‘Phantom’ sets Teuton return

Musical to premiere in Stuttgart Oct. 18, 2002

BERLIN — German legit producer Stella will return “The Phantom of the Opera” to the stage in Stuttgart next year.

The show will follow “Cats,” whose 16-month run in the city will end in June, after which it will go on tour around the country. “Phantom” is scheduled to premiere Oct. 18, 2002.

“The audience potential for ‘Phantom’ is extremely high,” said Stella chairman Klaus von der Heyde. “Phantom” had its last curtain call this past June after 11 years on the stage in Hamburg, where it attracted some 7 million viewers.

The show was followed by “Mozart — Das Musical,” which preemed last month and has been packing the house since, according to Stella.

Not so a production of “Hair” in the city of Bremen, where producers blame lousy box office on the terrorist attacks in the U.S., saying that people were too afraid to go out to the theater.

After a six-week run, “Hair” is on the verge of getting cut unless it receives financial aid from the state, said Rene Meyer-Brede, head of Bremen’s Musical Theater.

Although it won’t release box office figures, Stella officials say the current climate has had the opposite effect with “Mozart” auds.

Premiering just 10 days after the attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., the Austrian musical has been drawing big crowds.

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