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Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ returning to Appleton

Critic At Large

Fox Cities Performing Arts Center

Derrick Davis as The Phantom and Emma Grimsley as Christine Daaé are featured in touring production of “The Phantom of the Opera” to be presented in Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. (Matthew Murphy)

APPLETON,Wis. (WFRV)

Fox Cities Performing Arts Center will host the touring production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera” in 16 performances Dec. 4-15.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4; 1 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 5; 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7; 1 and 6:30 p.m. Dec. 8; 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10-13; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14; and 1 and 6:30 p.m. Dec. 15. Info: foxcitiespac.com.

According to a press release:

The production features Derrick Davis as The Phantom and Emma Grimsley as Christine Daaé.

Producer Cameron Macintosh has mounted a new production for a cast and orchestra of 52. This is one of the largest productions on tour in North America.

While the production has a new design and staging, it retains Maria Björnson’s costumes.

Also in leading roles are Jordan Craig as Raoul, Trista Moldovan as Carlotta Giudicelli, David Benoit as Monsieur Firmin, Rob Lindley as Monsieur André, Susan Moniz as Madame Giry, Phumzile Sojola as Ubaldo Piangi and SarahGrace Mariani as Meg Giry.

Derrick Davis covered the role of Billy Bigelow in the Broadway production of “Carousel,” created the role of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Douglas Tappin’s new work “I Dream” at Opera Carolina’s Knight Theater, starred starred as Mufasa in the national tour of Disney’s “The Lion King,” covered both Scar and Mufasa in “The Lion King” on Broadway and starred as Curtis Taylor Jr. in “Dreamgirls” in Dallas Theater Center’s Tony Award-winning season.

Emma Grimsley made her national tour debut with “The Phantom of the Opera” and assumes the role of Christine Daaé after understudying the role on tour for the last two years. Regional credits include “Sweeney Todd” (Johanna), “Glory Denied” (Young Alyce), “Candide” (Cunegonde) and “Die Zauberflöte” (Papagena).

Jordan Craig has performed at the Houston Grand Opera (“Billy Bud,” “Tosca,” “Carmen”) and with the Alliance Theater, Geva Theatre Centre, Actor’s Express and Atlantic Lyric Theatre.

Trista Moldovan played the role of Christine Daaé in the original production’s historic 10,000th performance on Broadway. She has also been seen on national tour in “White Christmas” and “Bridges of Madison County.”

David Benoit’s Broadway and national tour credits include “Jekyll & Hyde,” “Avenue Q,” “Les Misérables,” “Dance of the Vampires,” “Young Frankenstein” and “All Shook Up.”
Rob Lindley is a Jefferson Award winner who has performed in the Chicago productions of “Fun Home,” “The Tempermentals,” “Funnyman” and “Candide.” He has also been seen at Long Wharf, Asolo Rep, Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C., and directed the off-Broadway and national tour production of “50 Shades.”

Susan Moniz’s credits include “Grease” on Broadway (Sandy/Rizzo), first national tour of “Fun Home” (Helen), “Follies” (Sally, Chicago Shakespeare), world premieres of “October Sky” (Elsie) and “Peggy Sue Got Married” (Peggy), “Kismet” (Joseph Jefferson Award). TV: “Chicago PD” and A&E’s “Romance, Romance.”

Phumzile Sojola has been seen on Broadway in “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella” (Lord Pinkleton – original cast) and “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” (Peter).

SarahGrace Mariani has been seen in “An American in Paris” (Ogunquit Playhouse), “Had She Never Asked Me” (Dance Film) and New York Theatre Barn. “The Phantom of the Opera” continues to run on Broadway after 31 years. It is the longest-running show on Broadway.

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