Broadway's Phantom of the Opera Announces First Asian-American Christine

News   Broadway's Phantom of the Opera Announces First Asian-American Christine
The production will also welcome its first African-American Raoul.
Ali Ewoldt
Ali Ewoldt

Producers Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Group announced principal cast changes for the Broadway production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, directed by Harold Prince.

The longest-running show in Broadway history will welcome three actors to principal roles beginning June 13.

Ali Ewoldt (Les Miserables, The King and I) will join the Broadway company as its new leading lady, assuming the role of Christine Daaé; she will succeed Julia Udine, who will play her final performance June 11. Ewoldt, whose mother is from the Philippines, is the first Asian-American actress—and the first actress of color—to play Christine on Broadway, according to the show's spokesperson.

Jordan Donica
Jordan Donica

Jordan Donica, whose regional credits include Jesus Christ Superstar, Dames at Sea and South Pacific, will make his Broadway debut in the role of Raoul. He will succeed long-time cast member Jeremy Hays, who will play his final performance June 11. Jordan will also make history, as the first African-American to play the role of Raoul on Broadway. (In 2014 Tony nominee Norm Lewis became the first African-American actor to star in the title role on Broadway.)

Current ensemble cast member Rachel Eskenazi-Gold will become the production’s new Christine Alternate (one of two cast members that rotate in the leading role). Eskenazi-Gold succeeds Rachel Zatcoff, whose final performance with the show will be June 11.

Continuing in their roles are James Barbour (The Phantom) and co-stars Laird Mackintosh (Monsieur André), Craig Bennett (Monsieur Firmin), Michele McConnell (Carlotta), Rebecca Eichenberger (Madame Giry), John Easterlin (Piangi) and Kara Klein (Meg Giry).

Phantom has music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Charles Hart (with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe) and a book by Richard Stilgoe and Lloyd Webber. The musical has production design by the late Maria Björnson, lighting by Andrew Bridge and sound design by Mick Potter with original sound by Martin Levan. Musical staging and choreography are by Gillian Lynne. Orchestrations are by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

The Tony-winning musical plays the Majestic Theatre.

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