Panaro made his debut on the Broadway stage as Marius in Les Misérables. Other credits include The Red Shoes, Show Boat and Side Show. He will succeed the latest Phantom, Howard McGillin, who took over for him in 1999.
Michael Crawford originated the role for the Broadway production and has been succeeded, in order, by Timothy Nolen, Cris Groenendaal, Steve Barton, Kevin Gray, Mark Jacoby, Marcus Lovett, Davis Gaines, Thomas James O'Leary, Hugh Panaro and Howard McGillin. Panaro, who has also played the other male lead Raoul, becomes the first actor in the New York run to return.
McGillin, who is leaving the production to begin the upcoming Stephen Sondheim musical Bounce, is Broadway's longest-running Phantom. The actor, who began in the Broadway run Aug. 23, 1999, has played in over 1,200 performances.
Webber's The Phantom of the Opera opened on Broadway Jan. 26, 1988. The third longest-running show in Broadway history (behind Les Miz and Cats) is directed by and produced by Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Company, Inc. The production, directed by Harold Prince won seven Tony Awards in 1988 including Best Musical.
Currently in the cast are Lisa Vroman as Christine, John Cudia as Raoul with Jeff Keller, George Lee Andrews, Rebecca Eichenberger, Marilyn Caskey, Larry Wayne Morbitt, Joelle Gates and Adrienne McEwan.
For tickets to The Phantom of the Opera at the Majestic Theatre, 247 West 44 Street, call (212) 239-6200 or click here.