Broadway veteran Nancy Hess will join the Broadway cast of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, the longest-running show in Broadway history, beginning Monday, February 9. Produced by Cameron Mackintosh/Really Useful Group, Inc. and directed by Harold Prince, the musical recently celebrated an unprecedented 21 Years in New York, where it plays at The Majestic Theatre (247 West 44th Street).
Miss Hess steps into the role of ‘Madame Giry,’ the mysterious ballet mistress, during a leave of absence for current cast member Rebecca Judd. Hess previously performed the role with the National Tour from February to November 2008.
In the Broadway production’s 21 year history, remarkably – and not including covers and understudies – Hess is only the fourth actress to be cast in the role. (Original cast member Leila Martin played the role for 10 years, Marilyn Caskey played it for 9 years and Rebecca Judd first performed it in June 2007)
Miss Judd is scheduled to return to the Broadway production on Tuesday, March 2. After her New York engagement, Miss Hess rejoins the National Tour beginning Tuesday, April 14.
Hess’ debut with the New York Company marks her 10th Broadway show. Her long list of Broadway credits are bookended by her Broadway debut in the ensemble of the 1981 revival of Can-Can and last performing the leading roles of both Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly in the revival of Chicago.
As a leading dancer on Broadway and the road, she’s worked with such legendary choreographers as Jerome Robbins, Bob Fosse, Twyla Tharp, Donald Saddler, Peter Martins, Ann Reinking and Rob Marshall. Her Broadway credits are Chicago (revival), Jerome Robbins’ Broadway, Company (1995 revival), Kiss of the Spider Woman (going on for Chita Rivera), The Goodbye Girl (going on for Bernadette Peters), Me and My Girl, Singin’ in the Rain, On Your Toes (revival) and Can-Can (revival). In addition to Phantom, her National Tour credits include My Fair Lady, Cats, Dancin’ and The Boy Friend (directed by Julie Andrews). Notable Regional credits include Anything Goes (Reno Sweeney), Baby (Arlene), A Chorus Line (Cassie) and Sunday in the Park with George (Yvonne).