Norm Lewis (Scandal’s Edison) To Be First Black Phantom Of The Opera On Broaday
Norm Lewis, a talented actor and singer with numerous Broadway credits to his name, has just hit a huge milestone in his career. He’s been chosen to play The Phantom himself in a Broadway production of The Phantom Of The Opera beginning on May 12, 2014. Lewis’ other Broadway credits include portraying Abraham Van Helsing in Dracula The Musical, Javert, the central villain in Les Miserables, King Triton in The Little Mermaid, and several other diverse characters.
Readers of this article may be more familiar with Norm Lewis as Edison Davis, former love interest of Olivia Pope on Scandal. If you weren’t familiar with Lewis’ background when you watched his story line unfold on Scandal, you may have been wondering why Shonda Rhimes decided to cast him. He’s good looking, but no model. Couldn’t she have cast a Black man with 6-pack abs? As the story progressed, it became clear that Edison had a lot of good qualities, and the actor was quite able to hold his own. As it turns out, he’s had a lot of experience and even a Tony nomination.
Andrew Lloyd Webber, the composer of the musical, commented that the role of the phantom has almost gone to Black actors, specifically Sammy Davis Jr. and Michael Jackson, in the past.”It’s extraordinary — the one role in history you could really cast anybody you liked in is the Phantom (NYTimes).”
Watch an ABC short clip about Lewis’ new role as The Phantom:
Listen to Norm Lewis belting out Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Music Of The Night” in his brilliant baritone voice below. Its worth it!