26 March 2014 10:15 AM, PDT | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

At Monday night's Broadway Backwards after-party held at John's Pizza in midtown, Norm Lewis stood with a view of the Majestic Theatre at his back, the place where, on May 12, he'll become the first black actor to take the title role in the Broadway production of The Phantom of the Opera. "People have been very excited about it," said Lewis, "and I think it will get people — especially producers and directors and the creative staff — to look deeper into a role, especially in a show that’s universal and doesn’t talk about race."Lewis, who most recently played Olivia Pope's ex-fiancé Edison Davis on Scandal, described the Phantom gig as "a dream role and for a couple of reasons. Mainly I love the show, but actually [it sets] a precedent. Out of 26 years, there’s never been an African-American or someone of color to play the role on Broadway," »


- Jamie Miles

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