The Harold Prince-directed production at the Majestic Theatre is Broadway's longest-running show. Produced by Cameron Mackintosh/Really Useful Group, Inc., the musical is in its 21st year in New York.
Raab succeeds current star Jennifer Hope Wills during Wills' maternity leave. Wills' final performance was Aug. 16, and she is expected to return in June 2009. In between Wills and Raab — from Monday evening, Aug. 18 through Wednesday matinee, Aug. 20 — current Christine alternate Elizabeth Loyacano plays Christine.
Raab made her Phantom debut with the U.S. tour in September 2001 as the Mirror Bride and a Christine cover, eventually moving up to the Christine alternate through December 2003. She originated the role of Christine for the Asian world tour, which premiered in December 2004 in Shanghai, and continued with the engagements in Seoul, Taipei and Hong Kong through August 2006.
Following her time with the Asian tour, she rejoined the U.S. tour, this time as Christine, playing the role across the country from September 2006 to September 2007. Raab made her Broadway debut in Phantom earlier this year with a temporary stint as a Christine cover, prior to rejoining the tour as Christine in June 2008. She's now making her official Broadway Christine debut. Raab's additional credits include Cats in Hamburg; Roberta and Have a Heart in New York (both for Musicals Tonight); regional appearances in My Fair Lady (Eliza), Carousel (Julie) and The Fantasticks (Luisa); and concert and recital work nationally and internationally.
Raab becomes the 13 actress to be cast as Christine in the Broadway production (not including alternates and understudies). She follows, in order: Sarah Brightman, Patti Cohenour, Rebecca Luker, Karen Culliver, Mary D'Arcy, Tracy Shayne, Sandra Joseph, Adrienne McEwan, Sarah Pfisterer, Lisa Vroman, Rebecca Pitcher and Jennifer Hope Wills.
Based on the novel by Gaston Leroux, 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 Andrew Lloyd Webber.
The Broadway production currently stars Howard McGillin in the title role and Tim Martin Gleason as Raoul. The musical also co-stars George Lee Andrews (Monsieur André), David Cryer (Monsieur Firmin), Patricia Phillips (Carlotta), Rebecca Judd (Madame Giry), Evan Harrington (Piangi) and Polly Baird (Meg Giry).
For tickets go online at telecharge.com, call (212) 239-6200 or visit The Majestic Theatre box office (247 W. 44th Street). Visit www.thephantomoftheopera.com.