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Performing in the much-anticipated nationwide tour of Love Never Dies, the sequel to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s critically acclaimed musical Phantom of the Opera, is Sandy Hook native Stephen Petrovich.
The Newtown High School alum got his start crafting his skills while in the school’s theater productions of Les Miserables in 2004, Show Boat in 2005, and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying in his senior year. With a passion to perform, he also participated in community theater at Musicals at Richter in Danbury, i productions of Hello, Dolly! and Crazy For You.
Since graduating from Newtown High School in 2006, Mr Petrovich has gone on to earn his BFA in musical theater from Boston Conservatory and tour in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast as Lumiere.
He has also been part of multiple productions of The Wizard of Oz, as the Scarecrow and Tin Man, and was most recently in Monty Python’s Spamalot at North Shore Music Theater in Boston.
Last Fourth of July, while home in Sandy Hook, Mr Petrovich received the news that he had been cast in the North American premiere of Love Never Dies and would be embarking on the yearlong tour.
“I was thrilled,” Mr Petrovich said. “I was with my husband – I’m a newlywed as of last April – and we weren’t really anticipating me going away as soon as we got married, but we were really excited for the work opportunity and the opportunity to travel, see the country, and do this new show.”
Love Never Dies is a recent work of composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. It premiered in 2010 in London, with productions following worldwide in Australia, Germany, Denmark, and Japan.
The story takes place in 1907, a decade after the Phantom vanished from the Paris Opera House. His love interest Christine Daaé has married her sweetheart Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny, and had a son, but when Christine is invited to sing in New York City, she winds up meeting the Phantom again.
Mr Petrovich’s character, Gangle, performs as part of a circus trio and is the Master of Ceremonies for the show within the show.
“There’s a sinister quality to the character,” he says, adding that Gangle plays a role in orchestrating some of the drama that happens behind the scenes.
To fully get into character for each performance, Mr Petrovich not only adorns a circus costume, but also has mastered a 20-minute make-up routine, which gets wiped off and redone for a second look of the show.
With such an alternative lifestyle that is touring, Mr Petrovich says that to be able to perform multiple shows a week to people across the country may a bit exhausting at times but has been an extremely rewarding experience.
“It’s been great. The audiences are wonderfully receptive to the show,” Mr Petrovich said. “It’s amazing to play all these different types of markets and demographics, but everyone responds in the same way. It makes you feel that you’re a part of something really special.”
When Love Never Dies came to Detroit in October 2017, the audience and the cast had a once-in-a-lifetime moment: Andrew Lloyd Webber made a special appearance.
“He joined us on stage at curtain call. We turned to the wing and he came out, and the audience didn’t know that he was there,” Mr Petrovich said. “People freaked out like we were at a Taylor Swift concert, it was crazy. He bowed with us and… was visibly moved by the performance. It was a great way to send us off.”
Phantom of the Opera fans will have the opportunity to see Mr Petrovich perform in Love Never Dies when it makes a Connecticut stop at The Bushnell in Hartford later this year. Eight performances are scheduled between Tuesday, May 29, and Sunday, June 3.
Mr Petrovich looks forward to performing in front of his family, friends, and the familiar faces of those in the community who have supported his career all these years.
“My time in Newtown High School was very formative of my career choice, and I think it is no coincidence that I sang Les Mis when I was 16 years old and now I’m in an Andrew Lloyd Webber show,” Mr Petrovich said. “For me to still be doing this 15 years later, it’s definitely a testament to the education I received in Newtown.”
Tickets for the Connecticut performances of Love Never Dies featuring Stephen Petrovich are available now at bushnell.org/events/loveneverdies.
Stephen Petrovich is a graduate of Newtown High School, Class of 2006, who has been cast in the North American premiere of Love Never Dies, a sequel to Phantom of The Opera. The nationwide tour will have a local stop in Hartford at the Bushnell from May 29 to June 3.
—photo courtesy Danny Knaub
Pictured is Stephen Petrovich, left, with castmate Richard Koons, right, holding Katrina Kemp during a performance of Love Never Dies.
—photo courtesy Danny Knaub