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New ‘Phantom’ Has Utah Connections

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – It’s become one of the most iconic plays in Broadway history and for the first time since 1996, The Phantom of The Opera has come in Salt Lake City – and this time the Phantom has a Utah connection.

When you think Broadway shows, there’s a good chance “The Phantom of the Opera” comes to mind. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tony award winning musical has come to the Eccles Theater, with their first performance on Wednesday, July 11.

Quentin Oliver Lee said that’s fine with him. He was cast in the iconic role as the Phantom.

“It’s definitely a huge mantle to hold,” said Lee. “It’s really exciting and I like to compare it to being shot out of a cannon or going to the Super Bowl every time I go on stage.”

Lee was no stranger to Utah.

“I met my wife in New York but she’s from Orem,” Lee said. “She went to Timpanogos High School.”

He has so much family here, the convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has come to think of Utah like a second home. However, it’s not just friends and family members in the audience that excites Lee.

“This is actually my very first leading role in a professional Broadway company,” he said.

At 6 feet 7 inches, Lee has become the tallest Phantom ever in production history.

Behind the scenes at the Eccles Theater, they were prepping for Thursday night’s show. KSL was there as the famous chandelier got some finishing touch and pyrotechnics were double-checked.

“Every bit of scenery is being tested,” said stage manager Mitch Hodges. “Once we start the show we know everything checks out and everything is safe.”

Hodges said if you’ve seen the show in the past, you may be in for some surprises.

“The new show is very much like a cinematic experience for you,” Hodges said. “It’s been redesigned, reimagined so you can be with the characters through every bit of their emotional journey.”

Quentin Oliver Lee, who plays the “Phantom,” and KSL reporter Ashley Kewish.

Hodges said there are small enhancements to make the audience feel even more involved. He said the Eccles Theater provides the perfect setting.

“It’s just so nice to be in such a beautiful and accommodating space,” Hodges said. “It’s like this theater was built for us. You can’t beat it.”

There was a little bit of unexpected drama at Wednesday night’s show. The fire alarm went off mid performance and the entire theater, along with the cast were evacuated.

Firefighters checked everything out and found it was just a false alarm. The show went on about 20 minutes later.

The Phantom of the Opera plays at the Eccles Theater until July 22. Tickets can be purchased at broadway-at-the-eccles.com.

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