Barbour has starred on Broadway in Carousel, Beauty & the Beast, Jane Eyre (Drama League nomination), Urinetown, Assassins and A Tale of Two Cities, for which he received Drama Desk, Drama League and Outer Critics Award nominations for Best Actor in a Musical. He made his Broadway debut in 1993 in Cyrano – The Musical and also appeared in the national tour of The Secret Garden.
Barbour is married to Phantom alumna Dana Stackpole, who has appeared as a member of the Ballet Chorus in both the Broadway and national touring companies. Barbour is the 15th actor to officially take over the role in the Broadway production. Following the announcement of Barbour's casting, the production took to social media to address fan outcry that the actor had been selected to star. In 2008, Barbour served prison time after pleading guilty to endangering the welfare of a child.
"James gave a tremendous audition and we are confident he will be a thrilling Phantom," the post read. "James fully accepted responsibility for what happened 14 years ago... While we know some will disagree, we believe James has completely honored the second chance he was given beginning 7 years ago and we are happy to have him join the production.."
Based on the classic novel "Le Fantôme de L'Opéra" by Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera, according to press notes, "tells the story of a masked figure who lurks beneath the catacombs of the Paris Opera House, exercising a reign of terror over all who inhabit it. 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."
The cast also features Julia Udine as Christine and Jeremy Hays as Raoul. The musical co-stars Laird Mackintosh (Monsieur André), Tim Jerome (Monsieur Firmin), Michele McConnell (Carlotta), Linda Balgord (Madame Giry), Christian Šebek (Piangi) and Kara Klein (Meg Giry). At certain performances, Kaley Ann Voorhees plays Christine.
The Phantom of the Opera is produced by Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Group, has music by Lloyd Webber and is directed by Harold Prince. Lyrics are by Charles Hart (with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe), and the book is by Stilgoe and Lloyd Webber.
It has production design by the late Maria Björnson, lighting by Andrew Bridge and sound design by Mick Potter with original sound by Martin Levan. Musical staging and choreography are by Gillian Lynne. Orchestrations are by David Cullen and Lloyd Webber.
For more information visit phantombroadway.com.