New Phantom of the Opera Documentary Scheduled for Dec. 26 Telecast

News   New Phantom of the Opera Documentary Scheduled for Dec. 26 Telecast
 
A new documentary about the London production of The Phantom of the Opera, entitled "Behind the Mask," will air on BBC-TV Dec. 26.

The documentary, according to the Really Useful Website, will relate the inside story of the making of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, which is now the longest-running musical on Broadway.

"Behind the Mask" will feature new interviews with Lloyd Webber, producer Cameron Mackintosh, director Hal Prince, choreographer Gillian Lynne and lyricists Charles Hart and Richard Stilgoe. Michael Crawford, who created the title role in London and later on Broadway, will return to the stage of Her Majesty's Theatre to recall his memories of creating the role. Sarah Brightman, who created the role of Christine, will reflect on the pressures of starring in a musical written by her then husband.

The documentary will also reveal the behind-the-scenes hirings and firings, "including how Steve Harley was offered the role of the Phantom and then dropped weeks before the opening night and how Hal Prince was sacked as director and subsequently rehired," according to press notes.

TV watchers will also have the chance to view original stills and costume fittings of the original London cast.

The Phantom of the Opera made its world premiere on October 9, 1986, at Her Majesty's Theatre in London with a cast that included Michael Crawford in the title role and Sarah Brightman as Christine Daae. Based on the novel "Le Fantôme de l'Opéra" by Gaston Leroux, Phantom features music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Charles Hart (with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe). The book is by Richard Stilgoe and Lloyd Webber. Hal Prince directed in London and Manhattan. Phantom, which continues to play the Majestic Theatre in New York, became Broadway's longest-running show on Jan. 9, 2006. For more information visit www.bbc.co.uk.

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