HBO Takes a "First Look" at "The Phantom of the Opera" Dec. 20

News   HBO Takes a "First Look" at "The Phantom of the Opera" Dec. 20
A 13-minute inside look at Andrew Lloyd Webber's "The Phantom of the Opera" will make its premiere on HBO Dec. 20.

"ALW's The Phantom of the Opera: HBO First Look" will be presented at 10:45 ET on the cable network; check local listings. The special will be repeated several times throughout December and January; visit for a list of repeat broadcast dates.

According to production notes, "ALW's The Phantom of the Opera: HBO First Look" is an "inside look at Joel Schumacher's take on the beloved Broadway musical about a disfigured man living below a Parisian opera house while harboring a growing obsession for the lead singer's understudy."

"The Phantom of the Opera" made its world premiere Dec. 6 in London. Gerard Butler stars in the title role with Emmy Rossum as Christine and Patrick Wilson as Raoul. The motion picture opens in several U.S. cities Dec. 22 before opening nationwide Jan. 21, 2005.

"The Phantom of the Opera" recently nabbed three Golden Globe nominations, including Best Motion Picture—Musical or Comedy. Its competitors include "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," "The Incredibles," "Ray" and "Sideways." Emmy Rossum was also nominated for her performance as aspiring opera diva Christine Daae. Rossum will vie for the Best Performance By an Actress in a Motion Picture—Musical or Comedy Award in a category that also includes Annette Bening ("Being Julia"), Ashley Judd ("De-Lovely"), Kate Winslett ("Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind") and Renee Zellweger ("Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason"). "Learn to Be Lonely," the one new song penned for the "Phantom" film, was nominated in the Best Original Song category. Other nominated tunes: "Accidentally in Love" from "Shrek 2," "Believe" from "The Polar Express," "Million Voices" from "Hotel Rwanda" and "Old Habits Die Hard" from "Alfie."

Based on the classic Gaston Leroux novel, The Phantom of the Opera features music by Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Charles Hart and additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe. Harold Prince directed both the London and New York premieres. The New York production — originally starring Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman — won seven 1988 Tony Awards including one for Best Musical. The score includes such tunes as "Think of Me," "The Music of the Night," "All I Ask of You," "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again," "The Point of No Return" and the title tune. The Broadway staging of the smash musical continues at the Majestic Theatre, having recently played its 7,000th performance.

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