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SPOTLIGHT: Tony & Grammy Award nominee NORM LEWIS, the first African-American “Phantom” on Broadway in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera” by Photojournalist Lisa Pacino

Under The Duvet Productions SPOTLIGHT: Tony & Grammy Award nominee NORM LEWIS, the first African-American “Phantom” on Broadway in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera.

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Norm Lewis’ debut as “Phantom” on Broadway in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, at the Majestic Theatre, New York on May 12, 2014 with co-star Sierra Boggess. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

Norm Lewis is a Tony & Grammy Award nominated American actor and baritone singer, who has appeared in Europe, on Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional theatre, TV, films, and recordings.

Norm is a true “History Maker” becoming the first African-American actor to star in the title role of “Phantom” on Broadway in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, at the Majestic Theatre, New York on May 12, 2014. His extended run will end February 7, 2014.

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Norm Lewis’ debut as “Phantom” on Broadway in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, at the Majestic Theatre, New York on May 12, 2014 (cast in background including co-star Sierra Boggess). Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

 “I said, ‘Wow, I’d love to do that part. Never really knowing if that was a possibility or not, because I didn’t know anyone African-American who had done it until I did a little bit of research and found out that Robert Guillaume did it in Los Angeles in 1990, but I figured he was a star, so they would only probably put someone who’s a minority who was already a star into that role, so it was always kind of on the backburner for me and never really thinking it would ever come to be realized.” — Norm Lewis on his “Phantom” role.

In 1990, Tony Award nominee Robert Guillaume was the first African-American actor to play the role of “Phantom” in the Los Angeles production, having succeeded original Phantom star Michael Crawford.

“In fact, Andrew Lloyd Webber even said that this is a game changer and that there will probably be more opportunities for other minorities to be a part of this show, and [it will] also let other producers and other creative people see this is an opportunity for other blacks who have the same talent to be leads in shows, especially if it doesn’t deal with race.” — Norm Lewis on his “Phantom” role.

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Norm Lewis’ debut as “Phantom” on Broadway in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, at the Majestic Theatre, New York on May 12, 2014. Photograph of Norm Lewis, co-star Sierra Boggess, and Andrew Lloyd Webber by Lisa Pacino.

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Norm Lewis’ debut as “Phantom” on Broadway in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, at the Majestic Theatre, New York on May 12, 2014. Photograph of Norm Lewis, Melba Moore, and André De Shields by Lisa Pacino.

Norm Lewis made his Broadway debut in The Who’s Tommy in 1993. His other work includes London’s West End Les Misérables, Broadway’s Miss Saigon, Side Show, The Wild Party, Chicago, and the leading role as “Porgy”, in The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess which earned him a Tony Award nomination. He starred with current six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald as “Bess”; directed by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus.

His work also consists of Chapman Roberts’ Black Stars of the Great White Way, countless recitals, concerts, regional theatre, recorded solo and cast albums, film and TV appearances, including TV-ABC’s Scandal with Kerry Washington.

In addition to his Tony & Grammy Award nominations he has also received nominations for the Drama Desk Award, Drama League Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, and the winner of the 2014 AUDELCO Special Achievement Award, which is the highest honor in Black theatre. On May 30, 2012, Norm was presented with the unveiling of his caricature at New York’s famous Sardi’s restaurant.

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The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess Meet & Greet the Press at the New 42nd Street Studios in New York City, December 6, 2011. Photograph of Norm Lewis and Audra McDonald by Lisa Pacino.

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The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess Opening Night After Party, New York, January 12th, 2012. Photograph of Norm Lewis and Audra McDonald by Lisa Pacino.

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The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess backstage Norm Lewis and Mark Gershwin, the Richard Rodgers Theatre, New York, 2012. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess backstage Norm Lewis and Judith Light, the Richard Rodgers Theatre, New York, 2012. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess Closing Night After Party, SoHo, New York, 2012. Photograph of Paul Masse, Norm Lewis, and Audra McDonald by Lisa Pacino. This is one Lisa Pacino’s favorite photos.

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Norm Lewis at Meet The Nominees Press Reception at Millennium Broadway Hotel on May 2, 2012 in New York City. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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Norm Lewis at the 29th Annual Drama League Musical Celebration of Broadway in Honor of Audra McDonald, New York, February 11, 2013. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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Norm Lewis at Barnes & Noble for the Grammy Award nominated CD The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess signing, 86th Street, New York, May 22, 2012. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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Norm Lewis at Sardi’s Restaurant for his Caricature unveiling, New York, May 30, 2012. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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Norm Lewis at Sardi’s Restaurant for his Caricature unveiling, New York, May 30, 2012. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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Norm Lewis with Audra McDonald at Sardi’s Restaurant for his Caricature unveiling, New York, May 30, 2012. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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Norm Lewis with the Porgy and Bess full cast at Sardi’s Restaurant for his Caricature unveiling, New York, May 30, 2012. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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Norm Lewis with Audra McDonald at her After Party for her Opening Night of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, New York, April 13, 2014. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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Norm Lewis with Audra McDonald at her After Party for her Opening Night of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, New York, April 13, 2014. Re-enacting their Porgy & Bess pose. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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Chapman Roberts, Norm Lewis, and David H. Greer at the Opening Night of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, New York, April 13, 2014. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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Clifton Davis, Adriane Lenox, and Norm Lewis at the After Party for Chapman Roberts’ Black Stars of the Great White Way at Carnegie Hall, New York, June 23, 2014. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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Norm Lewis and Patina Miller in RAGTIME, an All-Star Cast, Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, February 18, 2013. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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Chapman Roberts, Norm Lewis, and André De Shields performing at Chapman Roberts’ Black Stars of the Great White Way, celebrating Black History Month, February 17, 2013 at the Queensborough Performing Arts Center (QPAC). Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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“Live The Dream” Chapman Roberts’ Black Stars of the Great White Way at Carnegie Hall, New York, June 23, 2014. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

“[A newcomer] should audition for virtually everything, whether or not he’s ethnically right for the part. And this is especially true for African-American actors.” —Norm Lewis

All Photographs and Article by Celebrity Photojournalist Lisa Pacino of Under The Duvet Productions, NY. All Rights Reserved.

Website:

http://lisapacino.smugmug.com/

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