Heather McFadden, a Longtime "Meg" of Broadway's Phantom, Exits Cast June 16; Kara Klein Is in the Wings
By Kenneth Jones
Broadway's The Phantom of the Opera will get a new permanent Meg Giry starting June 18, when Kara Klein assumes the role, succeeding longtime cast member Heather McFadden, who leaves the show June 16. Meg is Christine's ballet-corps friend and daughter of imperious ballet mistress Madame Giry.
McFadden exits the Harold Prince-directed production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Charles Hart-Richard Stilgoe smash after the Saturday evening performance at the Majestic Theatre.
Produced by Cameron Mackintosh/Really Useful Group, Inc., the romantic musical thriller is now in its 25th year on Broadway. It's the longest-running show in Broadway history.
Klein is returning to the tights and tutu of the inquisitive ballerina Meg. Currently in the Ballet Chorus, she previously played Meg from March to December 2005. She made her Phantom debut with the national tour in January 2001 as a member of the Ballet Chorus. She made her Broadway debut in March 2005 with the Ballet Chorus before assuming the role of Meg. Klein returned to the Ballet Chorus in January 2006, and has performed in it (as well as understudied the role of Meg) on and off since.
Longtime cast member McFadden "has a long, unique history with the musical," according to production notes. She first joined the Broadway production in September 1997 as a member of the Ballet Chorus. In November 2000, she joined the national tour as Meg, which she played for a year. She returned to the New York production as a member of the Ballet Chorus, eventually taking over the role of Meg in August 2003. In addition to performing with the show, McFadden became the production's Assistant Dance Captain in May 2003. Having played the role on and off over the course of the last 15 years, McFadden has played the role of Meg on Broadway more than any other actress.
Both women have taken maternity leaves during their long runs with Phantom: Klein once and McFadden twice. (Klein assumed the role of Meg during one of McFadden's maternity leaves.)
Concurrent with her time in the show and raising two children, McFadden earned her bachelor of arts degree from St. Mary's College via their LEAP (Liberal Education for Arts Professionals) Program.
Klein's other credits include the Broadway production of Billy Elliot; the Encores! production of Bye Bye Birdie; Beauty and the Beast at North Shore Music Theatre; and both New York and Denver engagements of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.
McFadden's other New York credits include the Broadway productions of Carousel (Louise u/s) and Dance of the Vampires, plus playing Jou-Jou in the Metropolitan Opera production of The Merry Widow starring Placido Domingo. Other national tours include Carousel, Evita and Jesus Christ Superstar.
Continuing in their roles with the New York company are Hugh Panaro (The Phantom), Trista Moldovan (Christine), Kyle Barisich (Raoul), Aaron Galligan-Stierle (Monsieur André), Kevin Ligon (Monsieur Firmin), Michele McConnell (Carlotta), Cristin J. Hubbard (Madame Giry) and Christian Šebek (Piangi). At certain performances, Marni Raab plays Christine.
For more information, visit phantombroadway.com.
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