Paul Stanley, the frontman for the rock band KISS, known for his black and-white star makeup around one eye, returns as the Toronto masked man in The Phantom of the Opera Sept. 28-Oct. 31, reprising the part he played there May 25-Aug. 1.
Over the summer, a new breed of fan -- the rock 'n' roller -- came to see Stanley sing some of Andrew Lloyd Webber's most romantic songs, at the Pantages Theatre in Toronto. Stanley's successful run apparently helped to prompt Livent (and now SFX Entertainment, which bought Livent) to extend Phantom through Halloween. The show was to close Sept. 26 after 10 years and 7 million customers.
But Phantom, part of Toronto's theatre boom over the past decade, must close Oct. 31 to make way for the national tour of Fosse, which arrives Dec. 8 (allowing a month for the dismantling of the set and the cleaning of the theatre).
Stanley was able to arrange KISS tour dates around his Phantom duties and play the final, extended month. Melissa Dye plays Christine and Laird Mackintosh is Raoul.
The Pantages Theatre is located at 244 Victoria Street in downtown Toronto. For tickets, call (416) 872-2222. Stanley has been known since the 1970s for the wild, menacing, leather and-tights rock group KISS, which enjoyed a comeback in the 1990s. KISS has released 31 recordings and sold 80 million albums. They recently completed the European, South American and Mexican stadium stands of a "Psycho-Circus" World Tour.
More than 7 million people have seen Phantom in Toronto. By Oct. 31, the show will have played nearly 4,300 performances there.
The historic, restored Pantages Theatre, the first jewel in the Livent crown of properties, will next host the Livent North American tour of Fosse Dec. 8, 1999-Jan. 8, 2000. (Originally, a six-week engagement beginning Jan. 5, 2000, was announced.)
Before the Oct. 31 shuttering, 1999 guest stars in the role of the Phantom were Rene Simard, a Quebec singer who has recorded 47 albums and toured the world (April 2-May 23), Stanley (May 25-Aug. 1 & Sept. 28-Oct. 31) and Jeff Hyslop, the Canadian Phantom vet who has played the role for more than 800 performances (Aug. 3-Sept. 26).
Phantom of the Opera celebrated its 4000th performances in Toronto April 16, 1999. The production began previews Sept. 13, 1989 and opened Sept. 20, 1989. It became the longest-running musical in Canadian theatre history.