'Darker' Phantom opens US tour in Providence.

AuthorNiedowski, Erika


PROVIDENCE -- Mark Campbell started memorizing the songs from ''The Phantom of the Opera'' when he was 14 -- he'd sing along with his portable CD player while mowing the lawn. Not long after, he saw his first performance of the show, and waited outside the stage door to meet the man behind the mask.

Now, he's playing the Phantom himself in a reimagined production of the longest-running show in Broadway history.

''I don't want you to reinvent this role, I want you to invent this role,'' he remembers director Laurence Connor, who oversaw the original for years, telling him.

The curtain went up Wednesday at the Providence Performing Arts Center on the new ''Phantom,'' the story of a deformed composer who haunts the Paris Opera...

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