Marni Raab and Howard McGillin
in The Phantom of the Opera
(© Joan Marcus)
Marni Raab and Howard McGillin
in The Phantom of the Opera
(© Joan Marcus)
Marni Raab will take over the role of "Christine" in the long-running Broadway musical The Phantom of the Opera beginning August 20.

She replaces Jennifer Hope Wills, who will be on maternity leave, and is expected to return to the show in June 2009. Wills plays her final performance August 16, and performances from August 18 through the Wednesday matinee on August 20 will be played by current "Christine" Alternate Elizabeth Loyacano.

Raab previously starred as "Christine" across the country and around the world on both the Asian World Tour and the U.S. National Tour. She previously played Christine on Broadway earlier this year as a "Christine" cover. Additional credits include Cats in Hamburg; Roberta and Have a Heart in New York (both for Musicals Tonight); and regional appearances in My Fair Lady, Carousel, and The Fantasticks.

Based on the classic novel Le Fantôme de L'Opéra by Gaston Leroux, the show features music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Charles Hart (with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe), and book by Richard Stilgoe and Andrew Lloyd Webber. It has production design by the late Maria Björnson, lighting by Andrew Bridge and sound by Martin Levan. Musical staging and choreography is by Gillian Lynne. Orchestrations are by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

The musical currently stars Howard McGillin in the title role with Tim Martin Gleason as Raoul. The cast also features George Lee Andrews ('Monsieur André'), David Cryer ('Monsieur Firmin'), Patricia Phillips ('Carlotta'), Rebecca Judd ('Madame Giry'), Evan Harrington ('Piangi') and Polly Baird ('Meg Giry').

In related Phantom news, Trista Moldovan will take over the role of "Christine" from Raab in the show's national tour, beginning August 22. Moldovan will share duties with Kelly Jeanne Grant.

For more information, visit www.thephantomoftheopera.com.