Phantom — The Las Vegas Spectacular Begins June 12; Brent Barrett Dons Mask

By Kenneth Jones
12 Jun 2006

Brent Barrett
Brent Barrett
Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Why wasn't director Harold Prince at the Tony Awards June 11 to accept his Lifetime Achievement Award? He was in rehearsal, of course.

Prince has been in Las Vegas in recent weeks supervising the new, revised staging of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera at The Venetian. Scheduled for a first preview June 12, this newly enhanced (and trimmed) resident Nevada version of the Prince/Lloyd Webber smashzilla is dubbed Phantom — The Las Vegas Spectacular.

Expect more fireworks, a more environmental experience and a faster-than-ever crashing chandelier. The production's attempt is to make the venue feel like the Paris Opera House, where much of the musical takes place.

The show runs 95 minutes without an intermission.

The plush Vegas lair of musical theatre's most famous masked man faced construction delays this spring, bumping the first preview of Phantom — The Las Vegas Spectacular from June 4 to June 12. The delay was not due to the production, but related to the new $40 million building that was constructed exclusively for the show.



Media night is June 23, followed by a June 24 gala opening night (unchanged from an earlier announcement).

Broadway stars Brent Barrett (Annie Get Your Gun, Chicago) and Anthony Crivello (Kiss of the Spider Woman) will alternate performances as The Phantom due to the vocal demands of the score — and because 10 shows a week will be presented.

Barrett plays the first public performance June 12, Crivello follows June 13, and the rotation begins.

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The roles of Christine and Carlotta will also be double-cast. Suggestible ingénue Christine will be played by Sierra Boggess, who was recently seen regionally in Les Misérables, and Elizabeth Loyacano whose Broadway credits include Oklahoma! and The Woman in White.

Musical diva Carlotta will be played by Elena Jeanne Batman, who comes direct from the same role on Broadway, and Geena Jeffries, seen in the same role in the San Francisco company of Phantom.

Also joining Phantom at The Venetian directly from the Broadway cast is Tim Martin Gleason playing the role of Raoul as well as Larry Wayne Morbitt, who brings 11 years of Phantom experience to The Venetian stage as opera tenor Piangi.

Rebecca Spencer will be Madame Giry, John Leslie Wolfe (a Hal Prince Evita alum) will be Andre, Lawson Skala will be Firmin, Justin Lee Miller will be Don Attilio and Buquet, Brianne Kelly Morgan will be Meg Giry. The cast totals 41.

The Vegas production, which will include every major song from the original, reunites Lloyd Webber, director Harold Prince and others from the original creative team.

"This is a rare chance to go back and re-visit a work of art some 20 years after it was created," said Prince, the show’s original director and winner of 20 Tony Awards. "To be able to incorporate today's special effects and technical capabilities into the timeless music and story of Phantom [is] a great thrill."

"We are excited to be well on our way to staging this truly unique production," David Ian, Global Chairman, Theatre for Live Nation, said in statement. "This production will exceed everyone's expectations and is a perfect fit with our continued desire to produce world class content in one of the greatest markets in the world."

The theatre is designed by David Rockwell of the Rockwell Group. As previous reported, the venue "will harmonize with the show's original set design and serve to transport theatregoers to the famed Paris Opera House."

Phantom at The Venetian is produced by The Really Useful Theatre Company, Inc., Live Nation and BASE Entertainment.

The acting company (which includes credited "stunt men") includes Eric Braun, Doug Carfrae, Courtney Combs, Steven Dietrich, Maureen Dodson, Amanda Edge, Bruce Ewing, Benjamin Hale, Marcia Cope Hart, Kristen Hertzenberg, Steven Hood, Amanda Huddleston, Ted Keegan, Michael Lackey, Luke Lazzaro, Patrick Leveque, Mabel Modrono, Erina Noda, Kevan Patriquin, Stephen Price, Nicole Pryor, Rebekah Raun, Marc Cedric Smith, Joan Sobel, Deana Villei, Jessica Walker, Danielle White and Donald Williams.

Tickets for Phantom at The Venetian are available at the Venetian box office at (866) 641-7469 or (702) 414-7469, or online at www.Venetian.com.

For more information visit the official website: www.phantomlasvegas.com.

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The Phantom of the Opera features music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Charles Hart, additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe, book by Richard Stilgoe and Andrew Lloyd Webber and orchestrations by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber. It was originally produced by Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Theatre Company, Inc.

A North American national touring production continues, as does the Broadway production at the Majestic Theatre.