Tony Nominee Brad Oscar to Join Phantom of the Opera National Tour
By Adam Hetrick
Tony Award nominee Brad Oscar will step into the role of opera manager Monsieur Firmin in the new national tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera, which stars Cooper Grodin and Julia Udine.
Laurence Connor, who is also directed the returns of Miss Saigon and Les Misérables, stages this new production of Phantom that was first seen in March 2012 in Plymouth, England, and has been popular on a U.K. tour. The tour retains the late Maria Björnson's original, Tony Award-winning costume design.
The tour launched Nov. 27 in Providence, RI.
Beginning April 7, Oscar (The Producers, Big Fish) will join Edward Staudenmayer as Monsieur André. Oscar succeeds original tour cast member Craig Bennett. The tour is led by Grodin (Into the Woods, The Golden Land, Les Misérables) as the Phantom and newcomer Udine as Christine.
The company also features Ben Jacoby as Raoul, Jacquelynne Fontaine as Carlotta Giudicelli, Linda Balgord as Madame Giry, Frank Viveros as Ubaldo Piangi and Hannah Florence as Meg Giry.
Completing the company are Adam Bashian, Nick Cartell, Dan Debenport, Amy Decker, Mark Emerson, Michael Thomas Holmes, Celia Hottenstein, Christopher Howard, Merritt David Janes, Amy Justman, Edward Juvier, Dustin Layton, Luke Lazzaro, Jay Lusteck, Katie McCreary, Grace Morgan, Christy Morton, Quinto Ott, Eric Ruiz and Marguerite Willbanks. The Corps de Ballet includes Morgan Cowling, Anjelica Bette Fellini, Ramona Kelley, Abigail Mentzer, Lily Rose Peck, Tara Sweeney and Micki Weiner.
This new Phantom has choreography by Scott Ambler, set design by Paul Brown, lighting design by Paule Constable, sound design by Mick Potter and musical supervision by John Rigby.
The production is overseen by Matthew Bourne and Cameron Mackintosh.
"It's wonderful to have a new production of Phantom touring America in the same year that the show celebrates 25 years on Broadway. Director Laurence Connor has done an amazing job and this production has received huge critical acclaim in the UK," Lloyd Webber said in a statement.
The current tour itinerary for Phantom follows:
Philadelphia, PA, The Academy of Music (March 19-April 13)
The Phantom of the Opera has music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Charles Hart (with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe) and book by Richard Stilgoe and Lloyd Webber, based on the Gaston Leroux novel about a deformed musical genius who lives in the bowels of the Paris Opera House and tutors a young soprano.
Orchestrations are by David Cullen and Lloyd Webber.
Since its debut, The Phantom of the Opera has grossed more than $890 million on Broadway. The musical's worldwide gross is estimated at over $5.6 billion.
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