Hugh Panaro as the <i>Phantom</i>
Hugh Panaro as the Phantom
(© Joan Marcus)
Hugh Panaro will don the classic half-mask of The Phantom of the Opera a little longer, leading the company of the long-running Broadway smash when it hits its landmark 25th anniversary in January, 2013 at the Majestic Theatre.

Panaro has played the title role over 1,800 times in three different engagements on Broadway, and has played 2,800 performances total with the show, starting as Raoul in December 1990.

He will star opposite three leading ladies between now and the 25th anniversary performance on January 26. Current Christine alternate Marni Raab will be elevated to the principal role on November 13, Samantha Hill who will become the new alernate, and the previously announced Sierra Boggess, who takes over the role of Christine on January 21.

Additional casting changes will take effect on Monday, November 12. Tim Jerome will return to the company as Firmin, former Raoul Jim Weitzer will take over as Andre, and Ellen Harvey will make her Phantom debut as Madame Giry.

Continuing in their roles with the New York company are Kyle Barisich (Raoul), Michele McConnell (Carlotta), Christian Sêbek (Piangi) and Kara Klein (Meg).

Based on the classic novel by Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera features music by Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Charles Hart (with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe), and book by Richard Stilgoe and Lloyd Webber. It is directed by Harold Prince, choreographed by Gillian Lynne, and features production design by the late Maria Bjornson, lighting by Andrew Bridge, and sound by Martin Levan.

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