The longest-running show on Broadway almost never came
to New York.
Five months after opening to sold-out crowds in
London’s West End, the producers of The Phantom
of the Opera announced their plans to bring the mesmerizing musical
to Broadway. The show was scheduled to open at the newly renovated Majestic
Theatre in November 1987, and feature the same lead performers from London.
Hugh Panaro and Sierra Boggess performing in the 25th anniversary performance of 'The Phantom of the Opera' at the Majestic Theatre on January 26, 2013. (Photo by Walter McBride/Corbis via Getty Images)
In order to get immigration visas for British
performers, producers must first secure approval from the American labor union,
Actors’ Equity Association. The American group had set up an exchange program
with its English counterpart, British Actors’ Equity Association, where, for
each British actor allowed to appear on Broadway, an American actor would be
allowed to appear in the West End. An exception to the 1-for-1 trade deal was
carved out for international stars and foreign performers uniquely qualified to
play roles that no Americans could perform.
Click here for the full article published on
Forbes.com by Marc Hershberg on January 23, 2018.