Phantom of the Opera 2014 Broadway casting

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It was announced yesterday by Broadway.com that Norm Lewis will be the new Phantom in “The Phantom of the Opera,” in May this year and not only that but he will be the first African American to portray the Phantom on Broadway. And that is not all of the casting news; he will be co-staring with his former “The Little Mermaid” co-star, Sierra Boggess, who will come back to “Phantom” as Christine.

Lewis was Javert in the “Les Miserables 25th anniversary” along with many other roles in different productions, but being the Phantom is his dream role.

“That’s one of my roles I’ve always wanted to play,” Lewis said.

There has been a lot of talk about these two co-staring as “lovers” in “Phantom” because in “The Little Mermaid” they were father-daughter, with Lewis as King Triton and Boggess as Ariel. In real life the two are very close and even call each other father and daughter, but they are not letting that get in the way of their roles in “Phantom.” Boggess even joked about it on Twitter.

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Wilkinson and Caine

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Jones and Hall

The talk about this famous “father-daughter” duet being in “Phantom” is a bit out of hand as it has happened before with “Les Miserables” stage actors and actresses such as John Owen-Jones and Katie Hall in the 25th London tour, as well as Colm Wilkinson and Rebecca Caine in the original Canadian cast. There is really no need for the father-daughter controversy.

Some “Phans” are upset that Lewis will be replacing current Broadway Phantom, Hugh Panaro. Lewis and Panaro are friends in real life, so we know that Pararo is fine with it.

I personally am fine with Lewis going into the role as Phantom. He has a great voice and is a great actor. Boggess has played the role of Christine in “Phantom” 3 times already in Vegas, the 25th anniversary in London and the 25th anniversary in New York. I have no doubt that these two will be great as the Phantom and Christine.

Love Never Dies rant

I usually write reviews but ever since the “Love Never Dies” announcement yesterday, I have to get this out of my system.

Andrew Lloyd Webber has announced that “Love Never Dies” could possibly go on to Broadway if the production works out in Japan. But Webber has also announced that there will be a new ending, to kill the Phantom instead of Christine.

Of course everyone’s first thought is “Wait, what,” “Don’t bring it to America,” without even reading the article and if they did read it then they think that it is the worst idea for an ending ever. Of course “Love Never Dies” fans are complaining even “Phans” are complaining. It is a lose/lose.

Since 2012 the DVD of the Australian production has been out and since 2010 the London CD has been out, which gives away the original ending. Why change it?  Killing the Phantom would not only break the hearts of many, but Webber said that he was doing it for the sake of Phantom and Christine’s son, Gustave.

“People worry about what happens to the child,” Webber said.

Um Andrew I hate to break it to you, but we know Gustave is in safe hands with the Phantom. Yes Christine is dead, but he is in SAFE hands! The man is rich and owns a theme park in New York. The Phantom has grown up (somewhat) in “Love Never Dies” and Gustave would have been be fine, this is life.

The Phantom dying would be a bit out there. How will Gustave know his parentage? How will he react with a dying Phantom? And the big question is how Christine will react with her love and father of her child dying. Also will Christine stay in America and take care of Coney Island until Gustave is old enough to, or will she and Gustave find Raoul and go back with him? The possibility of the Phantom dying raises questions and the ending would be different leaving a heartbroken Christine, as well as devastated fans.

There are a couple of scenarios on how the Phantom can die in the end:

1)                   Meg shoots him after she says “Now that I have you attention at last. Here’s the big finish and then you can go.” During this part of the musical she is pointing a gun at Phantom.

2)                   Instead of accidently shooting Christine, Meg accidently shoots the Phantom. Either way it would be an accident if this were the case.

My own opinion is that it is an awful idea to change an ending that is already well known. Is Webber trying to make it more like the book ending of “The Phantom of the Opera,” because that should have been done in the first musical if that is the case. But then “Phantom” would not be the same with having a mysterious ending. I think changing the ending is ridiculous and heartbreaking, but if they do change the ending then I would like to see how they make it work out. Good luck Webber.