At certain performances Emilie Kouatchou plays Christine. Photo by Matthew Murphy

Here’s the thing, you can’t stop diversity and after running more than 30 years on Broadway, Emilie Kouatchou stepped into the history books as the first African American woman to step into the role of Christine Daaé in  “The Phantom of the Opera.”

The vocal demands are grueling and Kouatchou shares the role with 

Meghan Picerno with the gifted Kouatchou playing Christine,  three times per week,  at certain performances.

Kouatchou other credits include Unknown Soldier (Playwrights Horizons); Oklahoma! (Broadway at Music Circus, Sacramento, CA); Merrily We Roll Along, Passing Strange, Me and My Girl, Violet, A Man of No Importance (The University of Michigan); Sweeney Todd (Connecticut Repertory Theater). Graduate University of Michigan’s Musical Theatre program. All Black Lives Matter.

The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical reopened at the Majestic Theatre (October 22) after a painful, 19-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Directed by the late Harold Prince, the musical first opened on January 26, 1988, making it the longest-running Broadway production in history.

“The Phantom of the Opera” is based on Gaston Leroux’s horror novel and the powerful 

musical tells the story of the Phantom, who haunts the stage of the Paris Opera and falls in love with a beautiful young soprano. 

The Broadway staging of the London-originated show won seven 1988 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

Returning to lead the cast are Ben Crawford as The Phantom, Picerno as Christine Daaé, and John Riddle as Raoul, with Bradley Dean as Monsieur André, Craig Bennett as Monsieur Firmin, Raquel Suarez Groen as Carlotta Giudicelli, Maree Johnson as Madame Giry, and Carlton Moe as Ubaldo Piangi. Sara Esty joins the company as Meg Giry.

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