MELBOURNE — Seventeen years after Anthony Warlow first immortalized Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s Phantom of the Opera at Melbourne’s Princess Theater, he reprised the cloak-and-mask getupat the same venue July 28.
But the Australian premiere of this “Phantom of the Opera” national tour return, produced by Webber’s Really Useful Company and the Gordon/Frost Organization, almost didn’t happen.
Associate director Arthur Masella came onstage before the show to inform ticket holders Warlow and other key cast had been stricken with a mid-winter flu and that the show would go on, but only just.
Warlow made it through to curtains but with an understudy waiting in the wings and a crackling voice in the final scene. In the end, the aud rose to its feet cheering Warlow’s performance.
“It didn’t feel like John Frost was standing in E row leading the standing ovation for a change,” quipped show producer John Frost.