Friday, June 28, 2013

Kopit & Yeston's Phantom Mesmerizes

Aja Jones
412-281-3973 x224

Kopit & Yeston’s Phantom
Brings the Paris Opera House to Pittsburgh CLO June 21

Pittsburgh, PA • June 13, 2013 – Audiences will be mesmerized by the classic score in Kopit & Yeston’s Phantom June 21- 30 at the Benedum Center.  Phantom is back by popular demand and will feature an incredible cast comprised of Broadway stars and Pittsburgh CLO veterans.

From the Tony Award®-winning team of Maury Yeston and Arthur Kopit comes the exquisite masterpiece, Phantom. Based on Gaston Leroux’s timeless love story, Phantom delves into the star-crossed story of the disfigured musical genius known as the Phantom Erik, and his muse, Christine Daaé, the exciting and beautiful ingénue of the Paris Opera. Their musical affair unfolds deep in the catacombs of the Opera house, where Erik finds salvation in Christine’s breathtaking voice. The incredible score features “Home,” “You Are My Own,” and “My True Love.”

Ron Bohmer as Phantom

Ron Bohmer (Phantom/Erik) has numerous Broadway/Tour credits including: The Phantom in The Phantom Of The Opera, title role in The Scarlet Pimpernel (NBTA nom.), Joe Gillis in Sunset Boulevard (Jefferson Award nom.), Sir Percival Glyde in The Woman in White, Alex in Aspects Of Love (Robby award), Enjolras in Les Misérables, Fyedka inFiddler on the Roof, Father in the Tony®-nominated revival of Ragtime, Fred in A Little Night Music, Coach Bolton in Disney’s High School Musical. Recent Regional - Phileas Fogg in Around the World in 80 Days for the Pittsburgh Public Theatre, El Gallo in The Fantasticks for the Cincinnati Playhouse (Acclaim Award – Best Actor), and George inSunday in the Park With George for the Rep of St. Louis (Theatre Critics Circle Award, Best Actor). Recordings - two solo CD’s, Everyman and Another Life and numerous cast recordings. Ron is a frequent soloist with symphony orchestras across the country.

Donna Lynne Champlin as La Carlotta

Donna Lynne Champlin (La Carlotta) is returning to Pittsburgh CLO.  Her previous CLO credits include: Mame (Gooch), Full Monty (Georgie), Jolson (Ruby), A Christmas Carol (Belle), Fame(Serena), The Wizard of Oz (Dorothy), Evita (Mistress). Broadway: Billy Elliot, Sweeney Todd, Hollywood Arms, By Jeeves, James Joyce’s The Dead. Off Broadway: Dark at the Top of the Stairs (OBIE Award), Working (Drama Desk Award), Master Class at the MET, See Rock City, Pride and Prejudice (NYMF award), City Center Encores! Bloomer Girl, Carnegie Hall’s Very Warm For May.  Various TV/Film/recordings. CMU Drama (BFA).

Jeff Howell (Inspector LeDoux) was recently seen as the Captain in The Sound of Music (PMT): CLO shows include Sunset Boulevard (DeMille), Jesus Christ Superstar (Annas), Jekyll and Hyde (Poole), A Musical Christmas Carol (Bob Cratchit), Beauty and the Beast (Cogsworth),Bells are Ringing (Dr. Kitchell), Pajama Game (Prez); other credits include Candide (Dr. Pangloss), Chicago (Billy Flynn), Tribute to Lerner and Loewe with Marvin Hamlisch and the PSO.

Ken Land (Alaine Cholet) has appeared in the Broadway/Off-Broadway/Tour casts of numerous shows including: Promises, Promises, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Victor/Victoria, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Legally Blonde, The Gig, Little Shop of Horrors, Sweet Charity, The SecretGarden and Evita.  Regional: MUNY, Portland Center Stage, Old Globe, Goodspeed, Indiana Rep, Maine State, etc. Television: “Boston Legal,” “Six Feet Under,” “Law and Order(s),” “Malcolm in the Middle,” “Judging Amy,” “Crossing Jordan,” “Star Trek Voyager” and “Strong Medicine.”

Erin Mackey and Ron Bohmer
Erin Mackey (Christine Daaé) was last seen on Broadway in Chaplin: The Musical as Oona O’Neill. She has also appeared on Broadway in Roundabout Theatre Company’s Anything Goes as Hope Harcourt and in Sondheim on Sondheim.  Her Broadway debut was as Glinda in Wicked after having performed the role in the Chicago and Los Angeles companies. Off Broadway, she appeared in I Remember Mama as Katrin at the York Theatre. Film and television credits include The Parent Trap, “Gossip Girl” and “Blue Bloods.” She has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Pops, Long Beach Symphony and Florida Orchestra.

Bryant Martin as Count Phillipe de Chandon and Erin Mackey as Christine

Bryant Martin (Count Phillipe de Chandon) is making his Pittsburgh CLO debut. His New York credits include: Tom in The Other Man at Theatre Row, Brad in Victor Victorious at The Flea.  Regional:  Curly in Oklahoma! at Lyric Stage in Irving and Musical Theatre West, Thomas Jefferson in 1776 at Lyric Stage in Irving, John Paul Jones in Frank Loesser’s Pleasures and Palaces, Tellig in Sedition and Young Scrooge in A Christmas Carol both at the Westport Country Playhouse.

Paul Palmer (Minister of Culture) appears in his 58th Pittsburgh CLO musical, reprising the role he performed in the 1998 CLO Phantom production. A veteran of 34 CLO summer seasons, Mr. Palmer was the Preacher in last week's production of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Abner Dillon in this season's first production, 42nd Street.

Jamie Ross (Gerard Carriére) joins Pittsburgh CLO for the first time. His Broadway credits include: Beauty and the Beast, The Tale of the Allergists’ Wife, 1776, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,Gypsy, La Cage aux Folles, Woman of the Year; 42nd Street; Oh, Coward in NY and London.  National Tours: Beauty and the Beast; Jekyll and Hyde, Phantom of the Opera, Victor/Victoria, Damn Yankees in the US and London. He was in the Paris production of Hello, Dolly and recently appeared in the Pre-Broadway production of The Nutty Professor, directed by Jerry Lewis.

Peter Matthew Smith (Jean-Claude) just closed the first National Tour of Memphis the Musicaland now returns home to Pittsburgh. Broadway: Rent, Mamma Mia, Hairspray, Fiddler on the Roof (Motel), Cry Baby. Other Pittsburgh CLO credits include Joseph… (Pharaoh), The Student Prince (Tarnitz) and A Musical Christmas Carol (Fred).

Kopit & Yeston’s Phantom is complete with a talented ensemble, including Keely Beirne, Sarah Blodgett, Erick Buckley, Margaret Carr, Jesse Carrey-Beaver, Max Clayton, Lucas Fedele, Michael Greer, Rodney Earl Jackson Jr., Zanny Laird, Isabelle McCalla, Trevor McQueen, Connor McRory, Laura Melchiorre, Casi Riegle, Jonalyn Saxer, Gavin Stewart and Paul Victor.

Barry Ivan (Director/Choreographer) has a wide range of national and international credits from directing at the German State Opera to guest directing at Yale. Mr. Ivan’s  productions of The Full Monty andHairspray received IRNE awards for Best Musical, and Mr. Ivan has been IRNE nominated as Best Director for Les Misérables and Nine. His Pittsburgh CLO directing highlights include Sunset Boulevardstarring Liz Callaway, Company starring Malcolm Gets, Anything Goes starring Carolee Carmello, A Little Night Music co-starring Dee Hoty and Beth Leavel, Miss Saigon, The Full Monty, West Side Storyand Les Misérables.  Actively involved in new works, Mr. Ivan had the pleasure of directing the US Premiere of Dracula: A Chamber Musical, starring this evening's Phantom, Ron Bohmer, and working alongside Phantom's composer, Maury Yeston, when he staged In the Beginning.

Tom Helm (Music Director) is returning for his 18th season with Pittsburgh CLO. On Broadway, he has conducted the revival of Brigadoon, Cats, Me and My Girl, Les Misérables and Souvenir. Tom was musical director of the First National Tour of Cats, Radio City’s 5-6-7-8 Dance!, and television programs such as “Crazy for You” and the “Today Show.” Mr. Helm has conducted at Radio City Music Hall, Paper Mill Playhouse and many other regional and national productions.

Kopit & Yeston’s Phantom is based off of Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel The Phantom of the Opera.  Actor/Director Geoffery Holder approached the duo about the project after their musical Nine won the Tony Award® for Best Musical in 1982.

Arthur Kopit and Maury Yeston had just completed writing their musical when they read an article in Variety announcing a new musical production, The Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber. After The Phantom of the Opera became a huge hit in London, Andrew Lloyd Webber announced plans to take the show to Broadway. Webber’s announcement caused Kopit and Yeston’s Broadway investors to back out.  In the early 1990’s Arthur Kopit was hired to adapt Phantom as a miniseries for NBC, which was a success.

Phantom was finally produced by Theater Under the Stars in 1991. Although the musical has never been to Broadway, it has been produced over 1,000 times worldwide.  

Arthur Kopit (Book) is a three time Tony Award® nominee for Best Play, Indians,1970; Best Play,Wings, 1979 and Best Book of a Musical, Nine, 1982.  He is a two time Pulitzer Prize finalist for his plays Wings and Indians.  Mr. Kopit won the Drama Desk Award in 1962 for his play Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama’s Hung You in the Closet and I’m Feelin’ So Sad and was nominated for another Drama Desk Award for his play Wings in 1979.

Maury Yeston (Music and Lyrics) has worked as a composer, lyricist, author and teacher. He has won two Tony Awards®, for Best Original Score for Nine in 1982 and Best Original Musical Score for Titanic in 1997.  He won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lyrics for Nine in 1982.  Mr. Yeston’s score for Grand Hotel was nominated for a Tony Award® and two Drama Desk Awards. In 2012 he was named an Honorary Ambassador of The Society of Composers and Lyricists.

Performance schedule for Kopit & Yeston’s Phantom

Friday June 21 8:00 p.m.
Saturday June 22 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Sunday June 23 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday June 25 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday June 26 8:00 p.m.
Thursday June 27 8:00 p.m.
Friday June 28 8:00 p.m.
Saturday June 29 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Sunday June 30 2:00 p.m.

Tickets are available online at, by calling 412-456-6666 or at the Box Office at Theater Square. Groups of 10 or more enjoy exclusive discounts and specialty packages. Call our Group Sales Hotline at 412-325-1582 for more information. Visit for further information.

Pittsburgh CLO gratefully acknowledges the generosity PNC Spotlight Series for its sponsorship of Kopit & Yeston’s Phantom, and our Season Sponsors: the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and WTAE-TV.

Media members may access photos and other show materials by visiting the Press Room When prompted, simply enter “pressroom” as the username and “pittstadium” as the password.

Photos by Matt Polk

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Since 1946, the Pittsburgh CLO has been the driving force behind live musical theater in Pittsburgh and the entire Southwestern Pennsylvania region. Under the direction of Van Kaplan since 1997, this not-for-profit arts organization appreciates the support of nearly 200,000 patrons each year and produces a subscription series, educational programs, national tours and develops and invests in new works, including 18 Broadway shows (24 Tony Awards®) featuring the current productions of Cinderella, Kinky Boots and Matilda. Its dedication to the musical theater art form extends to include such programs as the CLO Academy, the CLO Mini Stars, the Gene Kelly Awards, the Richard Rodgers Award, the National High School Musical Theater Awards, the Construction Center for the Arts and the CLO Cabaret.

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