Principal 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 phenomenon is in its unprecedented 24th year in New York, playing at The Majestic Theatre (247 West 44th Street).
National Tour star Trista Moldovan will be making her Broadway debut when she assumes the leading role of Christine Daaé beginning Friday, December 9. Ms. Moldovan is the fifteenth actress to take over as the Broadway production’s leading lady.
Cast member Heather McFadden will return to the role of inquisitive ballerina Meg Giry beginning Monday, January 16. She’ll reunite with onstage “mom” Cristin J. Hubbard, who recently returned to the role of mysterious ballet instructor Madame Giry on Monday, October 31.
Trista Moldovan has a long history with PHANTOM, having first joined the National Tour in June 2008 as a member of the Ensemble and covering the role of Christine. She quickly assumed the role of Christine only two months later, earning a Denver Ovation nomination as Best Actress. She continued to perform the role for over two years, most notably having the distinction of playing it as part of the closing company in Los Angeles in October 2010. The spectacular event, featuring a special on stage presentation by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and original star Sarah Brightman, marked the end of the most successful touring show in U.S. history. With an unprecedented combined total of 36 years and over 14,500 performances, three U.S. national touring companies (not including the New York production) grossed over $1.5 billion between 1989 and 2010.
PHANTOM will mark Ms. Moldovan’s Broadway debut. Her other stage credits include Cosette in the Regional premiere of Les Misérables, Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Louise in Gypsy, Sally in Cabaret, Sarah in Guys and Dolls, Billy Dawn in Born Yesterday and Carla in Nine. She also enjoyed the honor of working with Julie Andrews in the musical Simeon’s Gift at The Bay Street Theatre.
Ms. Moldovan succeeds Sara Jean Ford, who will play her final performance as Christine on Saturday evening, December 3. Ms. Ford originally made her PHANTOM debut with the Broadway Company in 2007 as the Mirror Bride and covering the role of Christine. She then took over the role of Christine on the National Tour in September 2007, playing it for nearly a year. She assumed the role of Christine with the Broadway Company in September 2010.
Heather McFadden first took over the role of Meg with the Broadway Company in August 2003, after having previously played the role on the National Tour. Her other New York credits include the Broadway productions of Carousel (Louise u/s) and Dance of the Vampires and playing Jou-Jou in the Metropolitan Opera production of The Merry Widow starring Placido Domingo. Other national tours include Carousel, Evita and Jesus Christ Superstar.
Ms. McFadden will succeed Jessi Bishop, who will play her final performance as Meg on Saturday evening, January 14. Ms. Bishop previously played the role on the National Tour from April 2008 to February 2010. She assumed the role with the Broadway Company in July 2010.
Cristin J. Hubbard first joined the Broadway production as a member of the Ensemble in January 2009, playing her first engagement as Madame Giry in June 2009. Her other New York credits include the Broadway production of The Pirate Queen as well as Chess: In Concert starring Josh Groban and Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill. Regional work includes both A Little Night Music and Man of La Mancha at Goodspeed Opera House and a tour of The Boyfriend directed by Julie Andrews.
Continuing in their roles with the New York Company are Hugh Panaro (The Phantom), Kyle Barisich (Raoul), Michele McConnell (Carlotta), Aaron Galigan-Stierle (Monsieur André), Kevin Ligon (Monsieur Firmin) and Christian Sêbek (Piangi). At certain performances, Marni Raab plays Christine.