DPO presents Three Phantoms in Concert with tenor alumni of the leading Phantom of the Opera tours
If you have ever seen a live production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Phantom of the Opera, there is a better-than-even chance that you might have seen and heard at least one of the three Broadway stars who will share the stage of the Schuster Center on Friday, January 13 & Saturday, January 14 at 8pm with conductor Patrick Reynolds and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra in Three Phantoms in Concert.
Why? Because all three have played either the Phantom or Raoul or both on Broadway or in touring productions. In fact, they each have either played the lead, or appeared, in Cyrano, the Musical; Fiddler on the Roof; Anything Goes; Les Misérables; The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber; Show Boat; Jesus Christ Superstar; Sweeney Todd; Pirates of Penzance; Jekyll & Hyde; Evita; Fiddler On The Roof; and The Secret Garden.
The best Broadway leading men – Ciarán Sheehan, Gary Mauer, and Craig Schulman – will perform (in solo, duo and trio combinations) the best of the Broadway tunes written for tenor from Les Misérables, Miss Saigon, The Phantom Of The Opera, Guys and Dolls, Company, Kiss Me Kate, Most Happy Fella, The Secret Garden, Nine, Damn Yankees, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Sweeney Todd, and more.
Ciarán Sheehan has played the Phantom on Broadway and in Toronto for more than 1,000 performances. He has also appeared on Broadway in Les Miserables and as Raoul in Phantom for more than two years. Gary Mauer most recently starred in the Broadway production of The Phantom of the Opera, playing Raoul. Craig Schulman is the only actor in the United States to have portrayed the Phantom; Jean Valjean in Les Misérables; and the title roles in Jekyll & Hyde.
Craig and Gary have both played in Les Mis, and all three have played in Phantom. Since all three are tenors, it begs the question, do they ever switch roles/song assignments from one show to the next? If so, what are some of the reasons they might do so?
“I try to keep the program the same, and everyone sings a standardized track in the concert,” Craig Schulman states. “I need to maintain pacing of the program and make sure that we’re all singing the same number of songs. We each, however, tell a story about the show in which we got our “big break” in show business, and then sing a song from that show. So the program changes slightly,” from tenor to tenor.
The bulk of the shows all three tenors have appeared in involve romance (Sweeney Todd, Secret Garden, etc. excepted). The songs in those shows, however, don’t always involve romance or romantic topics. I asked Craig which type of songs he prefers and which particular titles (especially of those he’ll be doing with the DPO) he prefers singing?.
“Personally, I always look for the 11 o’clock number,” Craig remarks, “so I sing Bring Him Home from Les Mis, This Is The Moment from Jekyll & Hyde, and of course, Music Of The Night from Phantom (the big three). Sometimes I switch with Gary; he may sing This Is The Moment, and I’ll take The Impossible Dream just for giggles.”
All three keep a strenuous concert schedule. I asked Craig what he likes/dislikes about life on the concert road. “I like the fact that the trips are short,” Craig notes, “as opposed to being on an extended tour. I don’t like being away from my wife and kids for too long. Dislikes? FLYING. Used to love it, but it sure ain’t no fun no more. Also, among my colleagues, my career has become almost exclusively concert performances,” he points out. “I love the concert performing, but it’s rather a solitary pursuit, and I miss the community of performers that are involved in a show.”
Which goes to show that, at least for this Phantom, three is definitely not a crowd.
Dayton Philharmonic Presents Three Phantoms in Concert
January 13 & 14 – 8pm
Schuster Performing Arts Center