In another principal cast change for the Harold Prince-directed hit by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, cast member Heather McFadden will return to the role of ballerina Meg Giry beginning Jan. 16, 2012. (Cristin J. Hubbard recently returned to the role of mysterious ballet instructor Madame Giry, Meg's apparent mother, on Oct. 31.)
Moldovan appeared in the musical's national tour. She is the 15th actress to take over as the Broadway production's leading lady. She first joined the national tour in June 2008 as a member of the ensemble and covering the role of Christine. She assumed the role of Christine only two months later, earning a Denver Ovation nomination as Best Actress. She continued to perform the role for over two years, most notably having the distinction of playing it as part of the closing company in Los Angeles in October 2010.
With a combined total of 36 years and over 14,500 performances, three U.S. national touring companies (not including the New York production), Phantom grossed over $1.5 billion between 1989 and 2010.
Moldovan's other stage credits include Cosette in the regional premiere of Les Misérables, Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Louise in Gypsy, Sally in Cabaret, Sarah in Guys and Dolls, Billie Dawn in Born Yesterday and Carla in Nine. She worked with Julie Andrews in the musical Simeon's Gift at The Bay Street Theatre.
Moldovan succeeds Sara Jean Ford, who played her final performance as Christine on Dec. 3. McFadden first took over the role of Meg with the Broadway company in August 2003, after having previously played the role on the national tour. Her other New York credits include the Broadway productions of Carousel (Louise u/s) and Dance of the Vampires and 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.
McFadden succeeds Jessi Bishop, who will play her final performance as Meg on Jan. 14.
Hubbard (Madame Giry) first joined the Broadway production as a member of the ensemble in January 2009, playing her first engagement as Madame Giry in June 2009. Her other New York credits include the Broadway production of The Pirate Queen as well as Chess: In Concert starring Josh Groban and Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill. Regional work includes both A Little Night Music and Man of La Mancha at Goodspeed Opera House and a tour of The Boyfriend directed by Julie Andrews.
Continuing in their roles with the New York Company are Hugh Panaro (The Phantom), Kyle Barisich (Raoul), Michele McConnell (Carlotta), Aaron Galigan-Stierle (Monsieur André), Kevin Ligon (Monsieur Firmin) and Christian Sêbek (Piangi). At certain performances, Marni Raab plays Christine.
The Phantom of the Opera has music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and is directed by Harold Prince. Lyrics are by Charles Hart (with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe) and the book is by Richard Stilgoe and Andrew Lloyd Webber.