Finally tonight, one of the most successful shows on Broadway in history is making history again. Phantom of opera, nearly 11,000 performances and 13 leading men. But tonight, for the first time, a... See More
Finally tonight, one of the most successful shows on Broadway in history is making history again. Phantom of opera, nearly 11,000 performances and 13 leading men. But tonight, for the first time, a new actor behind the mask and here's ABC's John donvan with our "Person of the week." ? Reporter: This is the longest running show in Broadway history. A turn-of-the-century tale of a deformed composer haunting the Paris opera house where he lures in a young singer -- 13 men have played the role on Broadway. But the one making all the headlines is this man. You may recognize norm lewis as senator Edison Davis from ABC's "Scandal." So that's it. We're done? Reporter: And while he's no newcomer to Broadway -- ? Reporter: The role of phantom is the biggest of his life. I'm just so excited to be a part of history. Reporter: Why history? Because, go back, and you'll find that norm's predecessors, all great actors, all great voices, have all been caucasian, People have a certain vision of a particular character and a lot of times we as minorities don't fit that particular vision. Reporter: Legendary creator of the show Andrew Lloyd Webber notes that Broadway has been getting more colorblind. I think everyone's moved on to the point that you really don't think that way. Reporter: And guess who approached Lloyd Webber in the past about playing the role. Michael Jackson who really wanted to play it at one point -- the other person who wanted to play it was Sammy Davis. I remember being so nervous and wanting it so badly. Right before I stepped on stage to do the audition, I really took a deep breath and all of a sudden I felt Paul Robson, Ben Vereen, Andra Deshields, I stand on their shoulders. ? ? sweet intoxication ? Reporter: And he did it. It opens a whole new door for us. It will feel like an opening night all over again. ? Reporter: And tonight, norm has a message for all aspiring actors. Just show up. Just have a presence. Just make a loud noise because we all want to be heard. ? And so we choose norm lewis. Congratulations.
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