MEET BRIAN CROOK

Tell us about your character. (What you like about your character, their strengths/weaknesses, similarities between you and your character, etc.)

Cholet, to me, doesn’t simply ride his wife’s coattails, he basks in them. I love his comedic snarkiness. He can cut you down with a mere look. He can say so effectively in two simple words what might take other people paragraphs to say half as clearly. While I believe in his undeterred dedication to Carlotta and her rising star, you can’t help but wonder what dream he may have let go. Taking over the opera house is a big accomplishment, but it seems as though this was more about pleasing her than fulfilling himself.

Why did you become interested in this production?

I grew up knowing just about every note and word of the ALW version and the compelling story it was based on, so it was only natural that I be drawn to another interpretation. ALW and Maury Yeston are two of my favorite musical theatre composers (the Titanic score to this day remains firmly in my top 3), so to be able to take part in this production is very exciting.

Is there a favorite dramatic/character moment for you in the show for your character?

I’m not just saying this because we blocked this scene the night before filling out this questionnaire, but the Fugue in Act One where Cholet finally buys into this Phantom idea is just so much fun. Cholet loses his cool in such a uproarious way…which makes sense because he doesn’t do ANYTHING small.

The message of PHANTOM is that music can alleviate the pain of life. How has theatre/the arts helped you during hard times?

I could write a novel on this topic…but I will keep it simple. Music and theatre are my escape, my inspiration, my release, my strength, my voice.