Ali Ewoldt ends her history making run in the Broadway production of The Phantom of the Opera on Saturday evening, November 17, having played more than 600 performances. Ms. Ewoldt became the first Asian-American actress to assume the role of Christine, the innocent young soprano who becomes the object of The Phantom’s obsession, in June 2016.
I had the opportunity to photograph the luminous star in her dressing room over the summer and witnessed her enchanting performance last week. Below is my backstage pass with Ali.
Ali made her Broadway debut as Cosette in Les Miserables, appeared in Lincoln Center’s recent Tony Award Winning revival of The King and I and has played Maria in numerous productions of West Side Story across the nation and the world. Her other credits include: The Fantasticks (Luisa) Off-Broadway, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Philia) at The Muny in St. Louis, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s The King and I (Tuptim), McCarter Theatre’s A Christmas Carol (Fan/Mrs. Bonds) and concerts at Feinstein’s/54 Below, Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall and The Town Hall. TV/Film: The Michael J. Fox Show, Yield and Drama: The Web Series. Ali has a BA in psychology from Yale University. www.aliewoldt.com
Continuing in their starring roles are Ben Crawford as The Phantom and Jay Armstrong Johnson as Raoul, with co-stars Laird Mackintosh as Monsieur André, Craig Bennett as Monsieur Firmin, Raquel Suarez Groen as Carlotta, Maree Johnson as Madame Giry and Carlton Moe as Piangi.
The Phantom of the Opera has been the largest single generator of income and jobs in Broadway and U.S. theatrical history, including employing more than 400 actors during its 30-year Broadway run.
Based on the classic novel Le Fantôme de L’Opéra by Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera tells the story of a masked figure who lurks beneath the catacombs of the Paris Opera House, exercising a reign of terror over all who inhabit it. He falls madly in love with an innocent young soprano, Christine, and devotes himself to creating a new star by nurturing her extraordinary talents and by employing all of the devious methods at his command.
The Phantom of the Opera is produced by Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Group, has music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and is directed by Harold Prince. Lyrics are by Charles Hart with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe and the book is by Richard Stilgoe and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Musical staging and choreography is by the late Gillian Lynne. The Phantom of the Opera has production design by the late Maria Björnson, lighting by Andrew Bridge and sound by Mick Potter with original sound by Martin Levan. Musical supervision and direction is by David Caddick and orchestrations are by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
The performance schedule for The Phantom of the Opera is Monday evenings at 8, Tuesday evenings at 7, Wednesday through Saturday evenings at 8, with matinees on Thursdays and Saturdays at 2. Ticket prices range from $29 – $155 with Premium Tickets also available. To order tickets, visit www.Telecharge.com or call (212) 239-6200. A daily digital lottery with $40 tickets for all performances is available by visiting www.PhantomBroadwayLottery.com.
Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.
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