The Broadway production of The Phantom of the Opera, the unstoppable megahit musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Richard Stilgoe and Charles Hart, is about to turn 30. For its special anniversary, the musical will welcome back a former Phantom: Peter Jöback, Platinum-selling Swedish Recording Artist.
Peter Jöback will play a limited-engagement commencing January 15 and his run will end on March 21. He has played the Phantom in London (2012), New York (2013), and in Stockholm (2016). He created the role of Michael in the musical version of The Witches of Eastwick, and has also appeared onstage in Miss Saigon, Cabaret, and Sweeney Todd. He will succeed James Barbour who will play his final performance on December 23.
The Phantom of the Opera originally opened on Broadway at the Majestic Theatre on January 26, 1988 where it has maintained residence for an upwards of 12,000 performances. The production was directed by Harold Prince, and starred the Tony-winning Phantom of Michael Crawford, as well as international recording star Sarah Brightman. The production features scenic and costume design by the late Maria Björnson, and lighting by Andrew Bridge. Mick Potter. Gillian Lynne provides musical staging and choreography. Orchestrations are by David Cullen and Lloyd Webber.
Based on the classic novel Le Fantôme de L’Opéra by Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera tells the story of a young opera ingénue who is plucked from the ensemble by the disfigured “ghost” of the opera house. Obsessed with her voice, He wants to teach her and write music only for her, his obsession with the girl driving him to madness and murder.
Though The Phantom of the Opera made its Broadway premiere on January 26, 1988. The 30th-Anniversary celebration will not exactly coincide with that momentous date in the history of Broadway’s longest-running musical, but will be celebrated two-days prior on January 24, 2018. Specifics about the celebration will be forthcoming.
Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals and maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.