Principal Cast Changes announced for Broadway production

Liz McCartneyPrincipal cast changes have been announced for the Broadway production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, the longest-running show in Broadway history. Produced by Cameron Mackintosh/Really Useful Group, Inc. and directed by Harold Prince, the musical is in its phenomenal 23rd year in New York, playing at The Majestic Theatre (247 West 44th Street).

Broadway favorite Liz McCartney will return to the role of Carlotta starting Monday evening, December 6. Ms. McCartney first played the role of the tempestuous opera diva over ten years ago, for nearly 2 years and over 600 performances from June 1999 to April 2001. She had initially joined the Broadway Company in March 1999 as a member of the Ensemble, prior to taking over the role of Carlotta that June.

Sean MacLaughlinPhantom US National Tour star Sean MacLaughlin will take over the romantic leading role of Raoul, also beginning performances Monday evening, December 6. Mr. MacLaughlin was Raoul in the final cast of the long-running National Tour of Phantom, which recently ended its record-breaking 18-year run. He first joined the US tour in June 2007 as a member of the Ensemble. He assumed the role of Raoul in February 2009, playing it for a year and a half up until the tour’s final performance this past October 31.

Both performers will join the show one week after the New York production’s upcoming and unprecedented 9,500th performance, which will take place Monday evening, November 29. In a year of international Phantom milestones, the original London production recently celebrated its 10,000th performance on October 23.

Mr. MacLaughlin is the fourteenth actor to be cast as Raoul (not including alternates and understudies). He follows, in order and excluding return engagements: Steve Barton, Kevin Gray, Davis Gaines, Hugh Panaro, Keith Buterbaugh, Ciaran Sheehan, Brad Little, Gary Mauer, Jim Weitzer, Michael Shawn Lewis, John Cudia, Tim Martin Gleason and Ryan Silverman.

Ms. McCartney is one of thirteen actresses to have been cast as Carlotta in New York (not including alternates and understudies). In order and excluding return engagements, they are: Judy Kaye, Marilyn Caskey, Elena Jeanne Batman, Geena Jeffries, Patricia Hurd, Kelly Ellenwood, Leigh Munro, Liz McCartney, Rebecca Eichenberger, Patricia Phillips, Julie Schmidt, Anne Runolfsson and Kim Stengel.

Mr. McLaughlin succeeds Ryan Silverman. Having taken over the role of Raoul in April 2009, Mr. Silverman has performed it on Broadway nearly 600 times. He also previously played the role in the Vegas production.

Ms. McCartney succeeds Patricia Phillips. Since first taking over the role of Carlotta in June 2003, she’s played four engagements with the Broadway cast with a total of more than 1,600 performances. She was the first person of African-American descent to play the role on Broadway and also previously performed the role as part of both the Toronto Company and on the Canadian tour.

Mr. Silverman and Ms. Phillips will together play their final performance on Saturday evening, December 4.

Continuing in their roles with the New York Company are Hugh Panaro (The Phantom), Sara Jean Ford (Christine), George Lee Andrews (Monsieur André), David Cryer (Monsieur Firmin), Cristin J. Hubbard (Madame Giry), Evan Harrington (Piangi) and Heather McFadden (Meg Giry). At certain performances, Marni Raab plays Christine. Mr. Andrews is an original Broadway cast member of Phantom and in 2006 was recognized by Guinness World Records as the inaugural record-holder for the performer with the longest time in the same Broadway show – a record he still holds and continues to add to with each performance.

Liz McCartney was most recently part of the award-winning Broadway revival of South Pacific and its PBS live broadcast. She also originated the role of Sue Tilly in the Boy George musical Taboo and created the role of Rebecca in Dance of the Vampires. Other Broadway credits include Mamma Mia! (Rosie), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Miss Flannery), The Phantom of the Opera (Carlotta) and Les Misérables. Film and TV credits include The Big Gay Musical, “Law & Order: SVU,” “Route 66” and “The Prosecutors.” She is an actress and a writer, and has also won a Bistro Award and a NYMF Award.

Sean MacLaughlin appeared on Broadway in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Woman in White and performed the roles of Vikram in Bombay Dreams and Armand in Elton John’s Lestat. Off-Broadway: The Audience, Requiem for William. Tour: The Phantom of the Opera (Raoul). Kennedy Center: Merrily We Roll Along (Sondheim Celebration). Regional: leading roles in Forum, Into the Woods, The Rink, Grand Hotel (Signature); Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Rainmaker, Children of Eden (Flat Rock Theatre); My Fair Lady (Hangar Theatre). TV: “South Pacific: In Concert from Carnegie Hall” (PBS).

The Phantom of the Opera became the longest-running show in Broadway history on January 9, 2006, when it played performance #7486, surpassing the record run of Cats. Incredibly, since breaking that record, the production has played both an additional 4½ years and another 2,000 performances. During this time, it’s also become the first and only show in Broadway history to play milestone performances 8,000 and 9,000 and celebrate its 18th through 22nd Anniversaries.

The performance schedule for the New York production of The Phantom of the Opera is Monday evenings at 8PM, Tuesday evenings at 7PM, Wednesday through Saturday evenings at 8PM, with matinees on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2PM. Ticket prices range from $26.50 – $131.50 with Premium Tickets also available. To order tickets visit telecharge.com or call (212) 239-6200. More information available here.

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