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Norm Lewis is the first African-American 'Phantom of the Opera'

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 02: Actor and singer Norm Lewis attends The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Official Oscar night viewing party and dinner at DANIEL on March 2, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)

Norm Lewis is the first African-American 'Phantom of the Opera'

By Julianne Cassidy. CREATED Mar 20, 2014

Tony Award nominee Norm Lewis has been cast as the first African-American "Phantom" in "The Phantom of the Opera" on Broadway. he will begin his run in the musical May 12. Lewis leads with actress Sierra Boggess as "Christine." 

Lewis most recently played "Porgy" in the Broadway revamp "The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess," where he received his Tony nomination for Best Actor in a Musical. He's best known to television audiences for his recurring role on ABC's "Scandal," where he played "Olivia Pope's" U.S. Senator boyfriend.

"Lewis will join a list of Phantoms since the show opened in 1988 that includes: Michael Crawford, Steve Barton, John Cudia, Kevin Gray, Mark Jacoby, Marcus Lovett, Brad Little, Howard McGillin, and Hugh Panaro," reports Entertainment Weekly

"Based on a novel by Gaston Leroux, Phantom tells the story of a deformed composer who haunts the Paris Opera House and falls madly in love with an innocent young soprano, Christine. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s songs include 'Masquerade,' 'Angel of Music,' 'All I Ask of You,' 'The Phantom of the Opera,' and 'The Music of the Night,'" further reports Entertainment Weekly. "The musical has played to over 130 million people in 27 countries and has grossed over $5.6 billion worldwide — more than any film in history, including 'Avatar,' 'Titanic,' 'Gone With the Wind' and 'Star Wars.'"