On 12 May, Tony Award nominee Norm Lewis, who most recently triumphed in the role of Porgy in The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, will return to Broadway in the title role of The Phantom of the Opera, alongside Broadway and West End actress Sierra Boggess as Christine Daaé (Boggess won acclaim as Christine in both the musical’s London 25th Anniversary production at the Royal Albert Hall and the Broadway 25th Anniversary cast last year).
Cameron Mackintosh said: “Having worked with Norm since the 1990s, when he played John in Miss Saigon on Broadway, and then Javert on Broadway in Les Misérables in 2006, I couldn’t be more thrilled that he is now joining Phantom, matched with Sierra – one of the finest Christines ever. It’s hard to imagine a more exciting pairing, as the show continues its phenomenal, history-making run at The Majestic.”
“This is wonderful news!” added Andrew Lloyd Webber. “I can’t wait to see Sierra Boggess and Norm Lewis perform together as Christine and Phantom. Broadway audiences are in for a treat.”
Norm Lewis earned 2012 Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League and Outer Critics Circle award nominations for his performance in The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess. His history with Cameron Mackintosh includes starring as Javert in the 2006 Broadway reimagining of Les Misérables and stretches back to him making his Broadway debut as John in Miss Saigon. In 2010, he was invited to play Javert in the West End production of Les Misérables and the all-star 25th Anniversary Concert at London’s 02 Arena. He’s also starred on Broadway in Sondheim On Sondheim, The Little Mermaid, Chicago and the cult classic Side Show, as well as appearing in Amour, The Wild Party and The Who’s Tommy.
Lewis will become the first African-American performer to star as The Phantom in the New York production. In 1990, Tony Award nominee Robert Guillaume played the role when he succeeded original star Michael Crawford in the Los Angeles production.
Sierra Boggess’ unique history with the musical began when she was cast as one of the youngest actresses ever to play Christine Daaé, which she originated in the revised Las Vegas production in 2006. Her performances with the Vegas production and the recent London and New York 25th anniversaries were greeted with acclaim.
Further cementing her claim with the Phantom family, the American performer originated the same role in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies, earning her a 2011 Olivier Award nomination. In 2011, Boggess also starred in the London production of Les Misérables as Fantine. Her other Broadway credits include Terrence McNally’s Master Class and originating the title role in Disney’s The Little Mermaid.
Lewis and Boggess will be reuniting on Broadway for the first time since starring opposite each other in the original production of The Little Mermaid in 2008.
Lewis will succeed long-running, acclaimed Phantom Hugh Panaro. Panaro’s long association with Phantom stretches back to 1989, when he first played the role of Raoul for almost 1,000 performances. He was later invited to take over the starring role, first in 1999 and on four separate engagements, including the 25th anniversary, for more than 2,100 performances.
The Phantom of the Opera is produced by Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Group, has music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and is directed by Harold Prince. Lyrics are by Charles Hart (with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe) and the book is by Richard Stilgoe and Andrew Lloyd Webber. The musical has production design by the late Maria Björnson, lighting by Andrew Bridge and sound design by Mick Potter with original sound by Martin Levan. Musical staging and choreography is by Gillian Lynne. Orchestrations are by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
The Phantom of the Opera currently stars Hugh Panaro in the title role with Mary Michael Patterson as Christine and Jeremy Hays as Raoul.