"Phantom of the Opera" Tours

by Jacqueline Viskup

Based on the novel by Gaston Leroux, with a musical score by Andrew Lloyd Weber, "Phantom of the Opera" has been produced for over twenty years around the globe. After winning the Tony Award in 1988 for Best Musical, "Phantom of the Opera" went on its first of three national tours. In November, 2010, the third and final national tour closed at the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles, the same city where the first tour began.

First National Tour: Christine Company

The first national tour of "Phantom of the Opera," named the Christine Company after the female lead character Christine Daae, began in 1989. The tour played in Los Angeles and San Francisco for almost ten years, grossing over $305 million. The Christine Company tour opened with Michael Crawford in the title role of the Phantom, the same role he made famous on Broadway and on the original cast recording soundtrack. The tour won 1989/1990 Los Angeles Drama Critics Awards for best actor (Michael Crawford), best sets, best costumes and best lighting.

Second National Tour: Raoul Company

The second national tour of "Phantom of the Opera" grossed almost $400 million and played for eight and a half years. This tour, named after Christine's love interest Raoul, toured in major cities throughout the United States. Davis Gaines played the Phantom, Maria Danvers played Christine and Lawrence Anderson played Raoul.

Third National Tour: The Music Box Company

The third and final national tour of the "Phantom of the Opera" has played for almost 18 years throughout the United States. Many of the performers on this tour performed on and off in various roles for the tour's entire run. For example, Tim Martin Gleason, who ended the tour in the title role of the Phantom, started on tour as an ensemble member in 2001 and has since played both Raoul and the Phantom in Las Vegas, on Broadway and on the national tour.

The Future of the Phantom

"Phantom of the Opera" is still running on Broadway, at the Majestic Theater and in London at Her Majesty's Theater. The musical also continues to run in Las Vegas and in Budapest and will open in November, 2011, in Cape Town, South Africa. A fourth national tour is rumored to be opening in 2012, but no sources confirm that information. Many amateur and college theaters have also supported productions of "Phantom of the Opera" throughout the United States.

About the Author

Jacqueline Viskup began writing professionally in 2005, specializing in academic and promotional writing. She has more than 15 years of experience in theater, including acting, directing and producing. Viskup has also been teaching drama and writing classes since 2002. She holds a Master of Arts in theater arts from the University of Oregon.

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