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Andrew Lloyd Webber, Sarah Brightman bid farewell to 'Phantom' tour at Pantages

November 1, 2010 |  8:45 am


When the cast of "The Phantom of the Opera" played its final performance at Hollywood's Pantages Theatre on Sunday, the real star of the evening was to be found in the audience. A few minutes before the curtain went up, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber entered the orchestra section of the theater and quietly took his seat.

Lloyd Webber later appeared on stage for the curtain call, receiving an enthusiastic standing ovation. He also brought out Sarah Brightman, the original Christine on Broadway, who reaped even bigger cheers. The two stars were on hand to celebrate the farewell performance of the current "Phantom" U.S. tour, produced by the Music Box Company.

The tour began in 1992 and has played 7,284 performances in 76 cities. It was the third national tour of "Phantom" and the only one still active in the U.S. Lloyd Webber spoke briefly at the end of Sunday's performance and offered a glimpse of things to come. " 'Phantom' will be back, I promise you," he told the audience.

Brightman "Phantom" continues to play on Broadway at the Majestic Theatre, where it opened in 1988 and has run for more than 9,000 performances. The London run of the musical recently surpassed the 10,000-performance milestone. An abridged version of the musical is running in Las Vegas at the Venetian.

Lloyd Webber appeared hale and energetic on Sunday. The Tony-winning composer was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009 but is in remission. He is currently working on the "Phantom" sequel, "Love Never Dies," whose Broadway run has been delayed. The London production of "Love Never Dies" has received mixed to negative reviews.

On Sunday, Lloyd Webber was introduced  on stage by actor Tim Martin Gleason, who played the Phantom. The actor also read a note from director Harold Prince, who could not be in attendance. In the note, Prince joked that his absence was due to his preparation for Tuesday's election. Gleason also paid tribute to producer Cameron Mackintosh (also not in attendance) as well as the show's choreographer, music director and other creative-team members.

The recent "Phantom" touring cast also included Trista Moldovan as Christine, Sean MacLaughlin as Raoul and Kim Stengel as Carlotta.

-- David Ng

Photos, from top: Andrew Lloyd Webber (right), with Tim Martin Gleason. Sarah Brightman. Credit: Angela Weiss /Getty Images


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Comments () | Archives (7)

Phantom Needs No Sequel!
The characters we all know and love from the original production of the Phantom of the Opera have been destroyed in this new sequel written by Webber. Phantom moves from the majestic Paris Opera house to New York’s Coney Island Theme Park, Christine cheats before her wedding night and bares the Phantom’s child, Raoul becomes an abusive, gambling alcoholic, and sweet Meg, turns into a topless dancer who murders her best friend Christine. Sound far fetched? Believe it or not – this is the new sequel!
Theatre critics disliked it giving it less than 3 stars, while audience members have been calling it ‘Paint Never Dries’. Phantom Needs NO Sequel!

This tour was the only way many people had access to the show. I was fortunate enough to see the touring production five times with the current cast (TMG, TM and SM). They are unbelievably nice people, and put up with random Phangirl moments very well. I'm sad this tour had to come to an end, because now, it's almost certain that the show won't be acceptable to as many people.

Phantom needs NO sequel!

This was an incredible performance and getting to see Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Ms Sarah Brightman made this even more spectacular. The company was thrilling playing off the audience and watching the final curtain call brought tears to my eyes. They said it would never play Phantom again, but to quote Webber "the Phantom will play on!".
Thank you to all the cast, the musicians, and all those involved in this production, I personally "Thank You!" for an incredible ride

So was ALW alluding to the fact of another possible US tour run down the road? Anyone know?

I was there for this performance and everything was absolutely amazing! The actors did a superb job. I was completely shocked when Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber & Sarah Brightman came out. Everyone in the audience went wild! It was by far the best performance of Phantom I have ever seen. I am sad that it is ending but it had a very long and successfull run. Thankfully we can still see it at Vegas & on Broadway! :)

With the closure of this Phantom tour, might this mean that possibly Broadway will eventually say goodbye to the Phantom and his chandelier? No doubt this world-famous Lloyd-Webber Musical has its following and its fanbase, but I quietly guess that one day even the Broadway and West End productions would say goodbye as they couldn't exactly run forever...

I Have been a Phan for almost 20years.....(im 30 now) i have to say Love Never Dies is AMAZING ... i live in Edinburgh scotland and traveled to london 3 times since it opened in Feb this year and everytime i just want more.

The songs and the effects are just outstanding. Last month i went to see Phantom at 2pm then Love Never Dies at 7.30pm. I have moved over to prefer LND.
This musical can be belived as a continuation of the original of phantom or as stand alone musical.

..... dont slate it untill u actually SEE it (sound track works better when you can image each scene i think)


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