Phantom Tour Hits 15th Anniversary Dec. 13 in Chicago

News   Phantom Tour Hits 15th Anniversary Dec. 13 in Chicago The national tour of the Cameron Mackintosh/Really Useful Theatre Company, Inc. production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera, directed by Harold Prince, celebrates its 15th anniversary on Dec. 13 during its fifth engagement in Chicago.
Greg Mills and Sara Jean Ford in The Phantom of the Opera.
Greg Mills and Sara Jean Ford in The Phantom of the Opera. Photo by Joan Marcus

On Dec. 13, the tour hits performance No. 6,139. It is currently playing the Cadillac Palace Theatre.

A gala celebration commemorating this milestone will be hosted by the producers for the entire touring company in Chicago on Dec. 16. This touring production opened at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle on Dec. 13, 1992 "and has been on tour continuously ever since," according to the producers.

Jason Mills currently heads the 36-member touring company as The Phantom, with Sara Jean Ford as the young soprano, Christine, and Greg Mills as Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny. Also featured is Kim Stengel as Carlotta Giudicelli, Bruce Winant as Monsieur Firmin, D.C. Anderson as Monsieur André, Rebecca Judd as Madame Giry, John Whitney as Ubaldo Piangi and Polly Baird as Meg. At certain performances, Sarah Lawrence plays the role of Christine.

Worldwide box-office sales for the musical are reported as "over $3 billion." The winner of seven 1988 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, The Phantom of the Opera is currently in its 19th year on Broadway. On Jan. 9, 2006, The Phantom of the Opera became the longest-running show in Broadway history surpassing Cats' record-holding run of 7,485 performances.

"Based on the classic novel by Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera tells the story of a masked figure that lurks beneath the catacombs of the Paris Opera House, exercising a reign of terror over all who inhabit it," according to production notes. "He falls madly in love with an innocent young soprano, Christine, and devotes himself to creating a new star by nurturing her extraordinary talents and by employing all of the devious methods at his command." Following the Chicago engagement, The Phantom of the Opera national tour will visit:

  • Louisville's Kentucky Center Jan. 9-27, 2008.
  • Omaha's Orpheum Theater Jan. 30-Feb. 24, 2008.
  • San Antonio's Majestic Theatre Feb. 27-March 23, 2008.
  • Costa Mesa, CA's Orange County PAC March 26-April 19, 2008.
  • Saskatoon's TCU Place April 23-May 17, 2008.
  • Sacramento's Community Center Theatre May 21-June 14, 2008. For more information, visit www.thephantomoftheopera.com.

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    The Phantom of the Opera had its world premiere on Oct. 9, 1986, at Her Majesty's Theatre in London.

    The Phantom of the Opera has music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Lyrics are by Charles Hart (with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe) and the book is by Richard Stilgoe and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Production design by Maria Björnson, lighting by Andrew Bridge and sound by Martin Levan. Musical staging and choreography is by Gillian Lynne. Orchestrations are by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

  • Jason Mills and Sara Jean Ford in the national tour of <i>The Phantom of the Opera</i>.
    Jason Mills and Sara Jean Ford in the national tour of The Phantom of the Opera. Photo by Joan Marcus