Thursday, October 9, 2008

Yeston & Kopit's Phantom vs. Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera

NCT's Yeston & Kopit's Phantom opens next Saturday, October 18th and runs through the 26th in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium! We have an all-star cast for this production and we are very excited about it. Rehearsals started this past weekend and they have been working very hard to put the show up! This version of Phantom is based off of the Gaston Leroux novel, The Phantom of the Opera, and differs from the Andrew Lloyd Webber version - The Phantom of the Opera - currently running on Broadway.

In 1982 Actor/director Geoffrey Holder obtained the rights to Leroux's novel, The Phantom of the Opera, and planned to make an American musical based on the novel. Below is a timeline of events on how Phantom made it to the stage and takes a look at the race for Broadway - between Yeston & Kopit and Andrew LLoyd Webber.
  • Holder approached Yeston and Kopit to write the musical – this version of Phantom would be the first and only Phantom of the Opera musical
  • 1984: British producer Ken Hill produced The Phantom of the Opera, the musical, in England
  • Holder had the rights to the novel for two years in the United States and Europe before it became public domain
  • The rights to Leroux’s novel were available in the public domain in Great Britain
  • Variety published an article saying that Andrew Lloyd Weber was planning to produce the musical version of The Phantom of the Opera in London
  • 1986: The Phantom of the Opera was a huge hit in London and Lloyd Webber announced a Broadway production
  • Yeston and Kopit’s investors backed out once they saw the huge success of Lloyd Webber’s version
  • Kopit saw the Lloyd Webber version of The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway and realized that there were significant differences from the American version and thought it could still work
  • A few years later, Kopit changed the script to a two-part miniseries for NBC – the production was shot at the Paris Opera House and starred Charles Dance as the Phantom
  • 1991: Houston’s Theatre Under the Stars put together a new team to put up the world premiere of Yeston & Kopit’s show, Phantom
  • Yeston and Kopit made a few changes after the Houston run, and presented it the next fall in Seattle and San Bernardino
  • Ever since, audiences have been captivated by Yeston and Kopit’s twist on the Phantom –beginning the story earlier in his life, introducing his father as a character and other turns along the way
  • Currently grossed over $500 million world wide

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