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Covering black professionals and professional productions in the dance and theater worlds, plus general arts news

Theater: Norm Lewis Makes History in ‘Phantom’

Norm Lewis stars in "Phantom of the Opera" on Broadway

Norm Lewis stars in “Phantom of the Opera” on Broadway

It’s 2014.

And yet, black actors and dancers are still making history by breaking casting color barriers.

One of the latest “firsts” came last week when actor Norm Lewis became the first black man to star as the Phantom in the musical “Phantom of the Opera” on Broadway. “Phantom” has been running on Broadway for 26 years.

Lewis, it should be noted, is not the first black man to play the Phantom in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. That honor went to actor Robert Guillaume, who briefly played the role in the Los Angeles production in 1990.

But Lewis, who was last seen on Broadway in the revival of “Porgy and Bess” opposite Audra McDonald (a performance for which he earned a Tony Award nomination) is the first black actor to do the Phantom on Broadway. He is the 13th or 16th Phantom on Broadway depending on who you ask.

Here are links to some of the stories about Lewis and his groundbreaking performance:

New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/04/theater/for-broadways-first-black-phantom-a-dream-fulfilled.html?action=click&module=Search&region=searchResults&mabReward=relbias%3Ar&url=http%3A%2F%2Fquery.nytimes.com%2Fsearch%2Fsitesearch%2F%3Faction%3Dclick%26contentCollection%3DDining%2520%2526%2520Wine%26region%3DTopBar%26WT.nav%3DsearchWidget%26module%3DSearchSubmit%26pgtype%3Darticle%23%2Fnorm+lewis

 

 

Associated Press: http://www.reviewjournal.com/entertainment/arts-culture/first-black-phantom-lead-gets-warm-broadway-welcome

 

 

 

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This entry was posted on May 19, 2014 by in Black Theater and tagged , , , , , .
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