A principal cast change has been announced for the Broadway production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, the longest-running show in Broadway history. Produced by Cameron Mackintosh/Really Useful Group, Inc. and directed by Harold Prince, the musical phenomenon is in its unprecedented 25th year in New York, playing at The Majestic Theatre (247 West 44th Street).
Current cast member Kara Klein will return to the role of inquisitive ballerina Meg Giry beginning Monday, June 18. Currently in the Ballet Chorus, she previously played Meg from March to December 2005. She made her PHANTOM debut with the National Tour in January 2001 as a member of the Ballet Chorus in January 2001. She made her Broadway debut in March 2005 with the Ballet Chorus before assuming the role of Meg. Ms. Klein returned to the Ballet Chorus in January 2006, with which she's performed (as well as understudied the role of Meg), on and off since.
Longtime cast member and 'Phan' favorite Heather McFadden will play her final performance as Meg this coming Saturday, June 16. Ms. McFadden has a long, unique history with the musical. She first joined the Broadway production in September 1997 as a member of the Ballet Chorus. In November 2000, she joined the National Tour as Meg, which she played for a year. She returned to the New York production as a member of the Ballet Chorus, eventually taking over the role of Meg in August 2003. In addition to performing with the show, Ms. McFadden became the production's Assistant Dance Captain in May 2003. Having played the role on and off over the course of the last fifteen years, Ms. McFadden has played the role of Meg on Broadway more than any other actress.
A symbol of the musical's unprecedented longevity, both ladies have taken maternity leaves during their long runs with PHANTOM: Ms. Klein once and Ms. McFadden twice. (Ms. Klein assumed the role of Meg during one of Ms. McFadden's maternity leaves.)
Concurrent with her time in the show and raising two children, Ms. McFadden also earned her Bachelor's Degree of Arts from St. Mary's College via their LEAP (Liberal Education for Arts Professionals) Program.
Kara Klein's other credits include the Broadway production of Billy Elliot; the Encores! production of Bye, Bye Birdie; Beauty & the Beast at North Shore Music Theatre; and both New York and Denver engagements of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.
Heather McFadden's other New York credits include the Broadway productions of Carousel (Louise u/s) and Dance of the Vampires and playing Jou-Jou in the Metropolitan Opera production of The Merry Widow starring Placido Domingo. Other national tours include Carousel, Evita and Jesus Christ Superstar.
Continuing in their roles with the New York Company are Hugh Panaro (The Phantom), Trista Moldovan (Christine), Kyle Barisich (Raoul), Aaron Galligan-Stierle (Monsieur André), Kevin Ligon (Monsieur Firmin), Michele McConnell (Carlotta), Cristin J. Hubbard (Madame Giry) and Christian Šebek (Piangi). At certain performances, Marni Raab plays Christine.
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA is the longest-running show in Broadway history. Since surpassing the then-record run of Cats in January 2006, the production has played an additional 6 years and over 2,600 performances – which by itself would be a smash hit run for a Broadway musical. The closest currently-running show is the revival of Chicago, which reached 15 years in November 2011.