne Grant plays the role of Christine.

Chosen by the Creative Team to be Raoul for the record-breaking Broadway performance, he has a long history with the show, having first joined the National Tour in 2001. He quickly moved from the Ensemble to Raoul, which he played on tour for three years from March 2002 to May 2005. He joined the Broadway production as Raoul on May 27, 2005, taking a year-long leave (beginning April 2006) to open the new Vegas production as Raoul in the original cast. Following his time in Vegas, he returned to the Broadway Company on September 21, 2007 as Raoul, also covering the role of The Phantom and will play his final performance in New York on April 23, 2009.

With his time in the three Companies, Gleason holds the honor of the longest-running Raoul in North America for a combined total of 7 years and more than 2,600 performances.

Mr. Gleason succeeds John Cudia in the role of The Phantom. John leaves the coveted role to celebrate the birth of his newborn child with wife and actress, Kathy Voytko.

The longest-running show in Broadway history (a feat it achieved in 2006 when it surpassed the then-record run of Cats), The Phantom of the Opera is the winner of 7 Tony Awards including Best Musical. Since its Broadway debut on January 26, 1988, the musical has grossed over $715 million, making it the highest-grossing show in Broadway history. Having since surpassed Cats’ record by a phenomenal 3 years and 1,300 performances, it has now played over 8,800 performances – the only show in Broadway history to do so – and all with no end in sight.

Its international success – equally staggering – is represented by total worldwide grosses estimated at over $5 billion. This colossal figure makes Phantom the most successful entertainment venture of all time, surpassing not only any other stage production, but also far surpassing the world’s highest-grossing film Titanic (at $1.2 billion) and such other blockbusters as The Lord of the Rings, Jurassic Park and Star Wars. Worldwide attendance is over 80 million people. Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber recently confirmed that he has greenlit production on a sequel to the show, Phantom: Love Never Dies.

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