Phantom Welcomes New Principals for 17th BirthdayDate: 25 September 2003
The West End's second longest-running musical, The Phantom of the Opera, will get two new leads as a 17th birthday present. From Monday 6 October 2003 (three doors before the anniversary milestone on 9 October), Katie Knight-Adams and Ramin Karimloo will join the cast as lovers Christine and Raoul.
Knight-Adams was most recently seen playing Eliza Doolittle alternate in another Cameron Mackintosh production, My Fair Lady, which finished its run at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane last month. Karimloo's has previously appeared in West End productions of Les Miserables and Sunset Boulevard.
Other newcomers to the cast Phantom cast on 6 October will be Judith Gardner Jones (as Carlotta), Sam Hiller (Monsieur Andre), Heather Jackson (Madame Giry) and Heidi Ann O'Brien (Meg), with Jim Heath starting as Piangi on 20 October and Nicky Adams playing Christine at certain performances. John Owen-Jones continues in the title role.
The Phantom of the Opera opened at Her Majesty's Theatre in October 1986 and is currently booking up to 28 February 2004. In 1999, the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, based on Gaston Leroux's gothic novel about a masked man who falls in love with an ingénue singer at the Pairs Opera House, was named as the 20th century's most successful money-making show, dwarfing even Hollywood rivals like Titanic at the box office. Last year, the stage musical received a special Laurence Olivier audience award for most popular long-running West End production.
- by Terri Paddock