For the first time, he'll play virtuous Raoul's bete noir — the elusive, deformed title character, a musical genius who draws naïve soprano Christine Daaé into a lair beneath the Paris Opera House.
Gleason has a long history with the show, having first joined the national tour in 2001. He 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 Vegas, he returned to the Broadway company on Sept. 21, 2007 as Raoul, also covering the role of The Phantom. He will play his final performance in New York on April 23, 2009. Ryan Silverman takes over in New York on April 24.)
With his time in the three companies, Gleason is the longest-running Raoul in North America for a combined total of seven years and more than 2,600 performances.
Gleason succeeds John Cudia in the role of The Phantom. Cudia leaves the coveted role to celebrate the birth of his newborn child with wife and actress, Kathy Voytko.
The international award-winning musical by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, 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.
|photo by Joan Marcus|
Phantom's upcoming U.S. national tour dates include: Now through April 19
Kansas City, MO
Music Hall April 22–May 10
May 13–June 7
The Orpheum Theatre
June 10-July 5
The Belk Theatre
July 8–Aug. 2
Detroit Opera House
Sept. 30–Oct. 25
St. Louis, MO
For more information, visit www.thephantomoftheopera.com.