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Norm Lewis Will Be The First Black Phantom In Broadway’s Opera!

| Filed under: Broadway Babies

Yes! Progress!

Porgy and Bess star Norm Lewis has landed the role of Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Broadway musical The Phantom of the Opera!

This is huge because the Tony-nominated actor will be the first ever black actor to play the part ever, when it opens on May 12th.

Lewis was just as excited as us, and said:

"First, I love the show. Second, to set a precedent."

Exactly! We couldn’t have said it better! And don’t worry about him forgetting the words because Norm said he’s been warming up with the tunes all along!

In case you’re curious, Sierra Bogges will play opposite Norm as Christine Daae in New York, as well as Las Vegas and London.

Ahhh! This is such a great Broadway moment and we have total confidence that Mr. Lewis will be one of the best Phantoms ever!

[Image via WENN.]

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8 comments to “Norm Lewis Will Be The First Black Phantom In Broadway’s Opera!”

  1. Ding Dong Donny says – reply to this


    I beg to differ, but Titto Jackson played the role of the Phantom
    at the Community Theatre in Las Vegas , back in 2001 ?

    And I think Lonnie Anderson was Christine ?

  2. Mark says – reply to this


    Robert Guillame (Benson) portrayed the Phantom, after Michael Crawford. It's not well known, but he was the FIRST black Phantom.

  3. JennD says – reply to this


    Mark beat me to it. I saw Robert Guillame portray the Phantom and he killed it!

  4. wayne says – reply to this


    in los angeles, the actor who replacedthe orginal phantom, michael crawford was robert guillaume - so sorry to say norm lewis is NOT the first african american to play this role

  5. jeanine says – reply to this


    Robert Guilame, the guy from Benson played that role. He was great in in. I saw it at the Pantages 20+ years ago.

  6. Emily says – reply to this


    Norm Lewis is the first black Phantom *on Broadway.* They aren't including smaller shows around the country.

  7. T.C. says – reply to this


    I saw the Phantom with Norm Lewis in New York on May 24th and must say that I left somewhat disappointed with recent revisions to the staging, as well as with Norm Lewis in this role. I should say I am in the business and have seen this show 13 times, so perhaps my take on things is a little different from a typical theatre goer. There was little chemistry within the cast, as Lewis' age creates more of a father-daughter relationship with the young Sierra Boggess. Lewis' rendition of the Music of the Night was forced and lack seductive power so well projected by others - from Crawford to Panaro to Karimloo. He also cut the last note - the magical A-flat - incredibly short, suggesting inability to sustain it. It seems Andrew Lloyd Webber also re-worked some of the orchestrations, adding the unfortunate 1980s-style electric guitar riffs to the Overture and other parts of the score. The overall rhythm of the show felt rushed, with both music, dramatic pauses and segues forcibly cut short. Some of the updated sets, however, made for a nice change. It is worth noting that Jeremy Hays absolutely carries the production as Raoul - a first I've seen given that Raoul's character is very 'flat'. He and Boggess have a great chemistry that mitigates the strange 'sugar daddy' undertones of Christine's relationship with Lewis' older phantom. 3/5 stars.

  8. T.C. says – reply to this


    Sorry – mistakenly said the last note in the Music of the Night is the A-flat. It’s actually a D-flat.