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The Dress Circle: Pharewell Phantom

Sunday, April 16th 2023, “Phantom of the Opera” went dark on Broadway after nearly 35 years and 13,981 performances. On this week’s Dress Circle (4/23 7:00 p.m.), we’ll be bidding “pharewell” to the Phantom with some music from the score.

Of course, we’ll hear from Michael Crawford, the first Phantom to actually make it on stage as well as Steve Harley, the original Phantom who was unceremoniously dumped from the production.

Sarah Brightman will also be featured as well as Claire Moore who performed the matinees in London and eventually took over the role of Christine, and we’ll also hear the promo created shortly before the show opened in London which featured Cliff Richard with Brightman.

The second half of the program will feature a symphonic suite culled from the score by Andrew Lloyd Webber and performed by the London Symphony Orchestra which will offer us the opportunity hear more of the score than if we just played individual songs.

Is the Phantom gone from Broadway? Probably not as the show was closed in London, and even though it was because of the pandemic, that time was used to bring the touring cast in when the show re-opened. All of the long-term cast members were terminated, the orchestra was halved from the 27 piece that had been there from the onset, and the costumes and sets Maria Bjornson were mostly jettisoned and “re-imagined.” Hints have been made that Broadway “might” be in for the same with a slimmer, less ostentatious Phantom and new cast. However, for the time being, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

For this week, we’ll just sample a small selection of the score as a way of marking the Phantom’s passing.

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Ted Otten is co-host of The Dress Circle
Michael is program host and host of the WWFM Sunday Opera, Sundays at 3 pm, and co-host of The Dress Circle, Sundays at 7 pm.
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