Sandra Joseph Exits Paris Opera April 15; Broadway Phantom Gets a New Christine

News   Sandra Joseph Exits Paris Opera April 15; Broadway Phantom Gets a New Christine Rebecca Pitcher, a company member in Broadway's The Phantom of the Opera, will move into the role of suggestible ingénue Christine Daae beginning April 17.
Howard McGillin and Rebecca Pitcher in The Phantom of the Opera.
Howard McGillin and Rebecca Pitcher in The Phantom of the Opera. Photo by Joan Marcus

Pitcher originally starred as Christine on the national tour and is currently the New York company's Christine alternate (playing several performances a week), a role that she took over in July 2005 as part of the record-breaking company. She had the honor of playing the role during the record-tying performance (when Phantom tied Cats' record) on Saturday evening Jan. 7. She is the eleventh actress to be cast as Christine in the Broadway production, directed by Harold Prince.

Pitcher succeeds Sandra Joseph, who has the distinction of having played the role of Christine on Broadway more than any other actress (nearly 1,300 performances). She will play her final performance Saturday evening April 15.

Broadway performer Jennifer Hope Wills will make her Phantom debut when she joins the cast as the Christine alternate with her first performance Thursday April 20. Wills earned rave reviews playing Eileen opposite Brooke Shields in the Broadway revival of Wonderful Town and can be heard on the new Broadway cast recording with Shields. She most recently appeared in the original Broadway cast of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Woman in White (covering the role of Laura) and was also featured in Broadway's Beauty and the Beast (covering the role of Belle) and the Encores! production of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

Wills succeeds Pitcher as the Alternate.

The ladies join two other recent principal cast changes: Michael Shawn Lewis returned as Raoul on April 3 and Roland Rusinek took over the role of Piangi on March 31. Also continuing in their roles are Howard McGillin (The Phantom), George Lee Andrews (Monsieur Firmin), David Cryer (Monsieur André), Anne Runolfsson (Carlotta), Marilyn Caskey (Madame Giry) and Heather McFadden (Meg Giry).

Produced by Cameron Mackintosh/Really Useful Group, Inc., Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera became the longest-running show in Broadway history on Jan. 9, 2006, when it played performance No. 7,486.

The performance schedule is Monday and Wednesday through Saturday evenings at 8 PM and Tuesday evenings at 7 PM with matinees Wednesday and Saturday at 2 PM. For tickets, call Tele-charge at (212) 239-6200, visit www.telecharge.com or visit The Majestic Theatre box office (247 West 44th Street).

For more information, visit www.thephantomoftheopera.com.

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