In a week when Carly Rose Sonenclar inched back to Broadway, Rachelle Rak gave us "cha-cha-puus" lessons and X-Men stars and stage greats Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart announced a reunion on the Great White Way, we cannot be distracted from our obsession with all things Phantom. To continue the festivities for The Phantom of the Opera's 25th Broadway birthday, we present 10 new lessons we’ve learned in the last seven days about Broadway’s longest-running musical.
Sierra Boggess Isn't Inspired by Cats
The Phantom of the Opera’s vivacious leading lady Sierra Boggess made her true allegiance known on the most recent episode of Show People. She claims that “Andrew [that's Lord Lloyd Webber to you and me] and I have a great relationship,” yet she later reveals that her pet cats are named Celie and Nettie after the sisters from The Color Purple, the musical. Hey, Sierra! What’s wrong with Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer? Does "Andrew" know about this?
Kelly Ripa Starts the Day with Andrew Lloyd Webber
Some people like to wake up to perky morning show host Kelly Ripa, but Ripa prefers to begin her day with Phantom songs. Kyle Barisich, who plays Raoul, fills in as the “audience warm-up guy” for Ripa's show and revealed that “Kelly likes to embarrass me into singing ‘All I Ask of You.' For her and her alone, I will sing Andrew Lloyd Webber at nine in the morning.” OK, but we personally prefer to ease into the day with some Jerry Herman, switch to Lloyd Webber around midday and finish with a reflective Sondheim ballad. #NotKidding
Jessie Mueller Is at Ellen Harvey’s Beck and Call
Over the summer, Tony nominee Jessie Mueller played Cinderella opposite Ellen Harvey’s wicked Stepmother in Into the Woods. Well, summer may be a distant memory, but that hasn’t stopped Mueller from continuing as Harvey’s minion. Harvey, who plays Madame Giry in Phantom, gave us a peek at her dressing room, where we found a frazzled Mueller multi-tasking menial jobs. Ellen, girl, watch your back. We hate to break it to you, but eight shows a week that sweet Jessie is a murder suspect over at Drood.
Tennis Hottie Rafael Nadal Can’t Get Enough Phantom
Few people can truly resist the lure of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s masterpiece, so it shouldn’t be a huge surprise that tennis superstar Rafael Nadal is a full-out Phan. “He’s amazing AND he loves Phantom,” current star Hugh Panaro told us. “He sees the show whenever he’s in town.” Repeat backstage visits from the Armani underwear model?! Too. Jealous. To. Type.
Paul Rudd and Phantom Have Something Gross in Common
What experience do Paul Rudd and Phantom share? Audience vomit. Phantom’s house manager, Peter Kulok, tells a terrible story about a school group with an unfortunate case of food poisoning (not unlike the infamous incident during Rudd’s play Grace). Ugh, imagine those poor Phantom audience members when they realized it wasn’t just the chandelier coming down?
Longtime Phantom Leads Can’t Give Up “Music of the Night”
After playing the role of the Phantom, it’s not easy for the actors to give up the ghost—well, more specifically, the ghost’s signature number, “Music of the Night.” Mark Jacoby sings it in the shower, Thomas James O’Leary belts it on the beach, Howard McGillin and Davis Gaines break it out for charity and Hugh Panaro performs it nearly every 24 hours. Want to place bets on the last time the film’s Phantom, Gerard Butler, muddled through it? Didn’t think so.
Hal Prince Didn't Get 21 Tonys By Being Wishy-Washy
Phantom director Hal Prince won a record-breaking 21 Tony Awards, and he didn't get to be the Prince of Broadway by being meek. The legend didn't mince words on such subjects as stunt casting (“A star may guarantee business, but the tradeoff is a very short run.”), the job of a producer (“I think there should be one strong, creative producing hand at the helm of a show.) and seeing his revivals of shows he created (“Occasionally I see them. More often I don’t.”). And here, we thought Patti LuPone had strong opinions!
Christine Can Do It Alone
What happens when the guy playing Raoul runs off the stage during the pivotal duet “All I Ask of You”? Ask Lisa Vroman and Rebecca Luker, who (at different times in the show's long run) were both abandoned on stage to complete the love song solo. Vroman was left alone because of a vomiting Raoul, and Davis Gaines confessed that as Raoul he also got sick and left Luker up there to finish the song. Who knew Phantom has as many puke stories as the Coney Island Cyclone?
Andrew Lloyd Webber Is Missing a Major Milestone
When The Phantom of the Opera celebrates its anniversary, it will do so without its composer, Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber. Because of a back injury, the man of the hour will miss the gala celebration on January 26. “I am desperately sad to miss it, but my back will not allow me to travel.” Lloyd Webber said. Get well soon, Angel of Music! You'll be "inside our mind."
Phans Want to Be Creeped Out by Adam Pascal
It looks like Rentheads want to see Roger lose face. Broadway.com readers voted Adam Pascal (with a whopping 52%) as the Broadway fave they would most like to see don the Phantom’s mask. Pascal has also been pretty vocal about his desire to play the legendary opera ghost. Does "La Vie Boheme" count as opera experience? We say yes.