McGillin Sheds Phantom Mask July 25; Cudia in the Wings
By Kenneth Jones
Howard McGillin exits Broadway's The Phantom of the Opera July 25 to pursue new projects. He leaves the Majestic Theatre after ten years — with some breaks in between — and takes with him a new record: world's longest-running Phantom.
John Cudia, the recent star of the national tour, takes over the role on Broadway after a nearly decade-long association with the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, directed by Harold Prince, on July 27.
After ten years since his first of many engagements with the production, McGillin decided to pursue other theatrical ventures.
McGillin is a two-time Tony Award nominee as Best Actor in a Musical (Anything Goes) and Best Featured Actor in a Musical (The Mystery of Edwin Drood).
Cudia will return to the Broadway production, where last summer he stepped in to play the title role for a limited engagement of ten weeks. This time, he'll be taking over the role officially.
Continuing in their roles in the Broadway cast are Jennifer Hope Wills (Christine), Ryan Silverman (Raoul), George Lee Andrews (Monsieur André), David Cryer (Monsieur Firmin), Patricia Phillips (Carlotta), Cristin J. Hubbard (Madame Giry), Evan Harrington (Piangi), Heather McFadden (Meg Giry) and Marni Rabb (Christine at certain performances).
During this time, he also continued to cover the title role. He next took over as The Phantom on the national tour in April 2006, playing it for nearly 700 performances through November 2007. He continued to perform with the tour until his final performance in Minneapolis on May 24.
Cudia also played Jean Valjean in Les Misérables on Broadway.
The longest-running show in Broadway history (achieved in 2006 when it surpassed the then-record run of Cats), The Phantom of the Opera is the winner of seven Tony Awards including Best Musical.
Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber is currently working on a sequel to the show, Love Never Dies, to bow in 2010.
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 Lloyd Webber.
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