Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera has already made its mark on Broadway as the longest running show of its kind in history. Now, it is making yet another memorable contribution.
The show’s producers have tapped Norm Lewis to become the first African American to play the lead role of the Phantom, a deformed composer who haunts the Paris Opera House at the turn-of-the-century, according to ABC News.
Lewis has built an enormous following and received critical acclaim for portraying Sen. Edison Davis on ABC’s Scandal.
But reacting to his new role on Broadway, Lewis made clear that he understands the historic significance of the opportunity.
“I’m just so excited to be a part of this history,” Lewis ABC’s Diane Sawyer.
Thirteen men have played the role of Phantom on Broadway. The show’s famed creator said selecting Lewis reflected the new openness of audiences with regard to race.
“I think everyone’s moved on to the point that you really don’t think that way,” Webber said.
Read more at ABC News.