A new leading man is preparing to don the famous mask in the Broadway production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, directed by Harold Prince. The longest-running show in Broadway history, and one of the most successful worldwide stage productions of all-time, Phantom will welcome Broadway’s Ben Crawford when he takes over the iconic title role beginning Monday, April 16.
Cameron Mackintosh said, “It is always thrilling to find an exciting new ‘Phantom,’ and in Ben Crawford, we have a real find. He will take this legendary musical into its fourth triumphant decade on Broadway, after its recent spectacular 30th Anniversary celebrations that were headed by acclaimed international star Peter Jöback, who will play his last performance as ‘The Phantom’ at the end of this month.”
Ben Crawford has appeared on Broadway in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Mr. Salt), the title role in Shrek The Musical, Big Fish (Edward Bloom u/s, Don Price),Les Misérables (Javert and Valjean u/s) and On the Twentieth Century (Bruce Granit u/s). He has also starred in over twenty regional productions, including such leading roles as Che in Evita, Starbuck in 110 in the Shade, Luther Billis in South Pacific, Jud Fry in Oklahoma! and Frederick Barrett in Titanic. Crawford also performs with symphonies and orchestras across the U.S. and Canada and his recordings include the movie soundtrack for Frozen. He was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona and earned a BFA in Music Theatre from The University of Arizona.
Crawford will become the 16th man to officially take over the role in the Broadway production. He follows (in order): original star Michael Crawford, Timothy Nolen, Cris Groenendaal, Steve Barton, Kevin Gray, Mark Jacoby, Marcus Lovett, Davis Gaines, Thomas James O’Leary, Hugh Panaro, Howard McGillin, John Cudia, Peter Jöback, Norm Lewis and James Barbour. In addition, there have been five limited engagement replacements: Jeff Keller, Ted Keegan, Brad Little, Gary Mauer and Laird Mackintosh.