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247 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036

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PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

Now showing, Open Run

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Tony Winner

Tony Winner

With the distance of more than a decade - and a couple hundred new musicals - since my last visit, I found myself with a new appreciation for this beloved show's gothic theatricality

Charles Isherwood, The New York Times

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Photo Coverage: Nonprofit Knights of Rizal Celebrates with Ali Ewoldt, PHANTOM's first Asian-American Christine

Photos by Rex Romero

New York, N.Y.-- Jhett Tolentino, three-time Tony Award-winning producer and Deputy Chapter Commander of The Order of the Knights of Rizal-N.Y., a nonprofit that upholds the ideologies of the Philippines' National Hero, Jose Rizal, held a fundraiser last Friday, June 24, which simultaneously celebrated Filipino-American (FilAm) Broadway actress Ali Ewoldt's recent career milestone: becoming the first woman of color to play the coveted role of Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera, Broadway's longest-running musical.

"I know I'm not alone when I say I'm beyond proud of Ali Ewoldt," Tolentino, who joined Ewoldt for a post-show talkback, told BroadwayWorld.com. "That exquisite voice soaring in one of the world's major theaters [the Majestic Theatre on Broadway], made my hair stand on end! You must come and see her to experience it yourself. You will be transported."

Ewoldt, a Yale University alumna, whose mother was originally from the Philippines, made her Broadway debut as Cosette in "Les Miserables" in 2006. Prior to The Phantom of the Opera, she played the role of Tuptim in Lincoln Center Theater's Tony Award-winning revival of "The King and I."

"We're inching our way on Broadway one actor at a time. Filipinos are enormously talented people. We grew up singing our hearts out at karaoke bars," Tolentino observed. "Hence, we should come together, come out and support FilAms on Broadway," where Tony winners Bobby Lopez ("Frozen"), Lea Salonga ("Allegiance"), and Clint Ramos ("Eclipsed"), Adam Jacobs ("Aladdin"), Arielle Jacobs ("Wicked"), Jaygee Macapugay ("School of Rock"), Jose Llana ("The King and I"), Jon Viktor Corpuz ("The King and I"), Julius Sermonia ("The King and I"), and Catherine Ricafort ("Disaster!"), among others have been part of this growing roster of talent.

Tolentino said, "At Knights of Rizal, we just launched 'Knights for Broadway,' a series of fundraising events concentrating on Broadway and the FilAm talent. 'Knights for Broadway' will host a monthly theater night out to see a Broadway show, which began at PHANTOM.

"Together with the Filipino American National Historic Society (FANHS), we've raised $1,000 that will help fund an office space for Knights of Rizal. Right now we're just holding our meetings in a deli (next to the Philippine Center on Fifth Avenue) or someone else's office, which is rarely available. Raising money for an office in Manhattan is an ambitious drive but not insurmountable. We're a 501(c) organization so we welcome any donations for this initiative."

The "Knights for Broadway" 30-100 participants per show get discounted tickets and either a post-show talkback, a meet and greet with the cast, or a backstage tour. It also aims to bring new audiences to Broadway.

"...It only takes one show to change someone's life. Hopefully, for good," Tolentino said.

Ewoldt, together with another person of color, Jordan Donica, who plays the role of Raoul, officially joined the cast of The Phantom of the Opera last June 13.

For nearly 30 years, The Phantom of the Opera, which features some of the most memorable melodies of composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, has been the British megamusical all other musicals are measured against.

Winner of seven 1988 Tony Awards, The Phantom of the Opera is based on the classic novel Le Fantôme de L'Opéra by Gaston Leroux, which tells the story a masked figure's shadowy existence and his love for the beautiful, talented ingénue Christine Daaé. The Broadway production has played over 11,700 performances to more than 17 million people and grossed at least $1 billion.

The show is produced by Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Group and directed by Harold Prince. Lyrics are by Charles Hart (with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe) and the book is by Stilgoe and Webber. It also features the production design by the late Maria Björnson, lighting design by Andrew Bridge, sound design by Mick Potter (with original sound by Martin Levan, musical staging and choreography by Gillian Lynne, and orchestrations by David Cullen and Webber.

high res photos


Nonprofit Knights of Rizal celebrates with Ali Ewoldt.


Nonprofit Knights of Rizal celebrates with Ali Ewoldt.


Ali Ewoldt, Jhett Tolentino


Ali Ewoldt points to the exact seat where she first saw The Phantom of the Opera as a kid with her family.


Nonprofit Knights of Rizal celebrates with Ali Ewoldt.


Ali Ewoldt, Jhett Tolentino


Ali Ewoldt, Jhett Tolentino


Marilyn Abalos


Don Tagala (The Filipino Channel Balitang America)


Momar Visaya (Asian Journal)


Nonprofit Knights of Rizal celebrates with Ali Ewoldt.


Michael Dadap (Knights of Rizal NY Chapter)


Ali Ewoldt with fans, Filipino American National Historical Society, and Knights of Rizal


Ali Ewoldt with fans, Filipino American National Historical Society, and Knights of Rizal


Ali Ewoldt with fans, Filipino American National Historical Society, and Knights of Rizal


Ali Ewoldt with fans, Filipino American National Historical Society, and Knights of Rizal


Nonprofit Knights of Rizal celebrates with Ali Ewoldt.


Momar Visaya, Ali Ewoldt, Don Tagala, Jhett Tolentino


Vivian Velasco, Momar Visaya, Ali Ewoldt, Don Tagala

Article reprinted with permission from www.BroadwayWorld.com

What You Say

207 reviews, average rating: (4.4 Stars)

Mike: “The Best Show On Earth”

This is the best broadway you will ever see in your life...was into the sho... more

Nicole: “Absolutely Wonderful!”

I am 35, visited NY for the first time and being a fan of the 1943 version ... more

Danielle: “INSANE”

The Phantom of the Opera was probably one of the most AMAZING shows I've ev... more

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