NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — “The Phantom of the Opera” celebrated the 25th anniversary of its Broadway debut Saturday, in its continuing run as the longest-running show in Broadway history.
The Andrew Lloyd Webber adaptation of Gaston Leroux’s 1911 novel debuted at the Majestic Theater, 247 W. 44th St., on Jan. 26, 1988. The show has held court at the Majestic ever since.
On Saturday, the cast and will celebrate the milestone with a special curtain-call, followed by an after-party at the New York Public Library, according to Playbill.com.
Producer Cameron Mackintosh, director Harold Prince, original star Sarah Brightman, and current stars Hugh Pannaro, Sierra Boggess and Kyle Barisich – who play the Phantom; Christine Daaé; and Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny; respectively – will be in attendance at the black-tie event. Due to a medical issue, Webber will not be in attendance, the publication reported.
The Mayor of New York’s Office of Media and Entertainment has also declared Saturday “Phantom of the Opera Day,” the publication reported.
Boggess joined CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu Saturday morning to talk about the 25th anniversary milestone.
“I’m so looking forward to the show this evening,” Boggess said. “The energy that we’re going to feel as a cast and from the audience – I mean, all of our friends; everybody who celebrated this show along the way with is us going to be there, and I’m looking forward to honoring this show that’s been running for 25 years.”
Boggess also played Christine in the London anniversary concert, and in Las Vegas. But she said the Broadway production has a certain special quality.
“Those venues are quite massive. The Royal Albert Hall is a gigantic place to perform, and Vegas, the theater was constructed for the show. It was quite huge. So this actually feels – the Broadway production – feels more intimate to me, actually, which is really nice,” she said. I like feeling the closeness with the audience that I haven’t had before.”
Boggess is no novice to Broadway, nor to the role of Christine. She made her Broadway debut in 2007 as Ariel in “The Little Mermaid,” and first starred as Christine in the “Phantom” sequel, “Love Never Dies,” at the Adelphi Theatre in London in 2010.
But she said she sometimes still can’t believe it.
“Especially with ‘Phantom,’ I feel that constantly. During ‘Music of the Night,’ which is just gorgeous – it’s one of my favorite songs in the show, and I don’t sing in it, but I’m there,” she said. “It’s this incredible journey that I go on through there, and a lot of the times I’m just like, ‘This is “The Music of the Night” from ‘The Phantom of the Opera,” and this phantom is singing to me on Broadway. I don’t know. I love it.”
Boggess said the score and the many innovations of the production can be credited for “Phantom’s” longevity.
“The score is one of the most gorgeous scores that Andrew Lloyd Webber has ever written. It’s a joy to sing it. It feels like a comfortable armchair, honestly,” she said. “And then along with that, the lyrics, the story – it’s such heightened romance – the costumes, the set. And back when it opened, things like a boat gliding across the stage and the chandelier falling, had never been seen before; had never been done before. So it was kind of a phenomenon.”
Boggess will play Christine for a limited time, during February and the beginning of March.
“The Phantom of the Opera” made its debut at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London’s West End in 1986. The West End production, and the original Broadway production, starred Brightman as Christine, Steve Barton as Raoul, and Michael Crawford as the Phantom.
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