Jay Armstrong Johnson is cast as Raoul, as Ben Crawford debuts as The Phantom of the Opera

Ben Crawford takes over the title role in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway on April 16, with Jay Armstrong assuming the role of Raoul from April 30.

Ben Crawford & Jay Armstrong Johnson

Broadway's longest-running show of all time The Phantom of the Opera, which recently celebrated 30 years on the Great White Way, welcomes Ben Crawford to the titular role at the Majestic Theatre tonight. Mr. Crawford has previously appeared on the Great White Way in On the Twentieth CenturyBig FishLes Misérables, as the title role in Shrek The Musical, and, most recently, as Mr. Salt in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

In addition, producers have also announced that Broadway alum Jay Armstrong Johnson will assume the role of Raoul from April 30, 2018. His Broadway credits include the 2009 revival of HairCatch Me If You Can in 2011, Hands on a Hardbody in 2013, and the role of Chip in the 2014 revival of On the Town. Current cast member Rodney Ingram is set to play his final performance as Raoul on April 28. 

The current principal cast of The Phantom of the Opera includes Ben Crawford (as The Phantom), Ali Ewoldt (as Christine Daaé), Rodney Ingram (as Raoul), Laird Mackintosh (as Monsieur André), Craig Bennett (as Monsieur Firmin), Raquel Suarez Groen (as Carlotta), Carlton Moe (as Piangi), Maree Johnson (as Madame Giry), and Kara Klein (as Meg Giry). Kayley Ann Voorhees continues as the production's alternate Christine Daaé.

Directed by Harold Prince, The Phantom of the Opera officially opened at the Majestic Theatre on January 26, 1988, following previews from January 9, and went on to sweep the 1988 Tony Awards, winning seven categories including "Best Musical".

The Phantom of the Opera features music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Lyrics by Charles Hart (with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe) and a book by Richard Stilgoe and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

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 musical features scenic design by the late Maria Björnson, lighting design by Andrew Bridge and sound design by Martin Levan. Musical staging and choreography is by Gillian Lynne. Orchestrations are by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

The Phantom of the Opera Tickets are available now for performances through to October 13, 2018.